Online polls

  PurplePenny 10:19 13 Jan 2005

Hi all,

At work we have need to set up a polling system for a limited, selected audience. I know that I have taken part in polls at sites that appear to offer ready-made polling - you type n the questions and possible answers and then give a list of the people who are to be invited to take part n the poll.

I've just done a search but couldn't find anything that was quite right. oes anyone know of such a site?


  PurplePenny 10:25 13 Jan 2005

Forgot to add a very important point......

Free! I've found pay sites but the library doesn't have money to buy books let alone polls.

  Taran 13:21 13 Jan 2005

Which server system are you using Penny ?

There are dozens of polling apps available:


click here


click here

A couple of intersting Sourceforge projects:

click here

click here

Simple polls are easy enough and if you like I can walk you through some code examples of my own.

Some polling applications can write to a text file while the more comprehensive ones use a database.

If you can post some details of your hosting environment and whether it will be internally facing, externally facing or both I'll see if I can come up with something.


  PurplePenny 14:52 13 Jan 2005

Thanks Taran, I'll get back to the colleague that wants to run the poll to see what I can find out.

I suspect that so far all that has happened is that a committee has decided that a poll would be useful and the committee member that got "volunteered" to run it came to ask me whether it was feasible. They probably haven't got as far as deciding where it will be hosted.

You've no idea how complicated a question " Which server system are you using?" is in this university :-)

  PurplePenny 16:40 13 Jan 2005

OK ... so guess who just volunteered to take on this project and see it through to the end?

Hosting - as I suspected the "where" hasn't been decided ....

The poll itself sounds quite complex to me but since I have no experience of online polls it might turn out to be simplicity itself ;-)

3000+ options (journal titles)

up to 1000 voters (academic staff) each with 100 votes

the votes can be cast in any combination of number of votes per option to a total of 100 (so, for instance, it shoudl be possible to cast all 100 votes for 1 option)

The final statistic required is simply the total number of votes per option (but knowing how committees and statistics work that might be subject to change).

Don't worry too much for now as I'm off work until next Tuesday (though I'll be reading the forum at home of course). I'll post again once I have more information on the server. In the meantime I'll take a look at the links.

"and if you like I can walk you through some code examples of my own." I just love it when you say things like that :-)))

  Taran 20:49 13 Jan 2005

committee meetings...

I love the concept that a poll involving 3000 journal titles with combination voting was considered a 'good idea'.

I mean, three thousand !!!

Seriously ?

Let's break this down into cases. Someone, somewhere, either has to manually input the relevant data (ick) or query it from an existing data source (yay) to populate the source of the poll. I imagine (aka hope) that you will have all of this covered using existing records.

That's the easy bit.

You have no real choice but to manually set up each of the voting options since wizards in any third party program can only do so much and I, for one, rarely trust their magic.

Well volunteered that woman !

I can see trouble ahead....

Let me have a think (on a weekday as well) and see if I can come up with something.

  Mr A! 10:49 14 Jan 2005

click here. They offer a free polling service.

  PurplePenny 12:04 18 Jan 2005

Thanks Taran, fourm member and Mr A! for the input; for the moment I'm going nowhere because I've hit a brick wall.

The poll will have to be hosted on my user area but I can't get any reply from support to tell me what scripting options I have (if any). A chat with a fellow user confirms my suspicion that I probably won't be allowed to do any server side scripting!

This is not looking good.

On the off-chance that I will be allowed to use server-side scripting I've had a look at PHP and CGI/Perl polling scripts on the Hotscripts site and none of the free ones do what the committee want. In fact I haven't even found any paid scripts that will either!

On the subject of populating the source (journal titles) I'm hoping that it can be done from existing records. We have the records in so many formats that it must, surely, be possible to import the data (HA!).

Since I'm going nowhere fast with this at the moment I will take the time to mention that it was converting the catalogue records to "machine readable form" that first got me into the library.

Nothing clever - the hard work had already been done and there was a pink punch tape record for each catalogue card. To begin with they were all separate: thousands of brown envelopes each containing one length of punch tape. My job was to sit at the (ummm ... errr ... can't remember the name) machine and feed separate lengths into it and let it copy the holes onto a continuous roll. Most library staff thought that I was doing some really serious techie stuff :-) In reality I was making up jokes to go with the journal titles and collecting pink holes to use as confetti.

  PurplePenny 15:06 20 Jan 2005

I've just heard back from support and it seems as though they are willing to do the whole shebang. Nothing for me to do after all!

C'est la vie; que sera, sera etc. etc..

Ta muchly to everyone anyway :-)

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

WPA2 hack: How secure is your Wi-Fi?

Microsoft Surface Book 2 hands-on review – bigger and 5x faster

Best kids apps for iPhone & iPad

Que faire si son iPhone ou iPad est tombé dans de l'eau ?