Writing to ms excel

Marin Brkic mbrkic at invalid_mail.adress
Sun Aug 31 05:12:01 CEST 2008

On 31 Aug 2008 02:37:16 GMT, Steven D'Aprano
<steve at REMOVE-THIS-cybersource.com.au> wrote:
>Of course you can. You could simply tell them that you need the 
>programming interface to OpenOffice and that's the format you will be 
>supplying the data. If they want your data, they will use what you tell 
>them to use *if you give them no choice*.
>If they want your data, most people will just accept that OpenOffice is a 
>strange mysterious programming requirement, like all the other strange 
>mysterious things programmers and sys admins install on their PC. The 
>requirements are "a computer, Python and OpenOffice" instead of "a 
>computer and Python".
>If there are exceptions who know enough to insist that Excel can do 
>everything OpenOffice can do (more or less), and they don't want to use 
>OpenOffice, then don't argue. Just say that you're working on support for 
>Excel, but it will take a few weeks, but as a temporary measure they can 
>use OpenOffice until the code is ready. You will be *amazed* at how much 
>people will accept change if you tell them it's only temporary.
>You might even discover that by the time Excel support is ready, they 
>will prefer OpenOffice.
>> MS, as much as I hate to admit it, is the industry standard (or, at
>> least that's the one we're stuck with at the present time ;-)
>Only because we treat it as standard. You had no hesitation to write code 
>that relies on people having Excel installed, and yet you didn't want to 
>rely on an open source free software package that anyone with a fast 
>Internet connection or a CD drive can install in just a couple of 
>minutes. You don't even need to reboot the PC.

As much as a lot of the above is true, and I agree with some of it,
things are not more often than not that simple. It would be true if I
was, for example, working in a private owned company where we could
choose what we use, install our own stuff, have liberties and people
generally interested in learning new software and ... that approach.

On the other hand, when you work in an institution that has people
with their own problems (technical, but not computer related) - on
which they want to spend their time, and not installing and adapting
to new software solutions; when you have system engineers who decide
what you use, and generally who maintain the computers we work on, and
when all licences are gotten and sponsored by someone else, ... then,
well, then it's a little different situation.
Rules exist - exceptions can be made, and are made if there is a need
for them, but switching to open office just for me, when everyone has
gotten used to this one, and ... well, let's just say that one's not
going to be on the exception list :-)

I remember an older coleague who said; "open, free and whatever
licence type ...  software is free, only up to some amount of $$/per
hour". After that you just want things to work, and if they don't
work, there are people who are paid $/per hour to make it work.
And generally, when you look at the industry sector, ms IS the
standard - not because we treat it, but because for now, it just is.
When OOffice is used by 60% of all people I deal with, then maybe it
will be the standard.
Sorry for a little rough-but-straight-to-the-point-explanation, but
it's usually the quickest way to deal with
free-vs-commercial-starting-to-arise-flame-war :) which usually
happens after a post like this. 

Best regards

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