Re: Prerendering of GUI for voting machines

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Fri Nov 30 2007 - 14:52:06 CST

Fred,

Ping also uses PyGame with Python for his demo. See http://pvote.org/ or go
directly to http://pvote.org/code/ for the code.

BTW, the Quicktime video Doug Cragoe put together based on the APR 1 demo is
on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lg7WP3Tgmig

Alan

> Yes, the pre-rendering was my crazy idea. At the time I got involved
> the development team was stuck trying to make some wxpython widgets
> that would allow for display of a nearly exact rendering of the
> approved ballot format. There were several reasons to go with an
> image map that were discussed on the development list at that time.
>
> 1. An exact match of the approved ballot format
> 2. An easy way to show proposed ballots to or receive them from,
> elections officials (print the image out).
> 3. Simplified code. The widget and rendering code was going to be the
> majority of the code
> 4. A design to function match. The touch screen is really an image &
> event intersection issue, much like a video game. In fact we did our
> implementation by finding a great python video game designer (John
> Paul out of Canada) to do the implementation in PyGame.
>
> Backing the image was a simple coordinate descriptor file. This makes
> code verification much simpler. Once the engine is verified it is
> only a matter of verifying the image(s) coordinate mapping file(s).
>
> -Fred-
>
>
> On Nov 30, 2007, at 12:36 AM, Alan Dechert wrote:
>
>>
>> I attended a talk by Ka-Ping Yee today (well, yesterday, actually,
>> since
>> it's now morning) at UC Berkeley. "Ping," talked about how much of
>> the
>> computer code used in computerized voting interfaces could be
>> eliminated by
>> prerendering. He has written code for a DRE that consists of only
>> 640 lines
>> of Python code, in contrast to 10's of thousands (or even 100s of
>> thousands)
>> of lines that the usual vendors have been selling.
>>
>> All of this sounded pretty familiar. In fact, we used a prerendered
>> GUI for
>> our demo in 2004. OVS has carried on by using prerendered screens
>> in their
>> designs. Prerendering has enabled OVC and OVS to get something done
>> with
>> very little code.
>>
>> Before seeing what OVS had come up with, I did not think of
>> prerendering as
>> a way to make a better voting system with less code. OVC used
>> prerendering
>> just to get the thing done. I never intended the demo to be done
>> that way!
>>
>> Have a look at our page on Sourceforge:
>>
>> http://evm2003.sourceforge.net/
>>
>> and check out the architecture link ...
>> http://evm2003.sourceforge.net/architecture.html
>>
>> Note the picture of the ballot:
>> http://evm2003.sourceforge.net/ballot-mockup3.gif
>>
>> I created this in a painting program just to show developers what I
>> wanted
>> to see. It turns out that this picture became the interface by
>> putting
>> Python code behind it to capture clicks (or touches) on the screen
>> at the
>> circles where choices are to be indicated.
>>
>> This is in contrast to our web demo (where the screen is rendering
>> by the
>> browser
>> http://user.it.uu.se/~jan/voting-project/ballot2.html ).
>>
>> I'm not sure who first suggested we use the prerendered screen for
>> the OVC
>> standalone demo -- maybe Fred McLain, David Mertz, or Jean-Paul
>> Gignac.
>> This may have been a key feature of our demo that we did not
>> advertise.
>>
>> Ping explains the advantages of prerendering in some detail....
>> sounds like
>> the way to go.
>>
>> http://www.usenix.org/events/evt06/tech/full_papers/yee/yee.pdf
>>
>> https://db.usenix.org/events/evt07/tech/full_papers/yee/yee_html/
>>
>> Alan D.
>>
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>>
>
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Received on Fri Nov 30 23:17:30 2007

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