Musings of an anonymous geek

October 17, 2007

For my next pet project…

Filed under: Me stuff,Productivity,Python,Scripting,Technology — m0j0 @ 9:24 am

Stand back!

running install_egg_info
Writing /usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/
brj@dawg:~/working/$ python
Python 2.5.1 (r251:54863, May  2 2007, 16:27:44)
[GCC 4.1.2 (Ubuntu 4.1.2-0ubuntu4)] on linux2
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import gdata
>>> print 'yay!'

No good can come of this! ;-P

Seriously, though – I really really strongly dislike spreadsheet interfaces. I hate resizing cells so I can see what’s going on, I hate cell selection, copy/pasting, and doing anything in those little cells. However, I really *need* to use one to handle some administrivia at Python Magazine, because it’s already being used by some back end processes/departments, and I don’t have time to write code and overhaul that whole process, and I don’t want to rock the boat anyway – what they have works – I just hate spreadsheets. It’s my problem, not theirs 😉

The good news is they use Google Docs, and there’s a Google Data client library for Python. So I’m creating a command line interface to the spreadsheet 🙂



  1. Innovative idea …

    I hate some of the features of spreadsheets too – particularly the way they “jump” when you scroll over rows that have a multi-line cell or two …

    But: you haven’t mentioned what kind of things you want to do programmatically with the spreadsheet.

    If you want to process all the rows/columns/cells in some way, it might be easier (not to mention faster – considering that to process all the data, if doing it cell-wise, you’ll have to make lots of API calls over the wire) to just download the sheet as a .csv file, process it with Python, and then upload it again, overwriting the original one.

    If you only want to update a few cells, your way may be faster.


    1. Don’t know if the GData API supports the needed features, like downloading to .csv and uploading/overwriting the sheet. Suggestion above was made assuming it does. [ If not, Google should provide those features 🙂 ]

    2. The “faster” bit was said based on gut feel – it could well not be true, considering that the right way to improve performance is always to profile first, then tune the hotspots … would also depend on the speed of your connection.

    – Vasudev Ram

    Comment by vasudevram — November 1, 2007 @ 3:13 pm | Reply

  2. […] few people who read my blog are already aware that I was working on a little pet project to develop a command line interface to a Google Spreadsheets document that is being used by some of […]

    Pingback by A Command Line Interface to Google Spreadsheets : : Techies — November 2, 2007 @ 1:42 pm | Reply

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