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Re: Spreadsheet translation

From: Philip Nienhuis
Subject: Re: Spreadsheet translation
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2020 10:31:26 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/52.0

Windhorn, Allen E [ACIM/LSA/MKT] wrote:
Philip et al,

-----Original Message-----
From: Philip Nienhuis <address@hidden>

Yes, I believe I am using the OCT interface, it was supposed to be best for

? who says so?

The Wiki: "OCT offers read support for OOXML files (.xlsx) only, but it is by 
the fastest read option; faster than Excel itself."  and  "This is the new
impressive and fast ... interface which presently supports .xlsx, .ods and
.gnumeric files."

OK, so that needs an update.
I think I remember where that came from, but those times are long gone :-)

I see now that it doesn't list the OCT interface as being able to read the
formulas -- it did read about 90% of them though, and probably would have
done better on a cleaner spreadsheet.

Well, OCT can (I wrote the code for it) but .xlsx is a very very complicated spreadsheet format (basically it's a compressed nested directory tree full of XML files), and we read it using regular expressions while XML had better be read using XML parsers and such. In fact, all the Java based spreadsheet I/O classes are based on XML parsers/validators etc. But regexps are much faster than XML (although I often think OTOH they're much more fragile).
(If it may comfort some, .ods is just a tiny little bit less complicated.)

If you read up on the bug report in my earlier post you'll see that the existence of shared formulas was a bit of a surprise for us. I'm sure OCT can be made to read (and write ...) the shared formulas as well, but someone will have to adapt and extend the code for it, and as I wrote earlier you're just the 2nd one in several years hitting this so there was little demand, and there are several alternatives in the form of other spreadsheet I/O interfaces.

Octave complains that Java is installed but unusable

Yeah that's a known one. Do you have 64-bit Octave installed (I guess
so)? Octave & Java bit widths should match.

Yes, 64-bit Octave, and 32-bit Java, so presumably incompatible, though
the Wiki implies it doesn't matter: "Generally, if you use a Java-based
interface for spreadsheet I/O, it doesn't matter much whether you use
Octave 32-bit or Octave 64-bit."

That's plain wrong and also in need of an update.
I'll try to update the wiki one of these days.

Thanks for your investigations (I don't quite visit the wiki on a daily basis) :-)


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