Yesterday was Election Day here in Portugal, crazy old Latin countries :) it's not hard to understand why we have so many soap operas and Reality shows, on the SIC Tv coverage they interrupted to report a hideous fumigating tropical storm coming our way (it won't :) , apparently the typhon wanna-be didn't make past the Madeira islands ;) ... tough place), but the rest was ... well, the usual stuff :) .
On the computer front however, things were set to take a different tone with ITIJ, STAPE and IBM teaming up to provide all those interested with a SOAP interface to the latest results, so that services might be built to pass out this information as they saw fit . Well, things WERE set to be different, unfortunately they weren't ... I don't exactly what went wrong, I had noticed unusual behaviour since Saturday, but I put it down on last minute testing and production environment setup. In the end, I don't believe the problem was the SOAP interface, I'm sure plenty of companies have much more complicated and crucial services depending on SOAP, and they're probably happy with it, so I won't go down that road, nor do I think practical to have a full database dump every 5 minutes to improve things, that would be lovely to scale to any mid sized country :D, in the end, I'm just sorry things didn't work, and I hope that when the next elections come, things will turn out ok.
Having said this, we (PT only, sorry :) , but don't loose faith, who knows where this is going? ;) ) decided to keep track of Setubal's results, and to accomplish that we would use the aforementioned webservices . Nothing too fancy, as time was of the essence (we heard about the webServices being available on Tuesday or Wednesday, and we all have paid work to do ;) ) , but something that might provide some usefulness to the people of Setúbal, as national television can't cover everything at the same time. So, our main ideas were :
In the end, we ended up waiting late for a specific part of Setúbal to finish up it's count so that a human-to-human text might be put up on the site :) and we failed miserably on providing a full blown Ajaxian interface filled with eye candy (ok, it was my secret plan :) ) BUT , for those of you who followed the count (at least me and my colleague did ;) ) it worked well, and we where happy to be a part of this and to provide some sort of service to our local community ;) (yes, we are local ;) )