TaxGeek 2006 Ideas Page
Idea 3: Development IDE for Forms
Whether using PDF::Reuse or Direct Writing to PDFs (see here
), development of new forms requires the linking of
TaxGeek internal variables to either coordinates or internal PDF field names. This process could be considerably
simplified and thus speed up any future development, as well as aid in being able to update forms in the future
when the IRS invariably changes things.
The current method of registering a form uses a very simple HTML-application which allows the user to
associate a coordinate-pair with an internal TaxGeek variable.
This application can only be used once the form has been coded, the PDF has been flattened, one page at a time,
and the form has had data saved. At this point in the process it would be nice to improve the interface so that:
- Forms that are registered are selectable (so that they can be quickly re-registered if necessary)
- The flattening process can happen automatically on selection, if desired.
- A new form's HTML can be templated by this IDE. For example, when the user clicks on a spot,
- The coordinates are saved
- A variable name can be assigned by the user
- The visible text and position (left, right, top...) can be determined by the user.
- The input can be grouped with other inputs
Essentially, the idea here is to speed up form development so that TaxGeek can quickly get up to date on
all the IRS forms (including the many that branch from forms other than 1040). Also this will mean that
as tax law invariably changes, we will be able to develop new forms without inconsistency.