Horizontal cascades and vertical geo-locals

Michael Allan mike at zelea.com
Fri Aug 14 22:12:29 EDT 2009

(replying to Thomas and David, further below)

Here's a preview of the finished code, complete with a voting
interface.  I wonder if it's good enough?

(1) Vote for "Cb Simbot", City Councillor:

    Press the refresh button after it loads, to clear out the cached
    style sheet (it will look nicer)

The usual caveats apply:

  * Very slow (I'll start optimizing it in a couple of days)

  * Probably has a bug or two


  * I thought about it, but we can't put vote links/buttons next to
    candidate names (Thomas), because that space is reserved for safe
    navigation - changes that can be easily undone with the back

    I'm not completely happy with the voting controls, but maybe we
    can play with them, and identify the problems.

  * I made slight improvements to the home page (Fred), but not as
    much as requested.  Will do more later, after alpha testing

  * I improved the proposal format (per Fred).

(2) Vote for Fred's proposed bylaw (or for mine):

What do you guys think?  If I make it run faster, is it good enough
for initial trials?

Thomas wrote:
> I think, for the first tests it would be good, if we provide all the
> technology thats needed, i.e. the (Toronto)poll-server, the wiki-
> pages, an easy way to give feedback (at minimum a sentence on the page
> like "Please send your feedback, possible bugs, etc. to this email-
> adress", maybe a feedback-window if thats easy to create).

Maybe I'll redirect the 'help' link at the top of each page into the
wiki.  We can put a page there with general instructions for:

  * How to participate in the trials - for anybody who happens to
    wander by

  * How to report bugs (to the list)

  * How to request new features and improvements (using the pollserver
    itself to propose them, and vote them up)

I can probably do that tomorrow.
> In the test itself we just try out every single feature as often as
> possible from all different directions and see what happens. (Btw, how
> often are the "full counts"?)
> That should be enough, shouldn´t it?

We shouldn't worry too much about bugs, though.  I can easily fix
those.  We need to flush out the design flaws that prevent people from
using it for normal purposes, or make it so difficult they just don't
bother.  (For example, Fred said it's hard to create your own version
of a proposal.  So I'll add links in a couple of days, to make it

(I currently run the counts manually.  I can run them as a cron job,
 when we start voting.  Is every 4 hours OK?)

> So (1) we play around with it ourselves.
> And then (2) we invite others to play with it.
> Ideally we find a group, like a political party, a socially active
> group, which has to decide some real question, solve some real issue.
> I think, some of the people of the spiritual party of germany will
> help.
> The WPE-people are probably more interested in the delegation
> mechanism than in collaborative drafting - but thats helpful too.
> Another intersted group might be another new german party
> Piratenpartei.
> I´ll contact them as soon as we are done with (1). ;-)

Sounds good!  :-)

David Hilvert wrote:
> Making a trust network encyclopedia might be an interesting idea.  Like
> Wikipedia, but without edit wars.  Everyone could have their own copy of as
> many articles as desired, with a version determined by trust network being
> displayed by default.

So it's like building consensus on laws and other norms (Votorola's
normal use case), but instead the texts are encyclopedia articles.

> (Encyclopedias aside, any other wiki subject could, of course, be handled in a
> similar fashion, with Wikipedia just being the largest current application of
> wikis.)

(I bet one reason why wikis are unpopular for most texts, aside from
 encyclopedias, is their centralized mode of collaboration.  They
 force everybody onto a single page.  We remove that restriction.  So
 maybe we'll have a wider field of application.)

> A similar application would be selecting among software versions or varieties
> in the case of multiple maintainers (e.g., seen in the various maintained trees
> of Linux and of its various subsystems).

I hope that Votorola will be a distributed effort too.  The repo is
distributed.  Deployments are distributed, with each city/region
running its own pollserver.  Maybe some of them will take a lead in
the development, and release their own flavours of the code?

Michael Allan

Toronto, 647-436-4521

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