After the election on Thursday, I didn't like the way the results and summaries were displayed on various websites (in particular, the grouping of smaller parties as 'Other'), so decided to do something myself. I've wanted to learn PHP for a while, so this also provided a perfect opportunity to do that. :D
I started off by trying to work out how to get the data, which was a mess involving regular expressions that worked some of the time and not others, so I ended up using regexps for some things and other methods where nothing 'sensible' would work. 300 lines of mess and much frustration later, I had the data entered into a database! ^_^
Next, I had to work out a way to display the data, deciding that giant tables with an ability to sort them would be best. I then went through and wrote some scripts to generate or work out useful bits of information that weren't visible in the raw data.
With everything in place, I worked out what information would be wanted in each table before going and creating them.
The end result may not be the prettiest thing in the world, but the data is hugely interesting. ^_^
Above everything else, I had great fun creating the 'Seats' columns on the Party Listing page. Basically, 'how many seats would different parties get with alternative voting systems?'. Of course, the values are horribly crude and a bit of a 'plug in some numbers until the output totals 650 and the BNP doesn't have a majority' situation, but the numbers are interesting nonetheless.
I've learned a lot and it's nice to make something where people IRL can make sense of it too. -.-