Re: Adding structure, à la "multidimensional spreadsheets"

On Sun, 2010-07-18 at 02:20 -0400, Jonathan DePeri wrote:
On Sun, Jul 18, 2010 at 1:49 AM, Andreas Guelzow <aguelzow pyrshep ca> wrote:
"but it died out" & "failed apparently due to lack of popularity".
Shouldn't this tell us something?


Worthy new ideas frequently fail to catch on for various political,
social, and economic reasons. I try to judge ideas based on their
merits, not whether they failed to become fads at particular points in

Well, I had a look at the Quantrix website and if they have a useful
product then they definitely have a bad marketing team since there intro
essentially only causes yawns with respect to their simple pivot tables.
Assuming they are showing their most exciting application, I would not
find it useful to consider further.

I don't know how profitable Quantrix is, but they've been
improving their product for the past several years at least. In any
case, though, do you deny that there are deep flaws in the
unstructured approach to spreadsheet use when the spreadsheet is large
(contains many different data series) and complex (interrelates those
series in, indeed, multi-dimensional ways)?

I would not deny that some users like to use the wrong tool for their
problems. But just because some users use spreadsheets when they should
be databases or statistical software does not make spreadsheets bad.

Javelin and Lotus Improv failed in the late 80s / early 90s. Those
were early days for spreadsheets; the scale, complexity, and
pervasiveness of their use has greatly increased since then.

I believe the pervasiveness of their use is due to their essential
simplicity combined with great flexibility.

Personally, if it were feasible to do so I'd scarcely ever use a
traditional spreadsheet like Gnumeric again. I'd use something like

Really nobody stops you from doing that or suggest you should not be
doing it. In fact I would encourage everybody to use the most useful
tool for their tasks.

I say this as a professional financial analyst who uses
spreadsheets for modeling almost every day of my working life, and as
someone who recognizes the sense of adding Quantrix-like functionality
to the best existing free spreadsheet application instead of going off
and implementing it somewhere else.

Well, to me "Quantrix-like functionality" means reasonable data slicers
(or pivot tables). Those are in the works. For me this has little to do
with separation of presentation, formulas and data.


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