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here spaketh a programmer

"For me, I love to program. If tomorrow they want an ecomm site running on linux using java, jsp and servlets on apache/jakarta tomcat server I'll be happy as a dog at the beach, but if they want a 3-tier business ap written in delphi running on windows accessing an informix database on *nix system I'll STILL be as happy as a dog at the beach.

Having said that, give me another project writing a business app in excel and you'll be reading about me going postal, rampaging through the streets of Perth."


developers! developers! developers!
developers! developers! developers!
developers! developers! developers!
developers! developers! developers!
developers! developers! developers!
developers! developers! developers!
developers! developers! developers!
developers! developers! developers!
developers! developers! developers!

FullNameRequired
Friday, January 16, 2004

Agree fully

Mark Tetrode
Friday, January 16, 2004

Is everyone drunk tonight?

Chris Nahr
Friday, January 16, 2004

Excel is the worst thing to ever happen to programmers.  Simply, utterly and completely the WORST.


Friday, January 16, 2004

That's interesting considering it paid for the forum you're posting on.


Friday, January 16, 2004

Excel's fine as long as you can get away with using it as an output-only format.  OTOH, if we're talking about project requests that start with, "our receptionist has been maintaining this database of clients, jobs, and purchase orders, and we just need someone to clean it up a little, which shouldn't take more than a week or so..." then yes, you've entered the seventh circle of Programmer Hell.

Sam Livingston-Gray
Friday, January 16, 2004

Excel and to a lesser extent Access and Word, give middle manager types the ability to produce incomprehensible garbage.  They run a few wizards, do a couple of tricks and think that producing real software is easy.  When it inevitably decays into an unworkable mess, they foist it upon the lowly programmer to fix it.  This is an insane ass-about way of developing software that managers love but makes programmers lives exceedingly difficult. 

Life would be so much easier for programmers if we never had these apps with programming capabilities built in. Expose the applications via ActiveX or some such interface so they can be used and extended, but putting an IDE into the application and allowing managers to write code is one of the worst things that has happened to this industry, EVER.  If this had never happened, non-programmers would have an entirely different view of the software development process, programmers would be making the decisions about programming matters and unrealistic expectations would be slightly more tempered.

In the past I have had to work with the most ridiculous, horribly tortured excel based applications used in 'mission critical' areas of business.  Not only were they unreliable and nigh on impossible to improve, but the managers would have an emotional attachment to the damn things, so you could never replace them. I simply refuse to use excel ever again except for the most trivial spreadsheets.  You could not pay me enough.

As far as paying for me to post to this message board, who cares?  I'd rather have the time back I spent wrestling with excel spaghetti.  Besides, it'd be some other board if it wasn't this one - unless you think excel is the fount of everything.

Spreadsheets are useful.  Spreadsheets as application development platforms is sheer idiocy.

untie the knots of excel
Friday, January 16, 2004

Yes, having an IDE built in to a word processor does seem pretty silly.  However, I can't quite bring myself to agree with you about Access, since if it didn't exist or didn't have VBA built in, I might still be stuck in networking, word processing or helpdesk.  (=

Yup, Neal Stephenson was talking about me:

"Basic is easier to use than the languages typically employed in Unix command-line programming, and Office has reached many, many more people than the GNU tools. And so it is quite possible that this feature of Office will, in the end, spawn more hacking than GNU."

Sam Livingston-Gray
Friday, January 16, 2004

Excel is an extremely powerful piece of software, when used correctly. But I think a lot of problems stem from people trying to use Excel for a non-trivial database app.

Anon
Saturday, January 17, 2004

Don't you mean "spookth"?  =)

anon 2
Sunday, January 18, 2004

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