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A poll is a decision guideway that effects its guidance through the currency of consensus. It formalizes agreement as a collection of primary votes on a prospective issue. Usage example for a poll page:


Poll name restrictions

The name of a poll page is restricted to ASCII characters. The first character must be an uppercase letter (A-Z). Each subsequent character may be either an upper or lowercase letter (A-Z, a-z), a digit (0-9), underscore (_), slash (/), period (.) or dash (-).12 The overall length is limited to 50 characters.3 But keep it short! Shorter names will result in nicer URLs for poll pages, position pages, and so forth. And remember, the issue of a poll can change over time, while the name is fixed forever. So don't worry too much about choosing a descriptive name. You can always set a longer, more descriptive display title if you wish.

Typically a poll is a subpage of its area, so these same restrictions apply to the area name, as it is part of the poll name. If you accidentally create a poll (or area) with an illegal name, you may always move it to a new name. Any votes cast under the old name will be lost. (But normally a vote cannot be cast under an illegal poll name.)

Poll topics

The issues raised by a poll are indicated by the topic properties of the poll page. These exclude the general issue category, as well as the area and division of the poll. None of these are listed as topics.

Notes and references

  1. ^ Not beginning with a period, so forms a non-hidden Unix file name. Non-contiguous and non-trailing slashes, so forming a normalized URL. Not beginning with a period (and other restrictions), so valid as the local part (before the '@') of an email address in unquoted (dot-atom) form. Not beginning with a lowercase letter, because wikis (MediaWiki) automatically map them to uppercase. Not beginning with an underscore, because MediaWiki maps leading underscores to nothing at all (stripping them away).

    Slashes are allowed for sake of hierarchical poll naming, especially as a typical poll is defined in a pollwiki subpage. But allowing slashes means that the name is no longer valid as an XML name.

  2. ^ For the allowable pattern of a poll name as a regular expression, see
  3. ^ In case you want to name a database table after a poll, PostgreSQL table names are limited to 63 characters. In case you want to give a poll its own mail box (as Votorola does) then qmail addresses(5) advises to “avoid local parts [before the '@' sign] longer than 64 characters”. We therefore limit to 50 characters, leaving the tool designers some room to play with.