Re: Bar code choice

From: Edward Cherlin <edward_dot_cherlin_at_etssg_dot_com>
Date: Sat Sep 13 2003 - 14:22:37 CDT

On Saturday 13 September 2003 11:39 am, David Mertz wrote:
> 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!

Thank you. Well said. Now that you are here, I can shut up about
coding and design issues.

> (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.

Excellent. I see I need to actually learn some 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).

Fine.

> 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.

Clearly not a problem. Trivial to implement if somebody needs it.

> Yours, David...
>
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You see, folks, that's what I meant about not getting hung up in
premature optimization. But David explains it better than I do.

-- 
Edward Cherlin, Simputer Evangelist
Encore Technologies (S) Pte. Ltd.
Computers for all of us
http://www.simputerland.com, http://cherlin.blogspot.com
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Received on Tue Sep 30 23:17:04 2003

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