From: Mark Fowler Date: 15:59 on 19 Jan 2004 Subject: Spreadsheet cell notation Today I am hating (actually, for the last week I have been hating) spreadsheet cell notation. A2, F7, BA99, etc. Basic problems: a) I don't think in letters. 'M' doesn't automatically seem ten over than 'C' where '13' does compared to '3'; b) They're indexed from one, not zero. I've been a programmer too long and this is driving me nuts. c) Using different units for going across rather than down is *nuts*. It's impossible to reuse code that you've written for addition in one dimension for going in the other d) When the spreadsheet goes to three dimensions (i.e. it has multiple 'sheets' in the book) it goes truly insane. Now I have to write this in Excel: ='Sheet 1'!A1 + 'Sheet2'!A1 + 'Sheet3'!A1 Yep that's right. I have to remember what my sheets are called. Well *that's* reusable. And can I just use a =SUM(...). Nope, gotta do each of the sheets individually. Oh and Excel formulas have a maximum length of 1024 chars. So if you have too many sheets you're screwed. Who came up with this notation? What's wrong with a *comma* to delimit across and down, and between sheets. Programming spreadsheets is *hard*. Anyone who knows a way around this, I'd be grateful if they could tell me. However, it's still hateful since this would be easy with a multidimensional array. Mark.
From: peter (Peter da Silva) Date: 16:42 on 19 Jan 2004 Subject: Re: Spreadsheet cell notation > Who came up with this notation? Dan Bricklin. See www.bricklin.com for all you ever wanted to know about why spreadsheets are like they are. I "almost invented the spreadsheet" when I was in high school, I guess around the same time Bricklin was in college, but my thing was based on a kind of active math/engineering workbook crossed with Basic rather than something that would have been of interest to accountants. More like Tk!Solver, I guess, and really cheesy and slow (it was all in Basic and used the Basic interpreter to evaluate expressions). When I saw Visicalc and realised I was behind my time.
From: John McNamara Date: 22:30 on 26 Mar 2004 Subject: Re: Spreadsheet cell notation On Mon, 19 Jan 2004 Mark Fowler wrote: > d) When the spreadsheet goes to three dimensions (i.e. it has multiple > 'sheets' in the book) it goes truly insane. Now I have to write > this in Excel: > > ='Sheet 1'!A1 + 'Sheet2'!A1 + 'Sheet3'!A1 > > Yep that's right. I have to remember what my sheets are called. > Well *that's* reusable. And can I just use a =SUM(...). Nope, gotta > do each of the sheets individually. You can write the sum as something like: =SUM(Sheet1:Sheet3!A1) If you hate A1 notation you should try R1C1 notation. That will make you apoplectic. ;-) John.
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