Software and Technology Ramblings

January 14, 2008

Ruby Spreadsheet-Excel gem – 255 character limit

Filed under: Rails — Doug Hays @ 1:28 pm

A client of mine let me know today that the Excel spreadsheets I was generating for them had data truncated at 255 characters. I didn’t find anything on the web that gave a reason or offered a fix so I decided to dig into the code myself. I am using the Ruby Spreadsheet-Excel gem.

Sure enough, on line 289, of workbook.rb (v0.3.5.1), there was this:

      # Truncate strings over 255 characters
      if strlen > StrMax
         str    = str[0..StrMax-1]
         length = 0x0008 + StrMax
         strlen = StrMax

No idea why this was done and I wasn’t going to waste anytime considering the downsides of not truncating, so I commented this block out and it works fine.

Maybe it has something to do with an older version of Excel? Who knows.

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