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Re: [Ampu-dev] Taken out of context =)

From: alfred . differ
Subject: Re: [Ampu-dev] Taken out of context =)
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 21:48:45 -0500


Here are some answers to questions you posed
>>or choose an already
>>described choice as a template for their new one

>Is that worth doing?  Nothing springs to mind where this would be
>useful, beyond simple "yes/no" type questions, which would be easy
>enough anyway.  Did you have a particular use for this feature in mind?

Here is what I have in mind.  There are going to be times when a low level
question becomes interesting to other leaders elsewhere in the heirarchy.  They
may wish to pose a similar question to their group of interested citizens while
others at the same level will not.  This 'easy copy' feature encourages a viral
approach to use by making it possible for people to run 'me too' polls.

This particular feature probably doesn't need to be described in the context
statement, however.  It isn't exactly a high-level feature.  It is more of a
keystroke saver with an ulterior motive.  I wouldn't mind seeing it removed as
long as we gave it another look at the use case level.

>>After defining a
>>choice the user proceeds to categorize the choice according to lists
>>available for voting style, documentation needs, and other resource

>I had expected voting style to be decided either on the basis of the
>entire user base's preferred style, or on the group's preferred style,
>or maybe a combination of both (global, locally overridden).

>I'm worried that it may be possible to influence a decision if you also
>get to choose the method of decision making most suited to your
>preferred outcome.  I expect that if strategic voting is possible,
>strategic initiatives would be possible, too.  If so, it could be very
>damaging for someone to select a voting method which they have weighed
>up as being the one most likely to bring about their preferred decision.

>This is just a gut feeling though.. maybe there's no problem with it?

Good point.
What do you do when the application is still young and your user base hasn't set
any preferences?
Would you be willing to allow a bit of flexibility in order to coax more
representatives into the system?  Certain voting styles that allow biased
environments could be deprecated later.

>>The user then proceeds to relate their choice to others listed
>>in the tool as the need arises.

>Is the linking of relevant supporting documents and precedents to
>solutions, or something more?

I was thinking more along the lines of hyperlinking to similar choices made or
being made.  Supporting documents and precedents would be handled through some
kind of structured linkage.  Anything in the structure would be expected,
archived, and probably version controlled.  The hyperlinks would be more a
matter of research convenience.
When it comes to error correction, I was initially thinking of the distinction
the XML folks use between a well-formed document and a valid one.  Valid
documents follow all the rules.  Well-formed ones follow enough of the rules to
be understandable to an interpreter.

Imagine setting up a choice and forgetting to but a deadline on it.  That
shouldn't pass the validator.  Now suppose you put on a deadline of next
century.  That should pass even though it makes the choice rather silly.

The rules for validation would be developed as we go.  This section of the
context statement is present to make sure we say we actually intend to do it.
>>The tool will make use of whatever distributed resources are registered
>>as available and that it deems necessary to produce the results
>>required for a related event.

>We're talking budgets here, then?  Automatic budget allocation might
>work, I hadn't considered that, exactly.  Did you think of anything else
>which could be managed this way?  Or even of a more generalised resource
>management system?

Budgets as in 'money'?  Not really.  I was thinking more in terms of computing
resources.  Suppose you get someone at a big non-profit group say they are
willing to pitch in to help run the finished application.  It could be set up
on their systems and we would all be happy.  Now you get someone else offering
to do the same.  By the time you are done, you have a distributed application
whose parts must be aware of each other and able to transfer data.  There are
plenty of models that would work for this.  I've purposely left the rest of how
it could be done ambiguous.
For command sets and use interfaces, I am suggesting that users who set up a
choice should be allowed to perform certain administrative functions while the
voting members should not.  Once voting starts, of course, many of the
administrative functions would be blocked from everyone.
For automated completion of decisions, I'm just suggesting that the system take
care of as many of the repetitive details as possible.  If a user expresses a
desire to vote on a particular decision and the voting style does not require
validation of the home address for potential voters, there is no reason the
system couldn't generate the appropriate token and deliver it to the requestor
without human intervention.  If a choice is set up to only allow voters of a
particular district in a small county to have a say, the system might be able
todo a partial lookup against a roster of known voters, motor vehicle
registration list or something and eliminate obvious fraud before passing
requests for formal validation on to a human.

There are lots of small tasks around voting procedures that can probably be
automated.  We probably should do as many of these as we can stomach in order
to drive up acceptance rates.

I hope that helps to clarify what I was thinking.
It is now time for me to read your counter proposal.
It would be nice to find at least one low level elected official to bounce this
off their head and see what they think.


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