I am in need of some suggestions. My father is a toxicologist who has
a project that has outgrown its current tools, and is also a victim of
the axing of VBA from Mac Excel 08. They need to move beyond Excel
anyway, but the passing of VBA support means loss of cross-platform
capability, which is essential for this project. (I do know about the
recent annoncement signaling the return of VBA in a future version, but
given the uncertainties, that's not really material at the moment.)
The project, as it currently exists, is (very) large Excel spreadsheet
that contains a (very) large quantity of data which is processed by an
increasingly complex sequence of VBA macros to produce yet more data.
Development work is done by a number of individuals responsible for
different portions, some using Mac OS and some using Windows.
When data is to be distributed to end users, the macros are stripped out
and a version with only the final data in the spreadhseet is made
As I said, the size and complexity has increased to near Excel's
breaking point even without the VBA issue. None of the people involved
are programmers per se, but I imagine the individual doing the VBA
coding would be willing to learn something new if it were going to be of
long term value to the project.
ANYWAY, the need is to find a program or environment which
(i) will enable continued cross-platform development
(ii) supports some form of fairly sophisticated macro programming for
processing the data
(iii) can handle processing of a large quantity of data.
(iv) Can ultimately output the results of said processing as a
spreadsheet containing just the results.
It doesn't have to be free. I'm sure the project grant can support a
new environment so long as it's something to which it can commit
I have various vague notions of possibilities, but I've not done
anything quite like this, so I'm really not qualified to make expert
suggestions with any confidence.
PLEASE keep in mind that none of the people involved are programmers or
computer geeks. They're scientists with specialties in other areas --
I'm still the one who solves most of my father's computer problems, for
example. The person who does the VBA programming probably could handle
something equivalent at that level, but I think whatever I suggest can't
reach much beyond that level of demand.
I hope I've said enough to make clear what the needs are. Is there
anything out there that fits the bill?
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