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On 09/24/2012 06:11 AM, Gordon Burgess-Parker wrote:
On 18/09/12 20:38, Jay Lozier wrote:
I suspect most users do not use much outside the common core features
of any office suite (LO, AOO, MSO, etc)

You suspect correctly. In any organisation, home use etc, the usual
statistic is that 80% of users only use 20% of the functionality....
(I'm a retired Systems Accountant and have seen that more or less in
most places I've worked, from a 2-man advertising agency to a couple
of large quoted companies...and MOST places don't use VBA or Macros at
all, which is the usual excuse for keeping MS and not moving to OO/LO...)



Most features one needs have been include in office suites since the
some time in the 90's. I can not think of a feature that I want see
implemented that is not already implemented. I can remember when spell
checking was the user looking up the word in a dead tree dictionary. So
the problem with commercial suites is how to get users to buy a new
version when the current version is probably overkill.

My observations on macros are:

1. most people do not know any programming and do not wish to learn any
programming. More accurately, they will not learn any programming. Thus
they will never write their own macro and will only use macros provided,
if any. Since the macros they use are canned, they would only notice
differences in "look and feel" not in the actual code and would only
care that the macro worked.

2. those who can write macros are mostly not professional programmers
but users who probably learned programming elsewhere. Many engineers and
scientists probably fall into this category, they learned programming in
college (my case Fortran and Pascal). Often, their macros were written
for their purposes not because of some perceived business requirement.

3. the professional programmers who write macros probably know several
languages so they should be able to learn another. Unless they are
selling commercial products, they could be suite agnostic, e.g. they
only want to know what the suite is (API's) and its macro language(s). I
believe LO supports several different languages for scripting - I saw
Python and JavaScript listed.

My guess the group that complains the most about switching because of
macros would be the second group because they only know a few languages
at most (VBA and what they languages they learned as an undergraduate)
and do not want to learn another since their primary function is not

When I was writing macros for MSO, I was firmly in the second category
but I have migrated to a situation closer to the third category.

Because macros are a potential malware vector, I believe macro execution
requires more user interaction before a foreign macro will execute.
Thus, I would consider other ways to implement macro functionality if I
needed one for a large number of people in most situations.

Jay Lozier

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