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Google Programming

Google Makes Apps Script Available To All 61

theodp writes "Formerly only available to Apps Users, Google has made Apps Script available to everyone (sample script), including you Google Docs low-lifers. Apps Script lets you automate actions across spreadsheets, sites, calendars, and other Google services. No spamming, kids!"
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Google Makes Apps Script Available To All

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  • by nathan.fulton ( 1160807 ) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @09:56AM (#31472118) Journal
    In my opinion, this is going to make google's spreadsheet application a viable alternative to some uses of excel. God knows Apps Script is easier to use than excel macros.

    Don't get me wrong, there are some things that excel will always be used for, but google spreadsheets have so far been just useless enough without outside manipulation that most people have turned the option down.
  • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @10:09AM (#31472190)
    ...Yeah, because we all know how easy it is for sites to work together, right? What did you expect? Except for their own services, Google can't make other people implement a scripting language...
  • by ronocdh ( 906309 ) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @10:49AM (#31472418)

    Don't get me wrong, there are some things that Lotus 1-2-3 will always be used for,

    Realize how silly that sounds now?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 14, 2010 @11:44AM (#31472786)

    " including you Google Docs low-lifers."

    Fuck you theodp.

  • by moosesocks ( 264553 ) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @01:24PM (#31473480) Homepage

    It's a particularly bad argument, given that Microsoft deliberately designed Excel to resemble (an "improved") 1-2-3 as closely as possible by making sure that it implemented most of the same functionality. Word featured a "WordPerfect compatibility mode" until fairly recently.

    I should point out that unlike some of Microsoft's other quests for market dominance, Office seems to have succeeded by the simple virtue of being legitimately better than its competitors. While Lotus and Corel allowed their products to languish, Microsoft made a product that was initially "similar and just as good," and eventually "similar, but better in a number of respects."

    Now, Microsoft themselves have gotten a bit lazy. Although I hold the (unpopular) opinion that Office 2007 offered many needed improvements, Keynote and Numbers simply blow PowerPoint and Excel out of the water in terms of usability.

    Pages is a sufficiently different product from Word that any direct comparisons are difficult. Although Word lacks many of Pages' page-layout and design functions, Pages also (perhaps intentionally) lacks Word's myriad of features for managing large documents. As much as I hate its quirks and idiosyncrasies, LaTeX is still hands-down the best tool for writing and managing a large document.

  • by pongo000 ( 97357 ) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @02:20PM (#31473884)

    ...but am I the only person here who senses an innate danger to entrusting one's data to a for-profit entity? I simply cannot fathom a scenario in which I would create a business-critical or personal spreadsheet to be stored on a Google server. Google's business is data mining, plain and simple. They certainly aren't offering all of these services out of the goodness of their corporate heart (if there is such a thing). Therefore, there must be some deeper motives at play. Yet, there are those who run around breathlessly extolling every move that Google makes.

    Who are these people who would entrust every detail of their business and personal life to a for-profit company? I would have thought the /. crowd, of all groups, would be asking the difficult questions.

    I find the relative silence concerning these issues both disconcerting and scary.

  • by dirkdodgers ( 1642627 ) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @02:44PM (#31474002)

    When you tie yourself to Microsoft Office you have physical possession of the software and they can't change it from under you. When you buy a copy of Microsoft Office and use it to script your business and finance operations, you can count on it continuing to work for 10 years, no question, as long as you can keep the hardware running, and then as long as you can run the OS in a VM.

    With Google, they can change the software and scripting interfaces right under your nose and there's nothing you can do about. It's not even vendor lock-in, it's customer SOL, because unless you are willing and able to update your solution to use the new interface, that changes every 6 months or a year, knowing Google, you are SOL.

    And the problem is largest for the customers who are most likely to want to take advantage of this: home and small businesses. They're the ones who are least able to take on 3 months of development on short notice to update their scripts to Google App Script x.x++. That will put a home or small business under.

    Advance warning: do not allow another company to control your software upgrade cycle for critical business infrastructure, or they will control you.

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