18 Apr 2001 jmcnamara   » (Journeyer)

Spreadsheet::WriteExcel

I released version 0.31 of Spreadsheet::WriteExcel on April 12th. This release fixes the show-staller bug and implements other important functionality.

This is what ActiveState had to say about the module "Writes into Excel spreadsheet files. Somewhat limited, but fairly valuable." I guess that this is an example of damning somebody with faint praise.

As part of the testing I had to verify each of the 225 Excel functions. This took one week of something close to drudgery. Programming shouldn't be drudgery for two reasons. The first reason is that if you have to do a mundane repetitive task then you should be able to write a program to help you. The second reason is that if programming becomes a drudge then you should be doing something else.

As for the first reason: I did write several small programs to help with the testing but the cross checking still required an unavoidable amount of manual effort. I think that the avoidance of a certain type of hard work is what defines me as a programmer. In much the same way Perl espouses laziness as a virtue: "Laziness: The quality that makes you go to great effort to reduce overall energy expenditure. It makes you write labor-saving programs that other people will find useful, and document what you wrote so you don't have to answer so many question about it."

As for the second reason: Eric Steven Raymond puts this better in How to Become a Hacker.

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