Bitching about macros

Pá 07 října 2005

After many years I got to work with M$ Office again and I got in contact with one of my old feelings about various Linux office suites ( may be slightly exception, but not that much)—none of them is suitable for high-level professional business work, because they all fail in providing functional user macros. I mean real macros for normal users who need to make their work goes faster by eliminating repetitive tasks. Take this one Excel macro as an example:

Sub CleanMissingJobCode()
' CleanMissingJobCode Macro
' Macro recorded 10/5/2005 by mcepl
' Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+X
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    ActiveCell.Offset(0, 1).Select
    ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select
    ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select
    Selection.Delete Shift:=xlUp
    Range(Selection, Selection.End(xlDown)).Select
    Range(Selection.Offset(-1, 0), _
    Selection.Offset(0, 0)).Select
    ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

I don’t show this macro here, because of its beauty, but on the contrary for its complete ugliness. The point is that although it is just result of macro recording and a little cleaning afterwards (Excel’s Macro Recorder put a lot of absolute references into the script) it just works(TM). Whenever I looked at macro facilities (or rather their bare foundations) for Koffice, it seemed like a foundation for “real work”, i.e., programmer who would open his IDE, debbuger and other development tools, and begin to develop some custom application based on the office suite, using a lot of complicated DCOP calls etc. But I do not want to do anything significant with macros—just make my spreadsheet do some work for me!

Category: computer Tagged: OpenOffice