Re: Bar code choice

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Sat Sep 13 2003 - 13:39:04 CDT

Adechert@aol.com wrote:
|The ballot number is supposed to be a 4-digit number. I mentioned that it
|could be represented with two symbols. If I'm understanding you correctly, we
|will have 95 symbols

This is too clever by at least a power of 5. If we were in 1985, such
excessively complicated encoding might make sense (maybe), but not in
2003.

Keep this mantra in mind:

    DO THE SIMPLEST THING THAT CAN POSSIBLY WORK!

(and add complication only when or if it becomes necessary; most of the
time it never does).

|come up with a way to do long integer math within Python

Please let me do my job as Dev Lead, rather than raising extraneous
issues that only come up from lack of (easily available) information!
Unlimited precision ints are one of the basic (syntactic) datatypes in
Python.

Btw. Ed raised a point of using pseudo-random bitsequences for the XOR.
that's not necessary. For visual obfuscation, a unique ballot-id
(repeated as many times as needed) is plenty sufficient---two ballot
that vote for the same candidate will not have identical barcodes, which
is the entirety of what we need. It ain't cryptography we're going
for... someone could certainly work out a ballot's votes from the
barcode with pencil and paper and knowledge of system used (just as the
computer/scanner can do so).

Btw2. We may still need to use padding as well. If selection of
absentee votes (or any other factors) leads to a variation in the
overall length of the barcode, we will need to pad every barcode to a
consistent length. But I defer this issue for now, until we are certain
there is such an issue.

Yours, David...

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Received on Tue Sep 30 23:17:04 2003

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