Dan asks “Peter, could you list and describe the ‘laudable’ things in the townsquare project? Your sleuthing skills must be more refined than mine.”
The Island Libraries project is laudable: using Z39.50 (an open standard for talking to library catalogues) and open source PHP and Apache tools, this is a common web search interface to the Provincial Library and Holland College Library catalogues. It was funded under the aegis of Town Square, and put together by Donny Moses.
The new online ticket sales application on the Confederation Centre website is very nice and, having purchased tickets for Lennie Gallant mid-summer, I can tesify that it works. It was funded by the Town Square project, and put together by a team that includes Lorrie Jollimore, who used to work for us at Okeedokee.
The City of Charlottetown’s parking ticket payment system is a Good Idea. It appears to be constructed in PHP, and while I’ve not been unlucky enough to have to use it yet, from the look of it, it’s well designed. Same goes for the water bill payment application. Both were funded by Town Square.
The live broadcast of council meetings is a good thing for municipal democracy (although it is slightly disconcerting to hear the Mayor ask the councillors to “please login” at the beginning of the meeting). This is funded by Town Square.
There’s no doubting that the Town Square website itself isn’t a model of good design (to say nothing of the Virtual Charlottetown site, a textbook example of how not to design a website). And there are, as several have pointed out some crazy aspects to the Town Square project. But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater: there’s some neat stuff happening under the Town Square banner.