Re: gnumeric XML doesn't show result of formula

On Mon, 2008-02-04 at 20:37 -0500, Allin Cottrell wrote:
On Mon, 4 Feb 2008, Andreas J. Guelzow wrote:

I think [putting formula results into the XML] this is 
reasonable.  A case in point that I know of is the 
econometrics program, gretl.  gretl can read a variety of 
formats including gnumeric XML, but it can't do anything with 
gnumeric files that use formulas: it's easy to read XML with 
libxml2, but not so easy to replicate gnumeric's calculation 

Gnumeric is out of line with other spreadsheet programs in this 
respect.  (In most respects gnumeric is better than the others, 
but not this one.)

Gnumeric support an xml file formats that contains the values (Open
Document Format) and an xml file format that does not. Yes some users
may like to access the values in the xml file but others would surely
prefer not to have those (for them) unnecessarily bloated files. 

OK, it's a balancing act.  Gnumeric files are nice and slim 
compared to most spreadsheets -- but I think they would remain 
comparatively slim even with formula-results added (given the 
economical XML structure and gzip compression).

Your point, that the gnumeric user can choose to save in a format 
that includes results, is true, but does not cut much ice in terms 
of user-friendliness.  I encountered this in writing data 
importers for gretl.  I could, for example, tell people to save 
their Excel data as CSV, which is trivial to import.  But people 
resist that; they'd like for gretl to read their XLS files 
directly.  Similarly, it would be nice to be able to import 
gnumeric data directly rather than directing people to save in a 
foreign format.

Which percentage of gnumeric users do you think would even consider
using gretl or some other program that parses the xml and expects to
find the values in addition to the real data?

And which percentage of those would not be able to run the data through
ssconvert before passing it through their xml parser?

"Liberty consists less in acting according to
one's own pleasure, than in not being subject 
to the will and pleasure of other people. It 
consists also in our not subjecting the wills 
of other people to our own."  Rousseau

Andreas J. Guelzow
Pyrenean Shepherds

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