Re: [OVC-demo-team] Questioning the requirements/architecture documents

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Sat Jan 31 2004 - 20:13:25 CST

Greg Stern wrote:
> That is, it is basically a paper ballet layout (and
> confusion) and doesn't take advantage of a better UI that a computer
> can bring. For example, why isn't it a wizard interface with one page
> per vote, with a summary page at the end when the voting is complete?

Such a "wizard" approach would both be illegal according to most
election law, and would be hugely confusing to voters who do not use
computers on a day-to-day basis. Actually, I wouldn't like it as an
experienced computer user either, but that's neither here nor there.

In short, an excessively "computerized" interface is a non-starter.

> I agree with xml describing the data, by why also the view.

XML is widely used for lots of data descriptions. It just makes more
sense to use XML than to invent yet another custom description language
for purposes of the View document.

> And finally I'm curious about the choice of Python. The majority of
> open-source developers I've seen are either program for KDE or Gnome.

I don't really see the connection here. Both PyQt and PyGtk are
available (as is wxPython). The GUI library used is quite independent
of the programming language used. If the argument here is actually
about using C++ rather than Python... well, it takes at least twice as
much development time (and many times the number of lines; therefore,
proportionally more error-prone).

> I'm very tempted to implement a more logical based wizard UI based on
> the XML format defined for the data using Qt. If I did, would you be
> interested in what I develop? How set are you on the existing
> requirements and architecture documents?

The use of Alan's demo screen is FIXED IN STONE for the demo.
Conceivably, WAY down the line, we could consider other interface
designs. But any such design has to be IMMEDIATELY obvious to someone
who has never seen a computer before, or it's entirely unsuitable for
voting purposes.

The rest is somewhat more movable. But the tabulation software and
other parts have been developed around the assumptions documented.
Still, if Greg checks in a amazing implementation that just happens to
be written in C++ (or uses some custom View Description Language, or
whatever), I have nothing against using it (for the demo).

> P.S. I would expect it wouldn't take more than a weekend to implement
> that part.

You're at least the 20th person to make this claim (of the triviality
of writing the interface). So far, the prior 20 have not delivered
working code (even given more than a weekend). But if you want to
check in something you think is useful, please feel encouraged to do
so. No harm can come of having another interface in sourceforge, even
if it's not used in the demo).

Yours, David...
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Received on Thu Apr 1 02:40:15 2004

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