Future of Starfire Turn Spreadsheet Mk5

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Do you accept Office 2007 and Macros?

Yes, I don't mind/already have 07 and have no issues with macros
5
45%
Maybe. I have 07 but I don't trust macros
0
No votes
Maybe. I don't have 07 but macros are okay
4
36%
No, Don't have 07, don't want to upgrade
2
18%
 
Total votes : 11

Future of Starfire Turn Spreadsheet Mk5

Postby Xveers on Sun 02 Aug 2009 02:00

Now, to the future. I think I have reached the technical limit that I can do with Excel and my current coding abilities. That being said, there are several things that could be done to improve the spreadsheet. I want to tidy up the code for easier maintenence. A lot of stuf that I've done to make the spreadsheet work is at best spaghetti code, and I have no clue WHAT it does. Most of that code was forged in a 2 am caffene fueled haze...

So what do I want to do in order to make the spreadsheet even better?

Two things: Update it to Office 2007, and start implementing macros. Office '07 offers several useful macro tools that would make my life easier to set up stuff.

So I put the question to you...
Are you willing to accept me changing formatting to Office '07 and implementing macros in order to have a better spreadsheet?
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Re: Future of Starfire Turn Spreadsheet Mk5

Postby BillW on Sun 02 Aug 2009 05:15

For those who might be concerned about needing to buy the latest MS Office product in order to be able to use an Office '07 version of the spreadsheets I want to point out that Open Office will read in MS Office '07 spreadsheets and it is free for the download at: http://www.openoffice.org/
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Re: Future of Starfire Turn Spreadsheet Mk5

Postby PracticalM on Sun 02 Aug 2009 09:08

Have the formulas been tested. The problem I had with Open Office when I tried to convert the spreadsheets to it was that open office didn't support all the formulas very well.
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Re: Future of Starfire Turn Spreadsheet Mk5

Postby BillW on Sun 02 Aug 2009 10:08

PracticalM wrote:Have the formulas been tested. The problem I had with Open Office when I tried to convert the spreadsheets to it was that open office didn't support all the formulas very well.


I haven't had time to test the functionality in Open Office or anything else for that matter. I just made sure that it opened without error in Open Office before making my earlier post.
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Re: Future of Starfire Turn Spreadsheet Mk5

Postby Cralis on Sun 02 Aug 2009 11:11

I'm just curious: do you need Excel 2007 to make macros?
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Re: Future of Starfire Turn Spreadsheet Mk5

Postby BillW on Sun 02 Aug 2009 11:53

Cralis wrote:I'm just curious: do you need Excel 2007 to make macros?


Macros have been available in Excel for many versions. If your question is are macros available in Open Office the answer is Yes, Open Office spreadsheets can do pretty much everything that Excel can do.
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Re: Future of Starfire Turn Spreadsheet Mk5

Postby Starfire on Sun 02 Aug 2009 18:24

I avoided marcos when I did the spreadsheets because many people have them disabled for security against anti-virus and other such things.
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Re: Future of Starfire Turn Spreadsheet Mk5

Postby Xveers on Sun 02 Aug 2009 20:34

Cralis wrote:I'm just curious: do you need Excel 2007 to make macros?


No, technically you don't. They've been around for a while. However, I finally learned macros on 2007, and it does have several commands in basic Office 2007 that aren't in newer ones. For example, in normal Excel (97 and earlier) you have to use the RAND()*X command to get a random number, from 1 to X. But, in order to give you a whole number you then have to go and wrap a ROUND() command around it, and then flag it to drop decimals. 2007 gives you the RANDBETWEEN() command that does both, and lets you specifiy decimals as an arguement.

There's more examples in actual Macro code.

Additionally, my main development environment (my desktop) has 2007 installed. I also want to be able to implement more graphical conditional formatting, another thing where a lot of archic restrictions got lifted and rebuilt (another fun fact. Pre 2007, you could nest a maximum of 7 ( ) sets and have only 3 bits of conditional formatting on any one cell).

Now, I should explain some more stuff as to why. There's a LOT of spaghetti code and shortcuts that I've taken in order to make the sheet work. The two best examples are in the Research page (on how counter R&D takes place) and the mass of linked code on the planets page. The code needed to generate habitablity and income are both nasty recursive equations that span multiple columns and tabs. There are literally tables that generate tables that generate tables that finally provide the needed information.

By being able to bury code inside macros I can simplify coding across the board by making custom Excel commands that can be buried and tidily called when needed. It also means once I have the code done, modifications to things like build rates and maximum population numbers due to upgraded balancing is easily done.

Starfire wrote:I avoided marcos when I did the spreadsheets because many people have them disabled for security against anti-virus and other such things.


That's why I haven't actually implemented macros, and why I'm putting out this poll.
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Re: Future of Starfire Turn Spreadsheet Mk5

Postby Cralis on Sun 02 Aug 2009 21:24

Interesting.

I don't have Office 2007, it cost too dang much when I bought 2003 and I'm a student. Having said that, I might be able to get it cheaper through student discounts, or get it through the MSDNA (I'm a computer science student so...).

My biggest problem with upgrades is that Microsoft always adds a ton of absolute crap to Office. I still remember when writing/editing GSF, when Marvin moved from Word 97 to Word 2000 and I did the same, I simply opened a ~200kb word 97 file and saved it as word 2000 and it grew to 1.1Mb. Thats just sick. I don't need XML-html-outlook--MSformatsupportA/B/C-blahblahblah framework in my files, but it added that crap anyway by default.

So my biggest question before I ever shell out more-money-then-its-worth for any new MS software is: A> is it worth it, B> will it fill up my drive to contain the same unchanged files I have now, and C> are there any other nasty problems (reporting home, exploits unpatched, etc.). With the newest stuff they've added D> how much time will it take to learn the new interface?

So thats my take. I'm not against new software. I just have an aversion to exploring new MS software like I have an aversion to exploring a dead donkey in the middle of Fallujah that might have an IED in its butt.

(FYI: that means its just me)

EDIT: Oh, and I wanted to point out that even if you turn off macros by default, you can always enable them for single files. Since I don't use Excel for anything that I don't know where it came from, I have it set to ask me if I want to allow macros when they are present. That way I can use them with the Starfire spreadsheets, but if something finds a way to pop it up it will still ask me and I can figure out wth is going on.
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Re: Future of Starfire Turn Spreadsheet Mk5

Postby Dawn Falcon on Mon 03 Aug 2009 17:55

Honestly, at this point if at all possible I'd transfer the spreadsheets to Open Office. It's free, it's multi-platform (Office 07 on the Mac is crippled) and so on. And even if you don't, I really can't recomend switching to the .xlsl format, the "compatability pack" fails miserably when it comes, ime, to even moderately complex sheets limiting users to Office 07 users only.

Cralis - MenuOffice for Office 07, restoring the toolbars, is wildly popular. Even in business use.


I have Office 07. I try not to use it.
Last edited by Dawn Falcon on Mon 03 Aug 2009 18:48, edited 1 time in total.
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