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Re: [tdf-discuss] Calc: let things such as formulas do the rest of the work

Hello David,

Le 11.06.2014 11:52, david_lynch a écrit :
I sent the message below to the users list. The moderator replied that
I should raise the issues on this list.

In a recent "Macro's in Libre Calc" thread, Andrew Douglas Pitonyak,
an expert on macros, wrote:

"Be certain to only do what you really need to do using a macro, and
then let things such as formulas do the rest of the work."

Good advice, which I would like to take further. It is frustrating, as
a user, not to be able to use formulas to do things that a macro could
do. I'd like to propose as a (long-term) design aim:

"Enrich the functionality of Calc to enable formulas and similar to do
what currently needs a macro. Use experience gained to influence the
OpenFormula specification."

As a simple example, take REPLACE
    REPLACE("Text"; Position; Length; "NewText")
My spreadsheets would be greatly simplified if Text and NewText could
be regular expressions. Currently, either I have to use macros, or use
SEARCH, which does support regular expressions, and code the NewText
regular expression myself. It's frustrating as the code to do what I
want is in the Edit -> Find & Replace... dialog. Note that the
enhanced REPLACE would be OpenFormula compliant.
Another example is character editing within a cell: I realise that
this is more demanding technically.

I seek feedback, advice and, I hope, support. In particular:
1.    Are there design aims, or similar, in LibreOffice? If so, who
owns them: does the Engineering Steering Committee have a role here?
2.    Should we progress the strategic aspects first? Or should I
propose tactical enhancements such as the one to REPLACE above?
3. How should I push this forward, whether tactically or strategically?

David Lynch

I cannot reply to the your first question as I simply don't know the answer to this. For your second question, I do not recall the ESC discussing this, however you may want to propose tactical enchancements (i.e features requests that are well described); if possible, you could code them yourself of course. At the end of the day, it will be up to the contributors / developers to decide if they want to tackle these enhancements or not but surely something well documented does help. Forget about the strategy - we don't really have one, but focus on what you actually and precisely wish for.

For your third question, I suggest first opening a page on our wiki: , describing the problem, the need, etc. Then move on to our bugzilla and file a bug report, or rather an enhancement. Note that for various technical reasons you may end up filing several of them if you feel you are requesting several separate enhancements leading to the solution.

I hope this helps,


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