Integration with Excel (or other Spreadsheets) files is a very common request in the software industry, and Smalltalk it's lacking an open source tool to offer that feature. This project basically aims to get Pharo and other open source Smalltalks to be able to export Excel and/or other Spreadsheets formats, so the systems that require serving real spreadsheets don't have to keep using the CSV file format as a substitute.
CSV files are usually used instead of real spreadsheets file formats when a software needs to improt data from a spreadsheet or export data in form of a spreadsheet. But that loses cell formatting and data type information that is often very necessary for the user. The student will have to study different spreadsheets formats (for example: Excel and Open Office) to be able to read and write spreadsheets files. Also, integration with Google Spreadsheets for software with Web user interface would be nice to have.
Benefits to the Student
This project could be ideal for someone just starting to use Smalltalk. It will help him learn the basic usage of the language and still deliver a very useful tool. Also, the integration of a web framework with Google Spreadsheets will let him learn about building web interfaces with Smalltalk and interacting with a third party API, which is something widely used in software development.
Benefits to the Community
Exporting and managing spreadsheets is very required by the industry. The Smalltalk users that build software for final users will now be able to offer real spreadsheets as a feature for their systems, instead of keep using the CSV files as the alternative.