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

From: Greg Stern <gregdstern_at_verizon_dot_net>
Date: Sun Feb 01 2004 - 07:48:47 CST

On Saturday 31 January 2004 09:13 pm, David Mertz wrote:
> 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,

Why? Can you point me to such a law (for my own engineering and
curiousity purposes).

> 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.

I disagree. Making the user make one real choice per page versus
making 20 choices is much easier to use. It also allows us to
intersperce help documentation, letting them know what will be
happening in each next stage.

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

Again, having one "vote" per page makes so much more sense than
overloading the screen with so many votes. I also don't find radio
boxes to be intuititive to non-computer users. That UI especially
won't work with a touch screen mouse.

> > I agree with xml describing the data, by why also the view.
> XML is widely used for lots of data descriptions.

Yep, and it definitely makes sense for the data.

> It just makes
> more sense to use XML than to invent yet another custom description
> language for purposes of the View document.

Help me make the connection here? What is the requirement to have such
a dynamic view. It will be much faster and potentially more precise
to use some sort of GUI tool, such as Qt Designer, to come up with
the different GUI's.

> > 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).

We can go and forth about this, but I would offer that the thousands
of KDE programs, which is arguablely the most successful open-source
project in the world, backs up the the C++/Qt data point. But I think
this is more religion than reason.

I have heard the valid argument that there are less lines of code, and
therefore better. I don't believe it is always that simple.

> > 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.

Can't agree more that the UI has to be IMMEDIATELY obvious.

> 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).

Ok. I will work on implementing the "set in stone" GUI first and then
what I believe to be the easier to use GUI second.

My sourceforge id is gregdstern.

Can you add me to the CVS account?

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Received on Thu Apr 1 02:40:15 2004

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