Hal is seriously doing his best to get out of programming, though

He’s on extended vacation and refuses to go back to programming until he finishes at least one, maybe two scripts.

I’m willing to bet, though, that there are a lot of programs out there that can do what theirs does and maybe even some FOSS (Free/Open Source Software) that one can get to do some of it without having to pay for it.

And the OOo API is a b!+(# to learn! The trick is to write an interface that makes the stuff you want easy so you use your own interface and do all the dirty work ONCE, in that interface, so you never have to see it again. (Technically, write a wrapper and put the ugly code in the wrapper.)