one set of functions that is *missing* from every spreadsheet is a set
of *meta-functions* that:
- allow sending data and commands to an external application
- and import the results back into the spreadsheet
Spreadsheets have rather limited functionality in many fields. They will
never attain the capabilities of dedicated software, e.g. the
statistical analysis framework implemented in spreadsheets is a real
fiasco, beginning with data types and continuing with the implementation
of the statistical functions and lack of newer statistical techniques.
However, it is difficult to implement every function inside the
spreadsheet application, especially as complex functions are not trivial
This is even NOT necessary, because often advanced open source programs
do exist which fill the gap.
However, what is lacking is *a standardized way * to communicate to
these external programs.
This are only some suggestions, what these funcitons would look like or
should do. As this is new land and every program implemented a different
set of rules, there will be some difficulties in the beginning.
1.) ITERATOR-functions to iterate through spreadsheet cells and read
- send the data unidirectionally to the external application:
- retrive information back: single value; array; data-matrix;
2.) CONNECTIVITY-functions: establish connection; debugging; ...
3.) Special Cases Handling: e.g. *missing values* in statistical analysis
WORK ALREADY DONE
Currently, there is a Google Summer of Code project that aims at
integrating OOo Calc with R (http://cran.R-project.org).