Spreadsheets for Machines

Interesting analysis from John Udell of Excel and Google Spreadsheets from a web publishing perspective.

Still hard to beat the spreadsheet for human readable organization of data (*), but the flexibility of format and use makes automation problematic. (*) And not just presenting and organizing data, also as a mark-up and mapping UI, adding adjacent columns is so natural. I’ve been heard to voice the idea (based on no evidence) that the Egyptians probably used the approach on slates of tabula when building the pyramids.

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