Attribute tables in ArcGIS are not nearly as easily editable in comparison to something like Excel. For example, you have sorted the table based on some column value, and now want to fill in the column beside it with 2,4,6,8... etc. descending. In Excel this is extremely easy - just start the pattern, highlight it and drag down. Done. If I wanted to do something like this natively in ArcGIS, from what I know of ArcGIS, pythonscripting is required. Of course I could also look at the table through Access/Excel/some spreadsheet, and do the operation from there much easier, save it, and open it back up in ArcGIS. However, ESRI does not officially recommend such tricks.
Really, it would just be great if attribute tables in ArcGIS (and all GIS for that matter) had the same type of editability as Excel, but I'm sure there are many spatial database issues with even beginning to think about implementing such a concept.
So is the "best practice" for filling in patterns into tables really using python scripting? I can write python scripts, but have a harder time managing what I've done in the past (maybe I just need to get better at storing "common" scripts?). Or is there officially recommended ways that avoid scripting by using tools/extensions in ArcGIS, or some other software?