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Subject: Re: [office] Formulas

Patrick Durusau wrote:

There was extensive discussion of formulas during the call in session at the ODF summit.

Curious if there is a listing of the known problems with Excel?

Thinking that such information, assuming that the TC undertakes work in the area, could be usefully contributed to the TC as a background document.

Hope everyone is having a great day!


Hi Patrick,

David A. Wheeler's OpenFormula Project is back up and running, and making significant progress.  They have spent a good deal of time building formula profiles and analyzing syntax for Excel, OOo Calc, KOffice, and Gnumeric.  Since OASIS ODF TC member Jody Goldberg is very active in that process, perhaps he can answer your "Excel" question exactly. 

You might also want to check out the ODF OpenFormula Wiki for more information.  And there is a very active
OpenFormula-discuss mailing list at:

No doubt the OpenFormula project could use some Lotus 123 expertise (hint hint :).  I also noticed today David Berlind's blog covering Dan Bricklin's WikiCalc project.  Ever the loyal OpenDocument aficionado, David points out the importance of standardizing on OpenDocument.  He also points out that Dan Bricklin has in the past complained about the lack of OpenDocument tools and utilities:

<Berlind>"(Regarding) .. the WikiCalc file, you can see by its references to spreadsheet cells how heavily WikiCalc is orchestrated around a spreadsheet framework.  What that means — and what Bricklin has confirmed — is that there's no reason that the OpenDocument Format (a format that includes spreadsheets) can't also be a native format that WikiCalc can work with.  Bricklin says he's just waiting for the same thing that a lot of other developers of potentially OpenDocument-compliant applications are waiting for: a  library of development tools that does the heavy lifting that must be done in order to add such compliance to an application." </Berlind>

ODF has initiated a "Development tools" Project, led by J. David Eisenberg,  He has written a number of  OpenDocument Utilities, as a set of Java classes for manipulating OpenDocument files. This includes extracting metadata information from ODF files.  Hopefully this might serve as a useful starting point other developers can join and build on.  Dan Bricklin's concerns are right on target, and if we can respond, the growth of the OpenDocument ecosystem will no doubt accelerate.

Hope this helps,

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