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intuitive number/date interpretation?
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yes, i hope this topic will be useful
no, this topic is useless
60%
 60%  [ 3 ]
dunno wether this topic is useful or useless
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
i deny to vote options above
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 40%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 5

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exec228
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 6:20 am    Post subject: intuitive number/date interpretation? Reply with quote

salut all!

as a probable user of OOo, suffering this problem myself and having seen a lot of flames about 1-1 (1/1, 1.1) input, not solved since OOo1 until today, i suppose now that it would be good to ASK COMMUNITY about intuitive reaction of OOo.

question 1:
is it intuitive when 2.12 is 2006-12-02 and 2.13 is 2013-02-01, i.e. date elements interpretation is varying.
please explain what will you expect, if reaction described is unexpected.

question 2:
is it intuitive when 2.12 is 2006-12-02 when your OS date separator is "/" or "-", i.e. absolute different from "."
please explain what will you expect, if reaction described is unexpected.

question 3:
is it intuitive when 7.62 and 12.7 are interpreted as ### July, when your OS decimal separator is "." and date separator is "/" or "-"
please explain what will you expect, if reaction described is unexpected.

i hope that we can collect opinions and find which way 2.12, 2.13, 2.12(/), 12.7 should be interpreted with the least surprise factor.

preferable form of postings are:
Quote:
Q1: yes or Q1:no. it must be...

without explaining what previous user makes and understands wrong.

also feel free to add YOUR questions about intuitive reactions of cell inputs (%, fractions, time etc)

p.s.pre-formatting cell is NOT intuitive. many users retweak Windows locale, so French decimal assigned to a dot, not a comma.

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luck
exec228, OOo n00b user.
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exec228
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

can a moderator fix the poll? first option gone to title...

Q1: no. i expect always DD.MM of current year when i enter either 2.12 or 2.13, if my date separator is dot. i expect 2.14 to stay text then.

Q2: no. i expect 2.12 to be numeric value, when dot is NOT a date separator and dot IS decimal separator. i expect 2.12 to be date ONLY when dot IS my OS date separator.

Q3: no. i expect 7.62 and 12.7 to be numeric values, when dot is NOT date separator and dot IS decimal separator in my OS. i expect 7.62 and 12.7 to be date ONLY when dot is my OS date separator.
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Villeroy
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Q4: I'm much more intuitive than any software can be. I grasped how this software interpretes my input and I understand that this handling is implemented in order to meet 90% of users' expectations. If I had a problem with this behaviour (propably related to some special document), I would change my locale, use text input, use a database with forms, use a csv-editor and link the csv with a sheet,... let my own intuition find some solution without blaming the developers.
The easiest -and most intuitive- thing would be:
Just type your stuff according to the specification. It's not bad.
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exec228
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Villeroy wrote:

<...>I understand that this handling is implemented in order to meet 90% of users' expectations.

90% of OOo users or 90% of Offices users?

Villeroy wrote:

Just type your stuff according to the specification. It's not bad.

aggree for a programmers.

Q5: is it intuitive for conventional yoozer to read input specifications before working in concurent spreadsheet program?
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noranthon
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

exec228 wrote:
is it intuitive when 2.12 is 2006-12-02 and 2.13 is 2013-02-01


I'll just deal with that question, I think.

"Fuzzy logic" for computers never caught on. They are programmed to process according to set rules. One of those rules is that there are 12 months in a year.

The art of using any spreadsheet is to discover the rules is uses and apply them. Spreadsheets and computers are not human (no, they are not - it's true, I assure you), so they do not do intuition.

When it comes to humans, intuition is an individual thing anyway. What seems intuitive to you may seem nuts to me. I think some of the things programmers do are nuts; they probably think they are being intuitive. Evil or Very Mad
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Villeroy
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is an absolute non-issue for 99% of all users. I'm not a programmer and I don't know any specification for Calc's date-input. I grasped it through mere intuition because some people on this list complained. I think it behaves quite well. Very much like Excel. Did you ever type many thousands of paper-records into a computer? I think Calc would be quite usable for this stupid job. It's just a matter of few minutes to adjust your hands-eye-coordination to the program, if the program behaves in a predictable manner.
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exec228
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

imho the simpliest way is to use OS separators, not those OOo supposes me to use.
i clearly sure that my OS separators are "./" and it's unexpected for me when 12.7 and 12-7 are dates.
if date-dot is disputable for interpreting inpout (OOo developers deny my consitutional right to use slash for dates and dots for decimals), then date-dash is not disputable at all, since it is not a date separator neither in Win Ru, nor OOo Ru, nor My Tweaked Win Ru.
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Villeroy
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, this is what you get when software tries to be "intuitive". It reads your constant input(no leading "="). The input has some digits separated by some character, which is not a thousands separator, nor decimal separator, nor alphabetical character. If the character is a canditate for date-separation it converts your input to date. If it is a candidate for time separation (":" in most cases) it converts to time. I believe "-" and "/" are always candidates for date-conversion, because they are accessible on the num-pad of a standard PC-keyboard. Think of a pile of papers left of the computer and your right hand on the num-pad.
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exec228
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think that i am educated enough to hit the certain key if needed.

if OOo adressed a human who drops hands "into that side" and randonly hits "-", "/", "+", "*", numlock, and OOo programmers try to save the situation converting "all non alphanumeric" to date separators, i think it's something wrong. it's almost up to margin of crazyness to convert to dates every digit that is not time. Sad
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noranthon
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many people have complained about the interpretation of certain entries as dates, at least. Complaining about it will not change anything.

If you want to use the point as a decimal separator, you may have to alter your locale setting.
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exec228
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

why developers do not change anything having many people complaining?
can i see a document about this market strategy on this site?

i explain: i have no locales amongst Ooo to suit me.

i want:
1.russian weekdays and months
2.dot as decimal separator
3.slash as date separator
4.default date order ISO
5.colon as time separator (this is the only item i am satisfied with from ooo) and 24 hours
6.money exactly as decimals, without currency symbol. negatives not red.

what i have:
1.i have it when i select russian, but
2.decimal is comma, not satisfied
3.dot is date, not atisfied
4.order at best ddmmyyyy, not satisfied
5.colon and 24h, ok, satisfied
6.руб as currency, not satisfied

now can you suggest me which OOo locale to use for that?! georgian with georgian words?
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Villeroy
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The formatted output is completely independant from the input. You can create multilingual documents showing all kinds of formatted output.
Learn about the concept of hierarchical styles. It's *the* main feature of OpenOffice.org. I would not say that hard formatting is deprecated, but it is strongly recommended to use named styles and use hard formatting for the exceptions to the rules.
Your points 1,4, and 6 are addressing the output format.
Create a calc-template with appropriate style-settings and use your own template as default for new spreadsheet-documents. File>Templates>Organize...<your template> command: set default
For the input-problem you may try german/swiss locale: Dot is decimal and slash is a date separator anyway.
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Villeroy
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can format the input cells as text if you do not want any conversion.
If you really want control on date-input try this:
Column A takes years with validation "Whole numbers between 2000 and 2007"
Column B takes months with validation "Whole numbers between 1 and 12"
Column C takes days with validation "Whole numbers between 1 and
CHOOSE($B1;31;28+ISLEAPYEAR(DATE($A1;1;1));31;30;31;30;31;31;30;31;30;31)
Now you have Tab or Enter as date-separator and some control on invalid entries.
Another option slightly off topic:
D1: =DATE($A1;$B1;$C1)+STYLE(IF(CURRENT()>TODAY();"RedAlert";"myDate"))
where "RedAlert" and "myDate" are names of predefined cell styles.
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exec228
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Villeroy wrote:

The formatted output is completely independant from the input. You can create multilingual documents showing all kinds of formatted output.
<...>
Learn about the concept of hierarchical styles. It's *the* main feature of OpenOffice.org.

thank you, i will pay special attention to styles. but it is not related to topic about input. styles are display formats.

i'm still on-topic, since i'm talking about input.

i experimented with preformatted cells input as you suggested (checking real numeric value of results) and found out that almost any non-alphanumeric character amongst digits makes it a date (i.e. values about 39064.00 for today), unless a really weird combination of preformatting and input happens (like %-cell accepting as percent even bare text like "1@home" resulting in "1@home%". excel is not an issue to refer about industy bug).

display format as well as post-format (depending on input) are out of this topic.

Villeroy wrote:

I would not say that hard formatting is deprecated, but it is strongly recommended to use named styles and use hard formatting for the exceptions to the rules.
Create a calc-template with appropriate style-settings and use your own template as default for new spreadsheet-documents. File>Templates>Organize...<your template> command: set default

well, not speaking about exchange rate RUR to DEM as 1:1 (that would be quite interesting itself), imagine that i make a document containing 1999/31/12 23:59:59 1 234.56 and hardformat it with styles that travel with document, and email it to you.

or for example you make a document with 12/31/99 11:59PM (i hate yankee format) 1,235.56 and hardformat it for my comfortable reading.
(it could be even Mulsim 24/09/1420 or Japanese 2666 year of Koki-era!)

is it intended by extended style politics of ooo?

Villeroy wrote:

For the input-problem you may try german/swiss locale: Dot is decimal and slash is a date separator anyway.

as well as CHF as currency and lundi/janvier for display names.
was suggested when i raised this issue while ooo1 on 2004/12/29.
yes, i learned french in school, and i did not learned german.

oh, making long story short: why non local characters are treated as date separators for input? for tired operators with mannesmann scroll in left hand?
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Villeroy
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I browsed some other threads in this forum, opened a sheet and got surprised. You've got me. My assumption that the decimal separator is independent of formatting is plain wrong.
A formatted cell expects the same decimal separator for input as used in output. The option "same decimal separator as locale setting" applies to the num-pad key. If this option is set, the program converts the numpad's separator according to the set locale. Otherwise the program uses the numpad's decimal-separator delivered by the system. If this is "the right one" depends on cell-formatting.
Quote:
oh, making long story short: why non local characters are treated as date separators for input? for tired operators with mannesmann scroll in left hand?

Why does a russian rocket scientist use dot as decimal separator for russian documents? Because he is holding a NASA scroll in his left hand!

Next proposal: In the options dialog set everything to default but uncheck "same decimal separator as locale setting" in order to get the system-dot from your num-pad.
Get a new spreadsheet and set NumberFormat of the default cell style to english or whatever accepting a dot. Add some frequently used styles for dates, currency, iso-dates, text and other stuff you like. Do not set the language of number format! You may include things like sheet-names, sheet-count, a collection of frequently used formulae and named references, ...
FInally save it as template (Shift+F11) and define it as default template (Menu:File>Templates>Organize:Command:"Set Default")
Now it should be possible to use dot as decimal separator. For presentation and printing set the number-format-language of the default style ("mother of all cell-styles") to russian. This will apply to all cells, where the number format-language is not set explicitly.
Additionally you may define styles with a number-format language set explicitly and use them with formula-cells rather than constant input cells. They will keep their language, when you change the parent style.
- The language setting related to fonts influences some typograpic issues like ,,german" doublequotes.
- Notice the hierarchical view of the stylist for implementation of style-trees, inheriting all unset properties from a parent style.
- (Context-)Menu:Format>Default applies to hard formatting and resets all formats to the set style.
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