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Re: [OT] Re: using xlswrite csvwrite

From: fork
Subject: Re: [OT] Re: using xlswrite csvwrite
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 2011 20:17:26 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: Loom/3.14 (

Philip Nienhuis <pr.nienhuis <at>> writes:

> > 
> > Let me rephrase: while xls is (sort of) widely supported, there are lots
> > of
> > better, more open, and likely more sustainable options... ;)
> > 
> ...Like... ? And why: "better"?

Ok, I can't help myself ;) ...

I prefer either plain text data files in a well thought out directory hierarchy
or an SQL database.  These are far simpler to write code against, they don't mix
formatting and data, they are open, they dont have upgrade hell, they dont have
viruses, text files play nice with version control, and they are human readable
(for SQL, you can almost always get an SQL dump or play around in a terminal).

Spreadsheets should only be used as glorified scratch paper; if you have a
regular workflow that depends on them, you have a problem that should be solved
with scripting instead, IM(H)O.  And if you handle big data or math, you should
be working in a Unix environment anyway.  (Spreadsheets and MS Windows are a
little like crack -- easy to get started, then you get caught up in a big
un-scalable mess...  the computing equivalent to lying in a gutter and drooling
over yourself... ;) )

Of course, I dont want to be antagonistic, but if I can get our new Octave user
set on the one right path ^H^H^H to see all viewpoints I would be glad. ;)

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