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Ask HN: report system, Excel or HTML?
5 points by jacktang 2860 days ago | hide | past | web | 8 comments | favorite
Hi Developers & Designers

I am a Rubist and now working on one report system, and decided to using excel(and template) to build the report, I chose the excel template because of two:

1. let the end user design the report by excel 2. let end user print the report in excel

but the problem is that it is hard to deal with the report with huge data, and now I want to choose raw HTML, the long report can be easy handled by adding pagination. And do you know any clean HTML report available on www?


You need to do both. dump the report to a page in html with pagination and have an export to excel button. For file export do it as tab delimited with a .xls extension.

What specifically is the problem? Are you likely to have more than 65K rows?

If not, Python's xlwt and xlrd modules handle support for native Excel in a very simple, OO, pythonic way, without any scary Windows or COM shit. I regularly generate and parse pretty big Excel files most days so I'd be happy to answer any questions.

If you render the report as an HTML document and serve it with a mime-type of application/vnd.ms-excel the users system will prompt them open it in excel.

Excel will parse it with all of the nice formatting and everything!

thanks, clscott. I will try it

For reports (people like to print them), I normally use

(a) pdf (b) HTML

In that order!

If anyone needs excel I give them comma delimited for import!

A nice hack: if you give them comma delimited, but name the file ".xls", Excel will silently import it. and they'll never know the difference.

Years ago I submitted a resume to an HR dept. It was plain text, with a .txt extension.

They said "we only accept Word files for resumes."

So I changed the .txt extension to .doc and resubmitted it.

I got the job.

Like choosing which bullet to get shot by.

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