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Re: Simple spreadsheet program.

On Tue 13 Mar 2018 at 21:31:00 (+1100), Erik Christiansen wrote:
> On 13.03.18 09:59, Joe wrote:
> > On Tue, 13 Mar 2018 20:42:08 +1100
> > Erik Christiansen <dvalin@internode.on.net> wrote:
> > > An sc description: "Its keybindings are familiar to users of 'vi', and
> > > it has most features that a pure spreadsheet would, but lacks things
> > > like graphing and saving in foreign formats. It's very stable and
> > > quite easy to use once you've put a little effort into learning it."
> > > makes it look as simple as it gets.
> > > 
> > > Erik
> > > (Who just uses a line of awk when needing to sum a column or two in a
> > > table.)
> > > 
> > 
> > It's the 'little effort' that stood out for me. Someone familiar with
> > the operation of a piece of software always grossly underestimates how
> > much they know about it, and how much someone else coming to it cold
> > needs to know.
> Too true. After a couple of hours of failing to get any GUI drawing
> package, not least LibreOffice, to do anything useful, I used Vim to
> textually produce the 8 drawings for my house; plan, elevations &
> sections, and site plan. It took about 800 lines of Postscript, and I
> didn't have to crack the inscrutable secrets of an obstructive GUI
> interface.

OTOH the results of your work were highly scrutable?

/door                            % S: length (door width)
{     dup                        
/wall_length exch wall_length add 60 add def % Keep global variable outside dict scope.
      1 dict begin              % 60 = 2*30 jambs.
      /length exch def          % Take length off the stack.
      30 100 box
      currentpoint translate     
      0 length lineto length length length 0 length arct 30 100 box gstroke
      gsave 200 300 moveto length buf cvs show                       % Size text.
      end                                          % End of local var scope.  
} def

> But I persevered with the Eagle GUI schematic capture & PCB layout app,
> putting in the weeks to tame it.
> It probably comes down to whether you think you'll ever use it again.

In the case of spreadsheets, I think anyone leaving school should be
able to use one to do simple finance/budgeting calculations, just as
using a calculator was necessary for pupils in the past. That didn't
mean the latter had to be familiar with an RPN interface (like the
original HP models), but just the basic infix interface that most
calculators had.

In the case of the OP, "I need to do some work quickly" indicates that
the interface is more important than the underlying complexity that the
computer deals with. That said, I have no idea what the OP was
trying to do. If LaTeX was a good fit last time, it sounds as if they
wanted to print a table of non-calculated information in a neat and
tidy format, for which I might gravitate to a text file with tabs.


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