Re: More on voting stations

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Fri May 07 2004 - 13:03:43 CDT

On May 7, 2004, at 1:44 PM, Arthur Keller wrote:
> Why do we have to produce a postscript file if our intent is to print
> to a non-postscript printer.
> I propose as a strawman, the XML ballot as the intermediate document
> target. It's then simple enough to write converters to postscript or
> to native printer language(s).

Using a postscript template makes it simple and reliable to substitute
in ballot-customized values (the particular votes, the ballot-id, the
barcode, etc) while keeping a fixed overall ballot appearance (the
election-info header, the watermarks, etc). The template can be OK'd
by elections officials easily, and we will know individualized ballots
will share required features.

Doing a substitution within a raw raster bitstream would be much harder
to program, and still harder to debug or perform a security analysis on
(one can imagine David Jefferson-style attacks that modified details of
the printed ballot).

However, I don't take the XML intermediate target as a strawman *at
all*. In fact, we already HAVE a good intermediate XML format: the EBI
format. Well, OK, that doesn't really contain enough page positioning
details, but something along those lines might be workable.

At first brush, I would rather just take advantage of the excellent
Free Software Alladin Software and others have already created to
rasterize postscript... but I can imagine being persuaded of the
advantages of writing more direct printer drivers.
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:22 2004

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