Sunday, May 06, 2007

DRS Software

Steven Murdoch left an interesting comment on my previous posting about the Scottish Election Chaos. Namely that the electoral commission recommends that in the event of crosses and numbers being placed in the wrong columns a system where the ballot can still be counted and not simply discarded as 'spoiled'. Steven simply hoped that the software does follow this recommendation.

As a recent convert to Apple Mac OS X from Linux over 2 years ago, I'm not quite the Open Source Advocate as I once was. However, if ever there was a case for OSS, this must be it. I really would like the ability for the public to audit the software DRS has written to ensure it follows the guidelines. Even though it has been 'independently reviewed', I simply don't trust the programmers who wrote it unless I can see test suite results and/or the code. They don't have to reveal the company secrets that actually interpret the glyphs written on the paper - but they can open the algorithm used to produce the final results.

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