[Excel-comptibility] References to empty “date-cells”

Okay, my contributions have to be esoteric these days. We are
approaching Christmas, but I cannot say if this has an influence:

Which advantage do you see in being compatible to dumb Excel “features”?
I considered this phenomenon for a while, but cannot come to a different
conclusion. Or try to explain to me what I do not get:

Two table rows are formated to show calendar dates.
The cells in one row contain references to the first, like “=A1“.
If the source is empty, in the referencing cell appears the 30/12/1899,
which is the value '0' formatted as date.

I can suppress the display of 0s. But I am unable to comprehend, why I
am obliged to do that in the above scenario. For the time, the only
answer that is proposed is: „It's for Excel-compatibility“ (German
quotation marks on purpose). What? And Gnumeric does the same. I am
depressed, now. Must be Christmas, already.

“Our problem is civil obedience” (H.Z.)

S'il faut être quelque chose, je suis Rémie Fraisse. 
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Michael Uplawski <michael uplawski uplawski eu>
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