first observations

I'm new to this list, though I've used gnumeric for quite a while (and
have used Linux pretty much excusively for the last 6 years).

First, I'd like to offer my thanks to the gnumeric developers.  I'm
working daily with students who use MS Excel and I need an
Excel-compatible spreadsheet that runs under Linux.  Gnumeric does the
job and saves me from having to boot Windows, so you know how grateful
I am!

But... (yes, here it comes)

(1) What's with the formula editing in gnumeric?  (I run 0.64.) I go
into a cell and type "=".  I then expect to be able to click on
other cells and have their addresses entered into the formula (as per
Excel and most other spreadsheets I've tried).  But in gnumeric
clicking on a cell just causes a funny sort of animated highlighting
of that cell to occur, and doesn't enter the address into the formula.
I've sometimes (I don't know how) got the adress to be entered, but
then if I type, say, a "+" and click on another cell, it replaces the
first address rather than adding the new address.  I've got no idea
what gnumeric thinks it's doing here.

(2) Graphs: Surely essential to a spreadsheet.  A search of the
mailing list archive seems to indicate that discussion of this topic
terminated a year ago.  What's up?  I've seen a few references to
Guppi and CVS.  But can't we get even basic graphs in a "production"
version of gnumeric?

(3) File access speed.  One of the student files I've worked with was
a large Excel file.  Well, not that large in total bytes, but it had
maybe 10 distinct sheets.  When I initially opened the file as an
Import from Excel it worked fine.  I then saved it in native gnumeric
xml format.  Thereafter, opening the file takes an _age_ (i.e. upwards
of 10 seconds).  This is on a Pentium II 333MHz system.  For reference
I tried opening the original Excel sheet again, and it was orders of
magnitude faster than opening the native gnumeric file.

Any comments on the above would be much appreciated.

Allin Cottrell
Department of Economics
Wake Forest University, NC

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