Re: Business Line article.

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Sun Mar 21 2004 - 16:39:04 CST

On Mar 21, 2004, at 5:22 PM, Alan Dechert wrote:
>> Are we being protrayed simply as yet another private vendor?
> I don't think so.

Actually, the article--and Ritchie, if he's quoted accurately (which is
not assured, by far)--do seem to imply that. I found the poor
reporting a bit frustrating, myself: mostly because it confuses a
vanity project by a college kid with our serious effort.

>> The article also mentions that S. Richie is planning to develop a
>> fork of
>> eVACS. We've thought of this, right? ......

I've looked at the eVACS code (probably more than anyone else on the
voting project). I'm happy with what the Aussies have done and all.
But there's just no way that our best path to making a system is by
starting with their code. The requirements and design are just too
different to make retrofit the right approach.

Like Alan, I am happy that eVACS has proven the use of Free Software in
voting systems; but in technical terms, there is not remotely any
reason to base our code on theirs. The coding problem isn't a
fundamental difficulty--as wonderful as Jean-Paul, and Eron, and Fred,
and Jan, and the rest have been, it really ain't rocket science to
implement these systems. The right design is the main problem, not the
lines of code that carry it out.

>> ...and is the main reason Richie's project shouldn't
>> be dismissed as "just one undergrad doomed to fail".
>> University students have been known to create very
>> successful opensource projects **cough**linux**
>> cough** without teams of experts and piles of HAVA money.

But Linux Torvalds wrote a TINY percentage of Linux code. He was in
the right place at the right time--and indeed he is an excellent
project manager. But coding isn't some magic mojo that requires
inspiration and genius.

I shouldn't begrudge Ritchie for having a moderately good idea, and
being slightly too full of himself. He's 19, that's how he should be.
But reporters who lack judgment get under my skin a little bit (I'm not
the best front-line PR person for OVC :-)).

Yours, David...

---
Keeping medicines from the bloodstreams of the sick; food from the 
bellies
of the hungry; books from the hands of the uneducated; technology from 
the
underdeveloped; and putting advocates of freedom in prisons.  
Intellectual
property is to the 21st century what the slave trade was to the 16th.
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Received on Wed Mar 31 23:17:08 2004

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