Re: [OVC-discuss] OVC's free/open-source voting software

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Thu Dec 11 2008 - 02:57:16 CST

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jason White" <> wrote,
> It seems to have a very different structure from most free/open projects
> with
> which I'm familiar, where there is a public source code repository, a
> development mailing list, a bug tracking system, etc., all linked
> prominently
> to the project's Web site, making it easy for
> developers/testers/documentation
> writers/users to become involved.
It is very different -- due, in no small measure, to the regulatory and
political environment in which the voting system lives. Most of my work
involves working with elected officials, election officials, and other
interested parties in order to pave the way for acceptance of open source
voting (we call it "open voting") and the OVC system in particular.

Our software development efforts have been focused on particular events.
There are several on-going talks with potential customers, and when I get a
formal request to use our system, we will work up some requirements and
build a system to meet those requirements. If the election is simple
enough, we may need to do little software development: Just create the
ballot definition files and create the .iso files to burn to disk. If it's
a real public election (where they're going to elect public officials), then
we will probably need to do more work to improve our system. And if they
include remote or absentee voting, we will probably have to create a system
for that. I think we may get a job like this for a local election next year
where federal certification is not required.

> I surmise that after Sourceforge became untenable (and this is by no means
> the
> first project that I am aware of to find it necessary to move away from
> there), nobody offered alternative infrastructure, or set aside the time
> to
> make it happen.
Well, here's our project on FOSS Factory.

This reminds me a little of a job interview I had quite a few years ago at
Netscape. They asked me how I would test their product. I explained the
process of how I build a test plan from the product specification and other
documentation. They said, "what if those documents don't exist and the
product has already shipped?"

Alan D.

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Received on Wed Dec 31 23:17:05 2008

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