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Subject: Re: [office-formula] Comments from Dan Bricklin

On 2/28/06, David A. Wheeler <dwheeler@dwheeler.com> wrote:
> We could have a "really low bar" (+ - * / SUM () as the minimum).  But how can we help users know if their spreadsheets will interchange between applications, without having to check with EVERY implementation, EVERY time?  No user wants to go into the applications testing budienss. There is an alternative in the standards world: Profiles.  These are the same, as far as I can tell, to the "packages" discussed earlier.
> We COULD just define a large collection of operators and functions.  We could then predefine a set of "packages" that identify a set of REQUIRED functions or groups of functions (directly or via other packages).  That way, you can say "My spreadsheet file requires the financial and complex number packages", or whatever, and then you can see if YOUR implementation has those packages.  If it does, you're set.

I agree. Packages do sound better for the function part. However, we
have more than that - we have semantics and value conversion to worry
about. Like, the problems with "3"+3 that we discuss in another
thread. Also, the OpenFormula spec has multiple constraints for many
functions, some of them being for different levels, as they're
defined. Hence, I think it might be worthwhile to follow both
approaches: packages for sets of functions, levels for their behaviour
in special cases and such.

/ Tomas

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