Advice for developing in python with Microsoft Office?

Steve Holden sholden at
Thu Jun 26 14:15:55 CEST 2003

"John J. Lee" <jjl at> wrote in message
news:871xxhvimo.fsf at
> claird at (Cameron Laird) writes:
> [...]
> > Attempts to program Office frustrate many people.  'Fact,
> > it's hard to falsify the proposition that some of the
> > documentation has been managed in order to maximize
> > frustration.
> Microsoft seems to enjoy 'death by documentation'.  It's not that the
> huge quantity of it is a bad thing per se, or that the individual bits
> of documentation are bad, so much as the fact that the various bits
> often don't seem to know of each others' existence.  Perhaps that's
> achieved by the same people whose job it is to rename everything every
> few months?

Indeed, one of my own pet peeves about Microsoft documentation is the way
help systems will restate the blindingly obvious without providing any
actual help. Suppose there's a "Varm Fnoogle" menu item in my application. I
spend three minutes finding out where the feature is documented only to
discover that all it says is "Use this option when you want to fnoogle your
varm" - nothing about what a varm might be (and no links), and nothing about
fnoogling (and no links). Three months later the same feature will be
labelled "Dworm Fnargle".

Cameron, with an unusual lack of cynicism, appears to me to be quite wrong
about the reason for the state of Microsoft documentation. They write it
that way to maximize training and publishing opportunities.

Steve Holden                        
Python Web Programming       

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