Stayin’ Alive


Just a quick message to anyone who happens to be reading
this that I’m still around. I’ve just been quite busy recently and have not had
the time to really write anything profound. There’s lots of stuff I’d like to
write about, but it’s not very clear if they’re “permitted” topics.

We have a bit of a problem with running .NET code against
Excel in non-EN-US locales at the moment, and it’s been eating up a lot of my
time. There’s a KB
article
about the problem but unfortunately the solution it provides is
incomplete (the fact that I know the Q# off the top of my head is scary…).
Basically, VBA always talks to COM objects in a US context, whereas .NET always
talks to COM objects using the current user locale. This causes problems when
the installed Office version doesn’t match the Windows Regional Settings, or
when developer’s expectations about the behaviour of date strings, etc. is
broken. There are some ways that developers can work around these problems, but
we’re trying to investigate alternate solutions.

Two interesting things I learned last week:

  • Excel
    localises the names of its worksheet functions, so if you write some code
    to add the “SUM” function into a cell, and the code is running
    in a French context, you have to use “ SOMME“.

  • Karaoke
    is actually a lot of fun when you do the “private room” version
    (and not the public humiliation version).

Anyway,
I’m off to Australia and New Zealand for TechEd (and a couple of days visiting friends) so I should have some things
to say from there.

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