Lyra is, in my words, a proof of concept for developing rich D3-powered information display with a browser GUI.

Think of it as better than Excel and only 30% more complicated.

There's an online demo here, but if you want to set up a sandbox, here's how.

It's brought to you as "free and open source software" (their words) by the University of Washington Interactive Data Lab.

1) Set up your own micro Linux environment
A 512MB Debian 7 environment should be fine.

2) Login as root (or sudo su - root) and install your basics apt-get update apt-get upgrade apt-get install curl curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup | bash - apt-get install -y nodejs apt-get install -y build-essential npm install -g yo bower grunt-cli gulp

3) Get Lyra
(make a note of which folder to which you're installing, the default home directory should be fine for a playground) wget https://github.com/uwdata/lyra/archive/master.zip unzip master.zip cd lyra-master/ npm install

4) Run it cd src python -m SimpleHTTPServer 1234

Now got to http://you.ip.address.here:1234