ChatGPT is pretty much a universal API: one endpoint to get any data.
ChatGPT has recently taken the world by storm. Unless you have been living under a rock, then you have certainly seen a variety of content on this topic. One of its greatest advantages is its ease of use, and it is perfectly usable in Google Apps Script. With that in mind, here is one use case that we can implement: generating fake data.
Fake data is useful for testing purposes. At times, real data is too sensitive, and sometimes you do not have access to real data before production, but you need to begin working with something. Here is where fake data comes in.
We used to have a great library for fake data called Faker.js; however, Marak, the author, became so frustrated that he could not monetize the solution that he pushed an update that broke everything, which led to him being blocked on GitHub and NPM. As a result, the library is no longer maintained. ChatGPT, however, is not going anywhere.
Illustration by ahmiruddinhidayat111198 on freepik.com https://www.freepik.com/author/fahmiruddinhidayat111198
trigger is likely the most used trigger in Google Apps Script. It runs automatically with an event object whenever you change a value in a spreadsheet — programmatic changes excluded — thus allowing you to execute a script based on context. When done properly, it can be extremely powerful. When done wrong, however, it can feel unreliable and messy.
In this article, we will learn to avoid three common pitfalls:
Not Exiting Early
Making a Single Function Do Everything
Expecting onEdit to Catch All Changes by Default
For this purpose, we will build a simple script to handle a task list in Google Sheets. It will do two things: add a checkbox next to new tasks and add a completion date when each task is checked as done.
When working in a team and/or with a client, you want to have multiple environments. At minimum, you probably want a dev environment (or multiple ones) in which you are working, and a test environment in which the client or your team can run acceptance tests before production. Of course, they must both be separate from the production environment. To push your code to the correct environment, you need to either update the
file manually or keep multiple copies of your script with different
files. Fortunately, things have just become significantly easier, as I recently built an app for this purpose called
clasp-env, which is available on NPM. See the source link for details.
According to Wikipedia, the Game of Life “is a cellular automaton devised by the British mathematician John Horton Conway in 1970.”
It begins on a two-dimensional grid of square cells. Each cell can be either alive or dead. Every cell interacts with its eight immediate neighbors. A live cell only remains alive if it has two or three living neighbors. If it has fewer than two living neighbors, it dies as if by underpopulation. Conversely, if it has more than three, it dies as if by overpopulation. A dead cell remains dead unless it has exactly three living neighbors; otherwise, it becomes a live cell, as if by reproduction.
There is no immediate practical use for the Game of Life in a spreadsheet; however, it is a fun algorithmic challenge. Moreover, Google Sheets natively provides us with the perfect data structure: a two-dimensional array. This is all the more reason to work on those array skills!
No Google Apps Script SDK for your favorite API? No problem!
I’ve never seen a Google Apps Script SDK made available as part of an API, as, surprise surprise, it’s not the most popular choice for professional development. It’s time to start changing that, so we will learn to build our own!
[Editor note: Really impressive work from Dmitry providing a framework you can use to develop your own service for interacting with 3rd party APIs. The post includes lots of clear instructions and guidance to help you understand and learn about approaches for structuring your Google Apps Script code projects]
Google Apps Script has some amazing built-in stuff. It gives us native access to all Google apps like Sheets and Gmail, seamlessly integrates with GCP services like BigQuery, allows for the building of interfaces with HTML and CardService, facilitates the creation of simple webhooks/APIs and web apps with simple and efficient client-server communication, can make use of any API through
, and can be bundled into add-ons for efficient distribution. In my experience, it’s enough for 99% of all Google Apps Script developers.
But what if I told you that there actually is a way to use some NPM modules in Apps Script? You just need to bundle them with Webpack. Not sure what I mean? Keep reading.
When it came out, the new Google Apps Script IDE was, of course, a big deal. It’s way better than the legacy one. It brought syntax highlighting, keyboard shortcuts, command palette and just a much better UI experience.
In fact the reason it’s so good is that it’s built on top of VS Code Monaco editor. But it’s definitely still far away from what a real VS Code installation can do. You can get all the functionality of the online IDE and much more more: autocomplete, custom themes, installation of modules, linting, snippets, etc.