Re: Draft of letter to the EAC

From: charlie strauss <cems_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Mon May 10 2004 - 13:27:25 CDT

-----Original Message-----
>From: David Mertz <voting-project@gnosis.cx>
>A few suggested changes:

>> It makes sense that a public process like voting be best served with
>> public software.

>To me, it does not merely "make sense" in the technocratic sense that
>"under many eyes all bugs are shallow." Instead, the openness of the
>source code is a matter of procedural democracy.

>I know not everyone shares my ideological inclination, but I think we
>could be somewhat more forceful while not explicitly going into this
>issue:

> It IS PROPER that a public process like voting be best served with
>public software.

I heartily support Dave Mertz's feeling here. Open source is analogous to public meetings laws. Both can be onerous yet neccessary.

Not only is sunlight a disinfectant but public scrutiny will force good software engieering practices. It is a bit like a well painted navy ship: It's harder to mask other engnieering problems if the software has transparency.

I'm waiting to here Alan's clarification about the intent of the letter, but I would suggest that it's premature to argue the merits of OVCs superiority. Just make the case, as alan did, that if the topic is open source, then it's hardly a comprehensive discussion without OVCs participation. Once you are at the table the rest can follow.

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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:31 2004

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