Selectricity Source

After a semi-recent thread on debian-devel, I poked around and realized that I’d never actually gotten around to formally announcing the release of source code for Selectricity, a piece of web-based election software designed to allow for preferential decision-making and to provide "election machinery for the masses." Selectricity is useful for a range of decisions but it targets all those quick little decisions that we might want to decide preferentially but where running a vote would be overkill.

Things were delayed through a drawn out set of negotiations with the MIT Technology Licensing Office over how to release the code under a free software license of my choosing. I was swamped when things finally came through. Over time, I managed to forget that I never did a formal announcement, never setup a mailing list, and never did all those things that I have tried to teach other people in the Free Software Project Management HOWTO. Code just sort of appeared on my website under the GNU Affero General Public License. It was until the debian-devel thread that I remembered I’d never made a formal announcement. Sorry about that!

The git repository has been online and accessible through searches for more than a year now. Most folks who wanted the code seem to have been able to find it there. Indeed, a number of people have set up their own instances and a few have submitted patches to the code! But more visibility for the source means more empowered users, more visibility for free software, and more developers.

So I’ve shipped all the code into a project in Gitorious (its like GitHub, except free), announced things on the Selectricity Blog, changed the Selectricity footer of to include a prominent link to the source. I’ve also created a mailing list. The Gitorious project page includes a wiki.

I also want to mention this all here because the attention of the current development team seems mostly to have moved on to other projects. The current team seems able to keep the hosted version up and running, and even gets around to little improvements now and then, but there’s definitely room for new life and new leadership.

There are some nearly-complete and "complete minus further testing" features in the development tree that might provide low hanging fruit for folks interested in elections and decision-making who might want to get involved in Selectricity development. If you’re interested and know (or want to learn) Rails, feel free to check out the code, introduce yourself on the list or contact to coordinate.

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