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On 02/06/2012 01:22 PM, Dan Lewis wrote:
       Or maybe the failure is the refusal to understand the purpose for
each part of a database. Tables and forms are for adding, modifying, and
deleting data. Queries and reports are for data output. If you want to
enter data, you use a table or form. If you want to manipulate data, you
use queries. (With Report Builder, you can also manipulate data in a
      In Calc spreadsheets, we give columns names; in Base tables, our
column names are called field names. In Calc spreadsheets, we have rows
of data; in Base tables, we call the rows of data, records. In Calc
spreadsheets, we format our columns; in Base tables, we select a field
type and field properties to format our fields (columns).
      The output of a query is a table: combination of rows and columns.
In this is much like a section of rows and columns of a spreadsheet
whose cells contained manipulated data.
      Calc formulas are based upon Algebra; so are the formulas that SQL
      I can clearly identify why most people don't use databases: they
don't think they can. Perhaps it is also fear of the unknown. Perhaps
they don't want to learn something new: "You can't teach an old dog new
tricks." And perhaps the biggest reason of all: the specialized language
that is used by many people who write about databases. Tuples and
Records are used instead of rows is one example. Columns are called
I think part of the problem is that most people do not understand the basic difference between a spreadsheet and database. Spreadsheets are very good models of ledger books and basic data tables. Databases do not have a very good paper based analog; the closet is probably a library card catalog. However, databases are actually much better at relational analysis than a spreadsheet but one must learn SQL typically while with a spreadsheet you can start without much "programming" to use it. Also, databases take more initial work to set up than a spreadsheet.

A further problem is that MSO often does not include Access in all the bundles, such as Student/Teachers or some of the business bundles. This adds to the perception that the database is a "geek" thing not something that is for the general user. The thinking is that databases must be very hard or MS would have put in the bundle for more general users.

Personally, I have found databases to be more flexible than spreadsheets for many applications.
      I wonder how many people who use LO have read chapter 8 of the
Getting Started Gude, "Getting Started with Base"? I know that I have
very seldom seen a comment about its contents. (I wrote it and am
presently updating it. I'm also working on the Base Guide in its


On Mon, 2012-02-06 at 12:24 -0500, Paul D. Mirowsky wrote:
Everybody knows how write simple math statement as a formula.  Everybody
doesn't know how to right an SQL statement.

The largest failure to using database vs. spreadsheet is the refusal to
allow tables to set up formulas in databases as they are in spreadsheets.

A formula interpreter would quickly resolve inherent coding fear of

Reason for not doing this. I don't know.

On 2/6/2012 10:37 AM, e-letter wrote:

There was an interesting discussion which seemed to be about using
accounting principles/conventions with computer software.

Clearly the original poster forgot to dispense with traditional
thought processes and think critically about how new tools (first the
computer, then more specifically open source software) offers the
opportunity to develop new methods for solving problems.

We read the all-too-common scenario: an m$ fan wanting to use LO as an
m$ clone without learning anything new or assessing whether there is a
better way of doing things. As always, such people want open source
software users to help them for free. Please reconsider and revert to
using m$; the fact that the problem was solved using m$ proves this

m$ users, please take the time to do your homework, research the
alternatives before asking for open source software to adopt the same
behaviour, mentality and sometimes inefficient process to performing
tasks as m$.

The example of organising identical data types into multiple
spreadsheets is so common, primarily because the average "office"
personnel is not introduced (nor willing to accept) to the power of

Realistically, we cannot expect someone due to retire soon to suddenly
change, but the next generation should be encouraged to be open minded
to using new ideas.

By the way, thank you for the hyperlink to the data pilot functions,
but should this type of functionality be performed by learning how to
use relational database queries?

Jay Lozier

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