EVM2003 Status Report(s)

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Wed Nov 12 2003 - 13:57:49 CST

Read the news, folks. The stage is being set for us. It's time for us to
push for getting the demo together.

I think we should take inventory of where we're at right now with the
project. Some have asked for a schedule or timeline ("roadmap" as Anand
says), but we haven't quite been in a position to put that together. We may
be reaching a point where we can and need to lay this out.

I want to shoot for a demo in about 4 weeks from now. To do this, we'd need
to reach Alpha in about 2 weeks, I think. "Alpha" in my mind means "feature
complete." That is, we want to have all the components in place -- maybe
with some issues but the basic functionality needs to be there. Then we can
spend the following two weeks to work out the kinks -- reaching maybe Beta
quality just before the demo. It doesn't have to be perfect but, as much as
possible, we need to identify bugs so we can steer around them if we don't
have time to fix all of them.

To see if this is feasible, we need to go over what all we're doing. Let's
have a look at all the tasks and see who is doing what, and see if there are
gaps to be filled. It looks like we are following the 80/20 rule: that is,
in any group, about 20 percent of the people do about 80 percent of the
work. This is normal and to be expected. We now have about 30
voting-project list members, 20 percent of which would equal about 6 people.
You probably know if you're one of the six or not ... actually, I guess
there are about 9 that have taken some leadership roles, namely, Jan,
Arthur, David, Arnie, Chris, Charles, Matt, Lori (my wife), and me. In our
case, there is quite a bit of stratification within the six or so -- Jan is
doing about half the work. We need to get Jan some help.

We very much appreciate the contributions of all voting-project members, but
I've got to say it: it's time to fish, cut bait, or swim to shore.

Jan has taken the lead on this important task. He has finished the ballot
printing function. Jan: please provide a status report on this. You
mentioned that you need some help. What specifically do you need help with?

All: please see what you can do to help Jan.

This is another very important must-have requirement. Anand was working on
this. David, what's the status? This software will also use Jan's ballot
printing function -- so at least this part is done.

BVA (Bar Code Vocalization)
I have taken responsibility for this. I estimate that what I already posted
is alpha quality. I have since made revisions, and I think what I have is
beta quality. I will post this to SourceForge shortly. Chris and Jan have
toyed with their own versions of BVA and this is fine -- especially since
Jan can use some of his BVA code for the Vision Impaired Interface. I plan
to use my version for the scanning station that will be used during the

Jan has an alpha version of this already. We need to have a better GUI
ballot interface. Will we be able to use some of the code from the
standalone GUI ballot interface? Has someone taken responsibility for this?
Jan? David? Please clarify.

Arnie Urken has taken the lead on this. Chris Schaefer is helping. Where
are we with this? Can we see something soon? Do you need help?

We need some handouts to give to people in the media (and others) that will
attend the demo. Some of the topics covered:

- Economics -- us versus them
- Explanation of voter verification -- why we have it and the DREs don't

What else? I don't think we have anyone assigned to this task. Any takers?

Arthur Keller has taken responsibility for this. We need equipment and
space for the demo. Tables, chairs, computers, etc. Probably we need to
build some cradle to hold the monitor in a horizontal position. We need
press releases sent out. I have made a contact with a touchscreen panel
maker and it looks like they will send us one after Comdex (ends Nov 20)
that we can use for 30 days. I also have one or two PCs to lend to the
demo. I think we need five (two voting machines with monitors, scanning
station (need headphones), tabulation demonstration, vision-impaired set up
(need headphones). What else, Arthur? Arthur could probably use some help
from people in the Palo Alto area. Chris and Ed are there. Anyone else?

Matt, we need a plan for alpha and beta. At this point, it can't be
elaborate but we need to be sure you are on top of this. You have been busy
and maybe you need help. Report please?

I think this part is under control. The Open Voting Consortium is the
organization that will be conducting the demo. I think it needs to actually
exist as a legal entity by then. Lori has taken the lead in getting this
done. Report? Charles Cleveland has taken the lead with the OVC web site.
It's there but could use a little more work. Charles? Do you need help?
Testers? Feedback?


Please, if you are one of the leads, send a report to the list ASAP! If you
are on the voting-project list but not really working on a specific task,
it's time to look for a spot where you can help. Please speak up! I want
to pull all of this information together by the end of this week.

-- Alan Dechert 916-791-0456
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Received on Sun Nov 30 23:17:02 2003

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