The `workbook`-gem

workbook is simple ruby framework for containing spreadsheet like data in a datastructure that is known to most programmers: the (multidimensional) Array.

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Why I stopped inheriting from ruby’s core Array class

Inheritance is considered bad practice for quite some time now (Gamma, Helm, Johnson & Vlissides, 1994). Little did I know when I started the ‘workbook’-project in 2012 (note that I don’t have a computer science background).

The main reason I wrote this workbook-gem was that I wanted the most predictable API for working with spreadsheet data (acting as arrays of arrays), not having to use a different API when reading XLSX or CSV files, nor when writing it.

After learning that inheritance is not always a good thing, I still often thought of a workbook as an array of arrays and hence an exception to the rule. But then I came accross a helpful post by Avdi Grimm: [Why you shouldn’t inherit from Ruby’s core classes (an…

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Introducing Workbook, a new rubygem

An article, posted more than 8 years ago filed in programming, template, ruby, gem, openoffice, table, export, microsoft, excel, spreadsheet, file, csv, Calc, rubygems, workbook, import, styling, diff & rubygems by murb.

Sorry non-techies, this is really for (ruby-)techies.

For some time I've been working on a ruby gem that helps me on my project work, and may also help other ruby programmers, to work with table imports and exports more easily. Although there are other gems that allow you to read and write to different formats, of which the roo-gem is probably the most well know, I was particularly interested in writing Excel files based on templates.

I wanted to offer my clients more user-friendly Excel files that used some of the more advanced functionality of modern Spreadsheets (AutoFilter, printer styles) that couldn’t be offered by just manipulating styles and formatting using the existing rubygems. Which got me started to think about creating templates to start from, instead of starting from scratch using one of the Gems. Using another Excel file, however, wasn’t as easy as expected and here is where the Workbook gem comes in: to make that easier. Ad…

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