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Hi, Andreas,

Sorry for the late reply, but I just came off 4 workdays, 11 hours each plus commuting time. :-) I didn't have time to do any newsgroup replies.

Comments for discussion, not for assistance.   :-)

On 6/30/12 10:54 AM, Andreas Säger wrote:
Am 30.06.2012 14:09, Ken Springer wrote:


It was the actual formatting of the functions in the cell that was the
problem.  Do I need parens here?  Should there be a space and capitals?
   How are the functions I need supposed to be entered, as a group, into
the cell?  Should these two functions be grouped in parens?

Each and every function call is followed by a pair of parens.
=NOW without parens returns the value of a cell named "NOW" (it is
possible to give names to cells).

Function with no parameter:
=NOW() returns the current time as number
_Try_out_: =NOW(13) --> Err:508 13 is pointless when you want to know
the time.

Function with exactly one parameter:
=UPPER(A1) returns the text in A1 in upper case letters.
Only functions of category "Text" return text.
_Try_out_:  =UPPER(A1,13,A2) --> Err:508
        =UPPER() --> Err:510


And from another message:

On 6/28/12 11:42 PM, Andreas Säger wrote:

> Hi,
> Like any other programming language Calc can nest functions as far as
> the data types of the incoming parameters match the data types of the
> nested function results. The details are mostly the same as with any
> other spreadsheet program of the past 30 years with the only exception
> that there is no boolean data type. TRUE equals 1, FALSE equals 0
> without any conversion.
> A Calc cell can have a number, text, blank and error. All constants are
> number or text, a formula may return number, text or error.
> =FUNCTION(number ; text ; range ; vector )
> *should* be nested like this:
>> =FUNCTION( function_number(x) ; function_text(x) ; function_range(x) ; function_vector(x) )
> [a vector is a range made of a single row or column. Sometimes this
> shape is required]


Some time back, there was a thread, I think in this list, wondering why people didn't use databases. I think you can ask the same question of spreadsheets and word processors, why don't users use them more often and more effectively?

I've said for years and years, the ordinary user does not have the knowledge necessary to get the most from these types of programs.

If LO wants users to be able to use LO effectively, they need to find a way to educate the ordinary user on the very simple basics. When 8-bit computers were cutting edge, you could go to almost any magazine rack and find numerous computer related magazines that taught you the very basics. I don't see that now. :-( It seems today's writers all assume the reader has that knowledge, but there is always someone that doesn't. And I think many of today's writers simply do not know how to communicate with the ordinary user using language the ordinary user understands.

Chapter 7 of the Calc manual is a great start, but currently it doesn't provide enough information for the ordinary user, IMO. Somehow, the LO documentation writers need to get all of the information into something that can be downloaded. Maybe documentation for beginners and for advanced users. Maybe provide the information in some type of CD/DVD disk image file that includes both software and documentation that can be downloaded, and include instructions as to how to make that disk image useable.

The information you provided me is something for advanced users, IMO. And I'm not advanced enough anymore! LOL I've forgotten a lot of my advanced math (algebra, trigonometry, etc.) that I learned years and years ago.

For the ordinary user, not only does LO need to explain the basics by using "=FUNCTION(number ; text ; range ; vector )" and "=FUNCTION( function_number(x) ; function_text(x) ; function_range(x) ; function_vector(x) )" with explanations, you need examples that use real references from a sample spreadsheet, like "=IF(C49="Y",O49,"")". This way the ordinary user sees an example of how to actually enter the formula with proper formatting.

I know this is not a simple or easy task. I've written instructions for small projects over the years. I even helped write the help files for a software program on a computer system that's been gone from the marketplace for years.

LO has made a great start in this area, and I tell everyone this, but I see a long way to go. I wish they would stop trying to add new features, and accomplish two things: 1) Get the documentation caught up with the current release, so when a new release comes out, the documentation matches. 2) *FIX THE BUGS*!!!

Just my two cents.    :-)


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