I released a major new version of Zocalo on SourceForge yesterday. This release is the one I’ve been targeting as good enough for people to test out with interested groups. The user accounts now have password security, and only administrators can create new accounts and set up claims. (Later, I’ll make it possible to configure Zocalo so anyone can create an account and the administrator will be able determine who can create claims. Public access to account creation is waiting until I hook up email for verification. At that point, it will also be possible to send trade results via email.) Claim owners now also have the ability to pay out claims, there’s a new screen for reviewing transaction history, and users get feedback when a trade takes place.
If you have been waiting to use Zocalo to run prediction markets until a few more features are added, this is the first version (since the releases for economics experiments) that has enough functionality to be worth playing with and showing to your friends and colleagues. If you want to make suggestions about what features should be added first, I’d love to hear them. I know of many things that need to be added, but I only have my own guesses at this point about which missing features are show stoppers and what minor features would suffice for some users to deploy significant markets.
In the absence of feedback pointing to particular features that are useful sooner, I’m expecting my next step to be integrating email, so that account creation can be opened up, and the system can send transaction details to traders. I will also do some cleanup and simplification of the order entry form, since I’ve alrady had a request for that.