This is part of a series of "what makes a great.." notes to help people who are interested in copying the 2050 calculator. They are ideals, which the UK calculator may not live up to.
Once the excel spreadsheet has been prepared, the one pages developed and the implications worked out, it is time to put a web front end on the excel spreadsheet. This can be done in advance of the call for evidence or in parallel. The benefit of doing it in advance is that it permits more of the stakeholders to understand the implications of the work, without the need to work through the excel spreadsheet. The drawback is that the web front end may attract press or public attention at the call for evidence stage, when its results may be incorrect.
A great web front end:
- Is a direct translation of the excel spreadsheet:
- It makes no additional calculations that don't appear in the excel
- Its controls are similar to those in the excel, so it is easy to move back and forth between the excel and web version
- Links to the one page notes
- Allows people to share their chosen pathways
- Fits the main controls and outputs into a 1024x768px screen, so that it can be used in presentations
- Calculates quickly
The source code for the UK 2050 calculator web front end is available under an opern source licence. It consists of:
- A program that translates the excel spreadsheet into a software model that can be driven by the web front end - this ensures that the excel and software model are consistent.
- The translation software is here: https://github.com/tamc/excel_to_code
- The example of using the translation software on the UK calculator is here: https://github.com/decc/decc_2050_model
- A server that creates the interactive visualisation that end users drive.
- The UK version of this code is here: https://github.com/decc/twenty-fifty
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