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Election website for your NationStates region

Project description

Note: version 2.1.1 fixes a major bug (see issue #9 on github) and it is strongly reccommended that you upgrade to this or a later version ASAP.

nselec

An election-running web app for your NationStates region.

Features

  • Supports for/against and fully-ranked elections
  • Automatically opens and closes elections at a given date and time
  • Verifies the voter's nation name with the NationStates verification API
  • Easy-to-use admin interface for managing elections
  • User management system with permissions and logins
  • Looks nice :)

Disclaimer

This software is still in fairly early beta, so there are probably bugs that I haven't noticed yet. Please open an issue if you spot one! :)

Installation and Usage

You will need:

  • Python 3.5+ (with pip)
  • Any web server that supports wsgi.
  1. (Optional) Create a venv: python3 -m venv venv, and activate it: source venv/bin/activate
  2. Install nselec: pip install nselec (this will install requirements)
  3. Set things up:
    1. Setup the environment: export FLASK_APP=nselec
    2. Create the instance: flask initialise
    3. Make yourself an admin user: flask new_admin yourusername and enter the password when prompted
    4. Edit the config file. The path will be given to you when you did the initialisation command; it is normally at venv/var/nselec-instance/config.py. See the section "Config File" below for information on what you should put in that.
  4. (Optional) See if it works: flask run then visit the address it shows you. Do whatever you want, check it all works, then come back here.
  5. Connect it to your production WSGI server. This really depends on what server you're using, so you should read the flask docs on deploying for instructions. But normally you should just be able to put this
    from nselec import create_app
    application = create_app()
    
    in your wsgi.py, and then do whatever you need to do. But I'm not a WSGI expert, go read the flask docs.
  6. Visit the website, log in using the credentials you supplied in step 3.3, make elections, add some more users, profit! Or maybe not, who knows...

The Config File

  • The first required field for this is GET_VOTERS, which should be a function that returns a dict of voters, which should look like this: {"honk_donk": "Honk Donk", ...}. If you're using my ns-rc-checker script, then it'll look like this
import pickle
def GET_VOTERS():
    with open("/path/to/your/memstates.pkl", "rb") as fp:
        data = pickle.load(fp)
    return data['example']
  • Another required (well, not technically, but you definitely need to on production otherwise people could bypass all the security) field is SECRET_KEY. Check out the flask docs for what you should set this to.

  • The three other required fields are TITLE_MAINPAGE, TITLE_LONG, and TITLE_SHORT. These string values control the title of the site, as displayed in different places.

    • TITLE_MAINPAGE is the big title on the main election listing page.
    • TITLE_SHORT is displayed in the page titles and as the first entry in breadcrumbs, linking back to the main page.
    • TITLE_LONG is displayed at the top of the footer of each page.

    These all have sensible (albeit fairly generic) defaults, so it's not critical if you forget to set these.

  • Another field you can set is DATABASE which should be the filename of the database to use. It defaults to "nselec.db" in the instance folder, which should be fine for most people, but you can change it here if you really want.

  • The FAVICON field controls the url of the favicon used by the site. It defaults to favicon.ico in the application root.

Note on css

The CSS file (nselec/static/site.min.css) is bulma with some small customisations. The SCSS file containing those customisations can be found here.

History

Conifer is a region in the game NationStates. Like many other regions, we have democratic elections for things such as legislation and regional officials. There didn't seem to be any existing solution for elections with large numbers of people which we didn't have to pay for, so Honk Donk (aka ed588) made a quick app in Flask that just about solved the problem. This version of nselec is so bad that Honk Donk has refused to release it anywhere.

A little later, when we realised that the existing app didn't support necessary things such as ranked elections, and that the admin interface was impossible to use, (as well as the fact that all the code that wasn't in the templates was in a single python file that was impossible to maintain or do anything with), Honk Donk rewrote the entire thing. It now looked nicer (using the css library bulma for the frontend), supported ranked elections, and had a usable interface for adding new elections. Additionally, it was split into separate files, so that Honk Donk could actually maintain it and add new features in the future.

Project details


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