Two more enhancements are in

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Today, I’d like to talk about two minor enhancements I just checked in to ooo-build master. They are not really earth-shuttering per se, but still worth mentioning & may be interesting to some users.

Insert new sheet tab

insert-sheet-shot

Here is the first enhancement. In Calc, you’ll see a new tab at the right end of the sheet tabs, to allow quick insertion of new sheets. Each time you click this tab, a new sheet gets inserted to the right end. The sheet names are automatically assigned.

Previously, inserting a new sheet has to be done by opening the Insert sheet dialog, selecting the position of the new sheet and how many new sheets are to be inserted etc. But if you always append a single sheet at the right end and don’t care to name the new sheet (or name it after the sheet is inserted), this enhancement will save you a few clicks. Implementing this was actually not that hard since I was able to re-use the existing code for most of its functionality. I personally wanted to give it a little more visual appeal, but that will be a future project.

Anyway, I hope some of you will find this useful.

English function names in non-English locale

The second enhancement is related to cell functions. If you use a localized version of OOo, you probably know that the function names are localized. But there has been quite a few requests to support English function names even if the UI is localized. This is where this enhancement comes in.

First, there is now an additional check box in the Formula options page:
english-func-option
By default, the check box is off, which means the localized function names are used. Checking this check box will swap localized function names with the English ones across the board. You can of course uncheck it to go back to the localized function names.

For example, in French locale, the name of the function that calculates a summation of a cell range is called SOMME, but when the English function name option is enabled, this becomes SUM as you can see in the following screenshot:
english-func-displayed

This change takes effect in all of the following areas:

  • formula input and display,
  • function wizard, and
  • formula tips.

As always, please test this thoroughly, and report any bugs. Thanks!

16 thoughts on “Two more enhancements are in”

  1. Every time you post something about your latest development I think “just great”. The Insert new sheet tab thingy seems simple but really cool. BTW, you could also think about a removal option (“Ctrl + click on the button”) just indicated by a minus.
    It will be part of OOo 3.3 I guess.

    1. >It will be part of OOo 3.3 I guess.

      Actually this will be available in Go-OO 3.2.1. Not sure about the upstream version, though… Probably in 3.3 or later depending on how the upstreaming process goes.

        1. Well, there isn’t much you as a user can do to expedite the process in the short-term, I’m afraid. But thanks for the offer.

      1. Well, I guess I’m a lucky one since I use Debian (go-oo.org) @ home and go-oo.org for Windows @ work.
        Thanks again.

        JimYC

  2. Thanks a lot for this great usability enhancement: that could ease the move to one sheet by default, which would help not missing data in sheets 2 & 3, as we are so used to having them present but empty.

  3. Dear Yoshida Kohei. What you’re doing with Calc is really great! The support for english commands independent on locale is a must-have (and MS Excel is so bad on this point). I found your latest on scsolver / optimizer.

    http://code.google.com/p/scsolver/wiki/DevelopmentPlan

    VERY interesting. I am battling MS Excel solver. I would be very willing of testing your solvers with the problem I am battling (which is FILLED) with local minima – and MS Excel solver jumps right into them (and doesn’t come back out). Your idea to implement Genetic algorithm is just down my alley.

    … oh BTW, my math is complex (real and imag numbers).

    P.S. For constrained optimization – think about “Golden Section Search” … it has worked well for me in the past.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_section_search

    Best regards,
    Claus

    M.Sc. M. E. – with double-training in numerical optimization (Aalborg University, Denmark + Braunschweig University, Germany).

    1. Hello Claus,

      Sorry I couldn’t respond sooner. Just FYI, I’m no longer maintaining my Solver extension, which means that the development plan that you saw will not be carried out, unfortunately. Since Sun has developed their own Solver functionality, I lost my motivation for continuing with mine. Besides, it’s hard for me to invest time to continue working on Solver due to my other duties.

      I’ll still keep that code around since it has some good implementation that I can re-use for other projects, but it will not be developed actively.

      1. Hi Yoshida Kohei. I am sorry to hear that. The BFGS algorithm (together with Conjugate Gradient) is known to be the best general purpose algorithm around and I was looking forward to it being implemented in a spreadsheet. The MS Excel algorithm keeps giving me a headacke. I understand about your priorities – a solver/optimizer is a big project.

  4. Dear Kohei-san

    I realize that you mentiond there’s already an optimizer in OOO … but it works so bad. Simply giving totally false solutions that MS Excel solves without a glitch. Pleeease pick up the task again. :-)

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