Crossforum theatre of democracy - development challenges

Michael Allan mike at
Sat Aug 28 06:35:32 EDT 2010

Thomas von der Elbe wrote:
> I said offlist to Mike already: its so exciting, what all seems
> possible now. It promises far more, than I was expecting for our
> tools to become real in the near and middle future. The theatre is
> really something which can completely change the whole feel of it. A
> fascinating and wide entry-door to the world of e-democracy.

It was unexpected for me, too.  It was a long time coming.  I was
ready to give up on the user interface and focus on documentation.  It
was only when we talked about the help docs (you and Alex and me) and
looked seriously at the entry door, that it started coming together.
(In hindsight, we had to take Votorola apart before we could put it
back together.  We needed all the pieces on the table.)

In the end, I like how it stays open (and open-ended), even at the top
level.  Any developer can bring new pieces into the mix, or recombine
them in new ways, and offer another entry door/marquee to the users.

> Do I understand you right, this means, you dont wanna use PulpCore
> anymore? And yes, it did take quite a while to load on my screen.
> Whereas the ballon was very fast loaded. But the graphics were
> really beautiful.

A designer can do almost any tree graphic in SVG.  All you need is
Inkscape.  (You could start today.  See #3 at top of thread.)

The developer then takes the SVG, and pastes it into the code.  He
adds whatever JavaScript is needed to make it interactive, or to make
it move.  All we lose is the high-performance animation, collision
detection, and other game tricks that PulpCore would provide.  But we
don't actually need any of that.

The first thing we need (I'm thinking) is to cover the mobile devices.
The next thing is maybe future-proofness:

Actually, that's an unfair comparison.  The proper comparison is more
between GWT/Java/Web standards and Flex/Flash, I guess.

So we'd have a 3.5X better chance (4.9/1.4) of attracting developers
to a GWT/Java/Web project, than a Flex/Flash one.  (I'm not sure about
designers.  They like Adobe's tools.)

> ... the messages showing up in the theatre can be:
> 1. new post in discussion
> 2. new position drafted or an existing one changed or a diff merged
> 3. new vote cast or an existing one changed
> (maybe 4. new user registration)
> (maybe 5. these users are online: ....)
> (maybe 6. these users are having a chat here)

These are all "event types" for the frame sequencer.  Having a variety
of different event types (and filters) means we can give the users
different productions (shows) to choose from.  (Maybe the users could
also design their own productions, at some point, and upload them for
others to run.)

Note: please add this clarification to requirement 3a:

 3. a) Orient naturally, with leaves at top.

       That's the the *tree* itself, not the viewport.  So it can't be
       upside down, hanging from the sky (like an org chart).  But the
       viewport could be in the sky, looking down on the tree tops
       (bird's eye view).

Bird's eye might segway better as you drill down from the highest
overviews, into forests, then into trees.

Michael Allan

Toronto, +1 647-436-4521

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