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GEMS 1.18 @district macro
- To: <email@example.com>
- Subject: GEMS 1.18 @district macro
- From: "Ken Clark" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2001 13:59:31 -0700
- Importance: Normal
The GEMS 1.18
district dialog has a new field, "Tag". Tags are an alphanumeric "short
label" used to identify a district. I'll talk more about the motivation
for the new tag field under a different cover, but for now its enough to know
they are a new alphanumeric way of identifying a district. Examples of
district tags might be:
SEN is the parent
district tag for the "Senate" district. SEN11, SEN12, SEN13 are senate
also has a new header artwork macro somewhat similar to @precinct. It
is @district@, and it comes in three flavors:
Note the trailing @
@district:<parent tag>@ macro is replaced by the label for the
subdistrict in which the card's base precinct resides for that parent tag.
(yep that is a mouthful). For example is easier. Say you
have @district:SEN@. When printing artwork, this will expand to the
district label of the senate subdistrict. Card 3 might
expand to "Senate 11". The @district-tag and @district-exp macros expand
to the subdistrict tag and subdistrict export id respectively.
This feature is
really quite powerful. It should be able to replace much of the "variable
data" postprocessing done by the good people at Spectrum. Just set up a
district for whatever data you want identified on the ballot artwork, and then
build relationships to the base precincts.
A few loose ends to
I was too lazy to do
a @district-id:<parent tag>@ variant to expand to the district's numeric
id. You can work around it by entering a tag that is the same as the id,
but that's lame. Twist my arm and I'll look into it, but really I don't
think anyone assigns district ids that mean anything in the real world anyway
(hint, this fact is the motivation for tags).
A @votergroup macro
would be nice too.
Like the @precinct
macro, @district won't work in general when using sequence numbers. No
real loss here, since you are going to get more plates anyway if you want the
districts printed on the ballot.
The tag field has
also been added to the report precinct and base precinct dialogs, but
there isn't currently a way to access the tag (or export) fields with
the @precinct macro. The intent is to create a special tag for report
precinct and base precinct, maybe @district:RP-PCT@ and @district:BS-PCT@, or
something. This isn't implemented yet though. Inside GEMS precincts
are implemented as districts, and I am still looking for a clean way of
presenting this fact to users that doesn't make their heads explode. In
the mean time, to get the same effect you can set up a district for every
precinct (like when you have precinct committee people races) and then use the
@district macro on the "Precinct" parent district.
Finally on the
Spectrum variable data front, it is currently pretty hard (though not
impossible) to fit the @district concept into the vote center and counter group
paradigms. We'll still need their help for that. This is a big
step in the right direction to doing this in the future
As always, comments,
questions, pledges of servitude, etc, are welcome.