The word poll has two meanings.

Technical Glossary: Polling

Polling is the opposite of pushing and the most unPSYCy thing to do. It means to periodically ask if something has happened rather than being informed immediately as it happens.

Polling is bad. Bad software design, bad network design, bad user interface design (why make people wait? why introduce latency?) etc...

Here's an example of badness:


It's taken from Mozilla's Thunderbird E-Mail client. This is how things shouldn't be (See psycmail for a solution to this specific problem).

Update 2009: "A tip for the battery life: set your email accounts so that the update less frequently. I have multiple accounts set up on my phone and I still had one to update every 15 minutes. I changed them all to update every 2 hours and got significant improvement." Kol Panic thinks that's why mobile phones need PSYC.

Some scientists say it's bad for your health to poll for mail. But maybe so is real-time event notification.  ;)

There are some situations where polling is not so bad.. but that's usually when you have no chance to fix the other side of the application, so you start accepting that it isn't that bad.

See also Cache and Wikipedia:Polling (computer science).

Application: Conducting a Poll

A poll application asks an audience for an opinion or finds a common denominator in a group of people (scheduling).

I didn't really look out a lot but I was pointed to a few times to get scheduling and polls done.

It's a very simplistic approach. Would be interesting to have something like that with proper authentication and notification as that's the natural way to do things within PSYC.