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Re: I'd rather edit my spreadsheet with a text editor

On Mon, 16 Jun 2003, Bruce Lewis wrote:

> Jay Sulzberger <jays@panix.com> writes:
> > Functions, numbers, strings, cells, ranges of cells, etc., are standard.  I
> > do not know in what form popular spreadsheets, by default, hold functions.
> Functions?  They must not hold them at all.
> I don't use spreadsheets myself, but we on this list all know know that
> "first class functions" is a concept that ordinary users will not
> quickly grasp.  A popular spreadsheet could not possibly allow users to
> type in a function in the same place they might type in a number or a
> string.
> --
> <brlewis@[(if (brl-related? message)    ; Bruce R. Lewis

I am not sure that this is obvious, or even true.  But whether it is or
not, certainly popular spreadsheets offer the user a range of different
types.  That the "condition cell" of a symbol^Wcell is usually of a
different type from the "value cell" of the cell does not mean that
functions are not a type in spreadsheets.  Indeed, if condition cell values
are required to be of a different type from value cell values seems
evidence in favor of spreadsheet systems having a partly "static" type
system, whether functions are first class or no.

And what about linking between spreadsheets, and between speadsheets and
other documents?  This also seems an argument in favor of the proposition
that popular spreadsheet and document systems have a type system.