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Spreadsheeting vs Open Source Approach

Updated on May 5, 2009

Spreadsheeting Vs Open Source World

Writing Spreadsheets Applications resemble the Open Source Community in some points:

  • Free redistribution
  • You are not required to pay for each Spreadsheet application you use, neither the portion used in other Models. You can distribute your Excel Workbook without restrictions in your organization...
  • Users can make changes to the code (formulas)
  • These changes can produce slight errors that could have long life before being noticed
  • Source Code
  • The source code (formulas) is included and is visible all the times...
  • In some Excel Workbooks, you may have formulas and Vba code (not protected by password)
  • Free access to code (formulas) leads to evolution of the software over time but...Free access to code leads also to corruption of the software over time
  • Derived Works
  • The original Spreadsheet derive to other applications...
  • The original Spreadsheet is used as part of other modules
  • Errors in the source code (formulas) lead to degenerating accuracy
  • Integrity of The Author's Source Code

"Unofficial" changes can be made available but readily distinguished from the base source"...

  • When the author is gone, the code (formulas) experiment uncontrolled changes, divergent modifications don't lead to evolution (The modifier don't give back the improvements to source code)
  • No version control, nobody knows which is the source code and which version is the more tested and approved by the community of users
  • No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups

"The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons"...

  • Managers often distribute an Excel Workbook password-protected
  • Some models send output to other workbook

Books Worth Reading

Excel 2007 Bible
Excel 2007 Bible

Whether you're already a power user or just starting, find out how to get the most out of this major new release of Excel from expert instructor and Microsoft MVP, "Mr. Spreadsheet," John Walkenbach. Each of the book's seven parts thoroughly focuses on key elements, so no matter what your level of expertise, you'll find what you need in the hundreds of examples, techniques, and tips in this comprehensive resource.

Excel Best Practices for Business: Covers Excel 2003, 2002, and 2000
Excel Best Practices for Business: Covers Excel 2003, 2002, and 2000

Spreadsheets have become the de facto standard for communicating business information and the preferred tool for analyzing business data. In this current climate, the accuracy and clarity of spreadsheets are paramount. However, busy managers have little time to sift through heaps of reference books to extrapolate techniques for making polished spreadsheets.



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