Re: Excel ate my DNA!

Andreas J. Guelzow schrieb:
On 16/07/04 08:22:04 AM, Helmut Wollmersdorfer wrote:

I often was surprised - and sometimes angry - about this behaviour of Excel. It is not easy to understand by an unexperienced user.

I am not sure what is not to understand.

I tried now in Excel (german version) to give you examples:
Precondition: default installation, new sheet
1) Enter 2004/01, 2004/1, 2004.1, 2004-1 and this keeps unchanged
2) Enter 01/04, 1.4 displays 01.Apr, fx displays 01.04.2004
3) Enter 20040101, displays ###########, mouse-over comment says (translated from german) "negative date values and times are displayed as ######". Changing format to standard let's disappear this behaviour. After this, the behaviour is not reproduceable for the hole sheet. But switching format back to date, shows the same behaviour. Obviously this is an Excel bug.
4) Enter 2004-1-1, 2004.1.1 displays 01.01.2004
5) Enter 04-1-1, 04.1.1, 4.1.1 displays 04.01.2001
6) Enter 4:1:1 displays 04:01:01
7) Enter 4.1.1 4:1:1 displays 04.01.2001 04:01 (why now without the seconds?)

Trying the same in Gnumeric 1.2.13 behaves very different to Excel. In Gnumeric most of the entered values are not changed automatically. The gnumeric way is more close to _my_ expectations.

Users seem to expect that Gnumeric `knows' that certain entries are date and/or times. In fact we get regular coments that Gnumeric mistook a date for a time (or vice versa).

If somebody enters 040101, this can be a text (e.g. a part number in an inventory), a number-value, a date or a time. Without given or choosen format, a program can not decide automatically, what it is. Just let it unchanged, and you can do what you want with it. Unchanged will _never_ be wrong.

Now I could envision a preference setting to have the inputs assumed to be text by default.

That sounds good. Maybe there should be 3 possibilities:
1) a medium automatic behaviour like now in Gnumeric, which recognizes some inputs, where mistakes cannot be possible. This preference should be default.
2) Treat every input as text.
3) Clone the Excel way.

Helmut Wollmersdorfer

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