And then came VisiCalc and Excel, which were not at
all tedious and unexciting!
Actually, there is a class of users out there that
find the spreadsheet
metaphor so exciting and empowering that they think
they can do anything with
it. (I am not one of them. I just stand in awe of
their ability to saw with
This is true. In fact, there is a certain scenario
which plays out really often: a deskful of talented
people has been using a Motif GUI for years. To them,
a GUI is something you just click buttons on. Then,
one day, Excel is installed and a crummy new VB GUI is
put in place! For a while, nothing happens. Then
someone realises they can write a custom function –
someone else realises they can use a widget to
communicate with the guys in the other building –
someone else realises he can automatically produce a
report for the whole floor by writing his own excel
program – and in a year, everyone is an Excel
I guess it is exciting to watch non-technical people
realise that software can empower them to make stuff.
I therefore withdraw my sarcastic remark about Excel.
I also withdraw from the responsibility of maintaining
the terrible VB code that always results.
Although actually… with ActiveScript Ruby… they
could all use Ruby instead, right? Heh heh.