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Subject: Re: [office-formula] Section 4 Types: TBD: Should "blank" also be a possible value result?

Hi David,

On Tuesday, 2006-11-21 17:47:34 -0500, David A. Wheeler wrote:

> > > >An "empty cell" return value for example is needed
> > > > in [HV]LOOKUP results, where for an empty cell the expression
> > > > ISBLANK(LOOKUP(...)) must yield TRUE (OOo doesn't implement that yet).
> > > 
> > > I'm don't think that [HV]LOOKUP actually return empty cell in many implementations.
> > > Should we spec it anyway, or leave that implementation-defined this go around?
> > > I'm thinking of leaving that implementation-defined, I don't see lots of
> > > consensus on this point.
> > 
> > People actually use it in their documents originating from "that other"
> > application, we do have bug reports because we don't suppport it at the
> > moment.. at least in the [HV]LOOKUP cases it really makes sense, any
> > other functions?
> Oh, sorry, I was unclear.  I think we MUST support [HV]LOOKUP.
> The only question is, should we require anything if the lookup fails?
> Ideally, we'd return an Error, but I believe that many don't do so;
> the obvious solution is to leave allow an implementation-defined result
> if the lookup fails (for this version of the spec).

Ah, no, this is a misunderstanding. If the lookup fails it is always an
error, an Empty can only be returned for a successful lookup. The nature
of the [HV]LOOKUP functions is to lookup a value in a given area/vector
and from the same row/column respectively an associated vector return
a corresponding value, which may be an empty cell.


Automatic string conversions considered dangerous. They are the GOTO statements
of spreadsheets.  --Robert Weir on the OpenDocument formula subcommittee's list.

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