September 10, 2010, 10:57 AM — Learn OpenOffice.org Spreadsheet Macro Programming: OOoBasic and Calc Automation, by Dr. Mark Alexander Bain
220 pages, December 2006
$36 (hard copy); $16 (ebook)
Note: This book review was conducted as an audio interview of macros expert John Dukovich, by Phil Shapiro, using Audacity, the free sound recording and editing software. The review is available in transcript form below and can also be accessed on YouTube. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NavOETFfsXc ) The following is a lightly edited transcript of the audio interview.
The audio interview itself is about ten minutes in duration. It took about an hour to create and required far less effort than sitting down to collaboratively write a book review. The interview was created in five short segments, where, in between each audio segment, the ensuing audio segment was planned. After the audio interview are some follow-up written comments by reviewer John Dukovich.
My name is John Dukovich. I'm with Green Moon Solutions, a small technology company in the Washington, DC, area. I've been working with Microsoft Office applications, basically since they came out, and I'm a heavy user of Excel macros and Visual Basic for Applications language. I do quite a few applications for clients and use macros in ways that a lot of people don't.
Instead of just manipulating spreadsheet information, there's a lot of behind-the-scenes calculations and user GUI interface kinds of things that I do. So I'm quite familiar with Excel macros. I shied away from OpenOffice Calc for quite a while because initially I heard the macro feature wasn't as good as Excel's. And years ago, there wasn't a good conversion between the two.
However, when I got my hands on this book, OpenOffice.org Spreadsheet Macro Programming, I was curious and hoped to find I was wrong, that this would open up new opportunities for clients and organizations that want to get away from Microsoft Office, clients who are already using OpenOffice, so I was really interested to see the level of capability that Calc had in its macro programming.