1906: "Making Progress"

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squall_line
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1906: "Making Progress"

Postby squall_line » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:31 pm UTC

Image

Alt-text: "I started off with countless problems. But now I know, thanks to COUNT(), that I have '#REF! ERROR: Circular dependency detected' problems."

And that spreadsheet probably belongs in a database.

Much like that artifact belongs in a museum!

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Reka
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Re: 1906: "Making Progress"

Postby Reka » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:44 pm UTC

GOOMHR. That is all I have to say.

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cellocgw
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Re: 1906: "Making Progress"

Postby cellocgw » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:16 pm UTC

As I say regularly at work,

Friends don't let friends use Excel



Tho' truth be told, I'll take Excel over Rational DOORS any day.
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karlandtanya
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Re: 1906: "Making Progress"

Postby karlandtanya » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:24 pm UTC

something about regexes comes to mind ;)

Mikeski
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Re: 1906: "Making Progress"

Postby Mikeski » Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:18 am UTC

I've got =SUM(A1:A99) problems, but a list ain't one.

Actually, I guess that list is one.

I've got =SUM(A1:A100) problems...

qvxb
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Re: 1906: "Making Progress"

Postby qvxb » Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:24 am UTC

The chemists are happy. They're celebrating Mole Day.

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Re: 1906: "Making Progress"

Postby qvxb » Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:33 am UTC

Theme song from 59 years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebkxzU2mATU

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Keyman
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Re: 1906: "Making Progress"

Postby Keyman » Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:26 pm UTC

qvxb wrote:{by qvxb » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:24 pm America/Chicago}
The chemists are happy. They're celebrating Mole Day.

You almost got it twice.
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orthogon
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Re: 1906: "Making Progress"

Postby orthogon » Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:59 pm UTC

Keyman wrote:
qvxb wrote:{by qvxb » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:24 pm America/Chicago}
The chemists are happy. They're celebrating Mole Day.

You almost got it twice.

I was surprised to see that NA has units of mol-1, since I always think of it as Avagadro's Number, and "Number" implies a dimensionless quantity. Thinking about it though, although the mole itself has kilograms kind of baked into its definition, it is itself sort of dimensionless. I guess it's one of those quasi-units like radians: it's just a dimensionless scaling factor. We could, after all, express things like enthalpies in terms of Joules per molecule. Still, the dependence on the kilogram makes Mole Day somewhat less satisfying than Pi day.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Sableagle
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Re: 1906: "Making Progress"

Postby Sableagle » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:18 pm UTC

How satisfied would you be with a pie of moles?

Rational DOORS ain't so bad. I mean, bad, yes, but compared to the irrational stuff that came after the End of The Doors, not so bad.

* Don't get a mole of pies.
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BradyR
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Re: 1906: "Making Progress"

Postby BradyR » Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:52 pm UTC

Wow! GOOMHR!

Kit.
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Re: 1906: "Making Progress"

Postby Kit. » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:05 pm UTC

By the way., does anyone know a good personal issue tracker system?

MakingProgress
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Re: 1906: "Making Progress"

Postby MakingProgress » Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:33 am UTC

Kit. wrote:By the way., does anyone know a good personal issue tracker system?


Maybe your wife ? :twisted:

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Re: 1906: "Making Progress"

Postby Kit. » Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:12 pm UTC

MakingProgress wrote:Maybe your wife ? :twisted:

My wife would also benefit from it.

Right now, I'm trying a personal Redmine instance on AWS free tier. Looks promising so far.

FOARP
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Re: 1906: "Making Progress"

Postby FOARP » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:14 am UTC

Question: are things actually better organised nowadays in business etc. that use spreadsheet etc. than they were before the introduction of computers?

My working theory is that all this spread-sheet making you find in many businesses for tasks to be done is little more than an aide-memoire and doesn't actually increase the level of organisation in anyway above that which a hand-written list would. Spreadsheet is for handling numbers.

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orthogon
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Re: 1906: "Making Progress"

Postby orthogon » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:17 am UTC

FOARP wrote:Question: are things actually better organised nowadays in business etc. that use spreadsheet etc. than they were before the introduction of computers?

My working theory is that all this spread-sheet making you find in many businesses for tasks to be done is little more than an aide-memoire and doesn't actually increase the level of organisation in anyway above that which a hand-written list would. Spreadsheet is for handling numbers.

Hand-written lists are rubbish. You can't search them, you can't insert items in the middle of the list, you can't sort, find duplicates, filter, etc., etc. You might not even be able to read the handwriting.

I don't really get this hating on spreadsheets. Handling numbers is just one possible use for a spreadsheet, but there are loads of other applications where you want essentially a very large table with the ability to do clever stuff. Of course there comes a point where a proper database might be better, or a MATLAB script, or a Word document, or a bespoke application, but a spreadsheet offers by far the lowest up-front setup time. There are serious downsides to a spreadsheet: for example, mistakes like missing rows out of a calculation can be tricky to spot, which is why the other solutions might ultimately be better; and as soon as you start reaching for macros or VBA you need to ask yourself whether it's the right tool for the job. But a spreadsheet is a great starting point, and may well give you everything you need.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1906: "Making Progress"

Postby Kit. » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:28 am UTC

FOARP wrote:My working theory is that all this spread-sheet making you find in many businesses for tasks to be done is little more than an aide-memoire and doesn't actually increase the level of organisation in anyway above that which a hand-written list would. Spreadsheet is for handling numbers.

I'd say an online spreadsheet that could be modified simultaneously from several physical locations (especially with version control built in) is a very good replacement for such hand-written lists. And for small projects, like a company BBQ party, they are much better than a full-blown ITS, due to better observability and ease of use.

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Soupspoon
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Re: 1906: "Making Progress"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:25 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:I'd say an online spreadsheet that could be modified simultaneously from several physical locations (especially with version control built in) is a very good replacement for such hand-written lists.
That's essentially Lotus Notes (checking, now it's rebranded to IBM Notes; I'm a bit out of date it seems) which is a database, but databases are basically spreadsheets where you don't get an automatic grid-view, so you spend a little extra necessary time designing the interface(s) you want, rather than spending potentially unnecessary time creating various secondary worksheets (or 'frozen' areas at the top of your primary worksheet) to re-present your tables in non-tabular form, then probably add macroish bells'n'whistles that came as standard with your database designing process.

It's like Turing Machines == Every other classical computing device, in many ways.

That said, I never myself go so far as to use macros on spreadsheet. If it can't be done with just formulae (massive, convoluted formulae that might need to partially inhabit hidden rows or columns!) then I shouldn't be using a spreadsheet. I would then rewrite it in Perl, because that's better at handling the (by then) complex dynamic data restructuring processs I clearly need than any database software I've used since the formidable Psion Xchange/Archive.

(Apart from Xchange being a non-GUI interface, outside of Easel's graph-plotting. Though this didn't stop me using it to create wondefully information-rich suitably formatted .html outputs for uploading complex information to a website, something Access/etc was far worse at doing. And took maybe a couple of orders of magnitude longer to do, on the same hardware.)

rmsgrey
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Re: 1906: "Making Progress"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:46 pm UTC

The main issue with spreadsheets that causes a backlash is the people reaching for them when a text file or a database would be more appropriate. People who are comfortable with spreadsheets default to them even when it means spending a month inventing an inferior SQL in VBA to get it to do what they want rather than spend that month learning how to use software designed as a database...

FOARP
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Re: 1906: "Making Progress"

Postby FOARP » Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:41 pm UTC

The main reason I ask is my experience of spreadsheets used for task-lists in business is often as follows:

1) Boss gets idea that a list of tasks related to subject X maintained on a shared server would be a good idea.

2) Gets subordinate to draft one.

3) No-one ever uses or updates the spreadsheet. Everyone simply operates by memory.

4) Go back to step 1), at step 2) the subordinate may even find the old list and question why this make-work is being done over, again.

Unless it's subject X is the only thing you're working on and everyone uses the spreadsheet, this cycle is pointless. Even when everyone does use the list versioning creates problems so editing gets restricted to a single person.

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Re: 1906: "Making Progress"

Postby Kit. » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:18 pm UTC

FOARP wrote:1) Boss gets idea that a list of tasks related to subject X maintained on a shared server would be a good idea.

That's what an ITS is for. Install Redmine.

Spreadsheets are a good visuospatial tool, and should be used as such.

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Re: 1906: "Making Progress"

Postby Keybounce » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:34 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:How satisfied would you be with a pie of moles?


I'd be happy with a pile of mole moles :-)

---

Spreadsheets: I actually am disgusted by the two-D X/Y sheets being used for everything. I actually had a chance to use Lotus Improv, and loved it. True classifications of what something is works so much better; simple formulas that apply globally, rather than trying to make sure that your relative cells work correctly, even if rows are inserted/deleted and something inevitably goes wrong, etc. I was sorry when my NeXT slab's monitor failed and the slab was worthless without it; I learned that Macintoshes could run NeXT code when Apple announced that they were removing that ability in the new OS.

Yes, a spreadsheet is basically a database lite. A good UI for a spreadsheet is a bleeping pain.
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