Sunday, May 26, 2013

Spreadsheeting without the Good Bits

I've just spent the last 3 hours trying to do something that should be really basic in a spreadsheet (and have only done half of it)... only I'm limited in that I HAVE to use Google Spreadsheets. Talk about the worst possible way of doing spreadsheets ever!

It's all to do with the clipboard. Take my raw data, collate it (on LibreCalc because let's face it, if you want speed, you're best off doing it locally). Paste it into Google Spreadsheets...

And have it tell me I can't do it - "you've got too many characters" it helpfully tells me...

So sit there and copy and paste the data in arbitrary blocks. Right.. done. Now to manipulate it. I need name in a single field (it's not terribly important information and I'm making it collate with some data from last year) - so do a concatenate (I think it's concat in Google Spreadsheets?). Easy. Done. Vlookups are only slightly more troublesome (remember to put an extra field of "false" in from what you'd do in Excel). Sorted.

Now to copy all of that raw data to separate sheets. Hmm.... Copy and paste doesn't seem to work... There's a message - I need the Google Drive application. "Hold on" think's I. "There is no Google Drive application for Linux." Sod it, click on "install" anyway. Sure enough, it fails.

Try to paste anyway... And it comes up with errors. It can't seem to take the values that the formulas leave behind. Sod it, use Librecalc as a scratch pad. Except that Google Spreadsheets keeps defaulting to using the "web clipboard" - whatever the hell that is - rather than my desktop clipboard (for fornicate's sake... do we need a manager to manage multiple clipboards?).

Why won't Google Spreadsheets work in some way resembling a sane manner?!

I can't help but think that all of this Web 2.0 stuff flies right out the Window with Google. Rather than being able to replace my office suite, I'm trying to figure out which browser (and OS) the office suite might work in (it certainly doesn't on Chrome under Ubuntu).

If the world is supposed to be OS-agnostic, and the web heading towards being browser agnostic, then Google is a huge fail. Sudden thought... perhaps I can load up Chrome OS! [insert mad rantings and ravings and obscenities here].

I just wrote an email to someone explaining why I can't do a task I said that I would do. It included the following:
...I'm about to throw my machine at Google (and then go and find a big rock and throw that at Google and then find a terrorist camp, find out what to do with nail clippers that stop them from being allowed on a plane, go and buy a pair of nail clippers and use THEM on Google etc.)...

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