Re: Extending Gnumeric Documentation

On Sun, 2004-08-22 at 19:27, Donald Permezel wrote:
I wholeheartedly agree that the capacity to output formulas referring
 to the input cells in the statistical analysis tools is a powerful
 feature for obvious reasons.  I imagine the implementation is such
 that if 'formulas' rather than 'values' is selected, within the
 analysis tool formulae are output to the sheet which use existing
 functions to show the desired values in the correct cells.  That is to
 say it is on an individual basis for each analysis tool that the
 developer (yourself, if I understand correctly) must 'figure out' the
 functions and formulae to go in each cell to display the same output
 as if 'values' had been selected (albeit with the 'dynamic updating'
 property of formulae).  As a side-note if you want any help with this
 I'd be more than glad to offer any help I can.

I would like to implement all analysis tools with the `formula' version.
(The "value" version is then a simple consequence and doesn't require
any new code.) So if you would like to modify any of the existing tools
in that way it would be greatly appreciated.

Similarly we would love any additional tools.

I realize that some of the tools we should add as well as some of the
existing tools may require some new functions.

It is for this reason that I think the _capacity_ to only allow value
 output rather than value or formula output is a powerful feature

I agree, but code wise it is a trivial extension. (It requires
essentially 1 line of code.)

  If you would again take my example of an engineer wishing to
 conduct very iterative analysis on data - he or she may find the
 implementation (development) of the tool, such that all the analysis
 is calculated with formulae on the sheet (considering its possibly
 highly iterative nature) impossible, or at best extremely time
 consuming.  Furthermore such situations may arise when the
 'live-update' property of formulae (rather than values) isn't very
 important- perhaps the data sets to be analyzed never (or
 infrequently) need to be changed after analysis.

I can see that for very specific custom purposes only a `value' version
may need to be implemented. But in that case we should really have a
(still to be implemented) scripting language in gnumeric 

Perhaps I could change the documentation to detail the ability to work
 with formula rather than values as in 1.3.x?  With the several
 statistical functions already implemented with formulae as a reference
 I'm sure I could manage it. 

In fact you will find that it is much simpler to implement the
'live-formula' version than the fixed value version, provided there are
obvious formulas available for the tools.

 Is there anything else you (or anyone
 else) think might be expanded upon or improved?

THe only note would be that for pure `value' versions the data
collection functions in analysis-tools.c are discouraged. The similar
implementations in collect.c should be used. (This is one of the places
where we currently duplicate code in gnumeric and this duplication
should hopefully be removed.)

On a more specific note, the use of dialog_tool_init requires that the
glade file uses specific field names otherwise chaos results.

Thanks!  I'll investigate that and update the documentation as soon as I have it figured.

If you look at the code for dialog_tool_init you will find the specific
names of the glade objets expected. Let me know if you need any



Andreas J. Guelzow
Taliesin Software, Shelties, Pyr Sheps
and Shetland Sheep

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