So with that background, I found the book to be very informative to someone like me. It almost felt as if it were written for me. But I tried to step back from that, because of the experience of a lot of my clients who are not programmers -- who don't have a lot of technical background and who use spreadsheets in the way a lot of people do, as databases and things like that. And so I tried to step back and from their point of view ask, "Would this book help me out if I were in that situation?" And for some people it would and it would at least give them an idea of the capabilities that are there. However, there are several times in the book where the author says, "Okay, here is how we do this and now we are going to move onto something else, so if you're interested in exploring this in more detail, go to this Website. Go to the OpenOffice.org Website, where they have detailed user guides and that type of thing."
Phil Shapiro: "If someone uses OpenOffice 3, would this book, written for OpenOffice 2, still be applicable?"
John Dukovich: "That's a great question. I was wondering about that myself. I use OpenOffice 3, and I tested a lot of macros on both the Windows version and the Ubuntu version, and other than a few dialogue box differences, this book is quite applicable to version 3. The capabilities, the functions, the techniques -- everything is pretty much still the same. There are just a few differences in menu options and that type of thing. But it's nothing like going from Microsoft Office 2003 to 2007, which was a complete rewrite.
Phil Shapiro: Let me ask you this question: The Excel macro programming language is very powerful. What macro capabilities does OpenOffice have that you might have been surprised about?
John Dukovich: Well, one thing I was concerned about is the dialogue boxes, which Excel calls "user forms" -- where you set up the GUI, the interface where people can use drop-down menus and boxes and radio buttons and that type of thing to provide data input. Well, what I did was I had three different levels of Excel spreadsheets with macros in them. I have what I call a very basic one, an intermediate one, and a very, very complex one that I imported into OpenOffice Calc, and I was quite surprised -- in a good way -- that all the dialogue boxes came over perfectly. I didn't have to edit them one bit, and the functionality of the dialogue boxes was there, the macros that were tied to various buttons, everything in that regard worked.