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Study Recommends Gnumeric Over MS Excel 86

Jody Goldberg writes "A recent study of analytic quality, and responsiveness to problems strongly preferred Gnumeric in place of MS Excel. With new problems popping up in Office XP the case for spreadsheet users to migrate is only getting stronger. In some related Gnumeric quickies, a new stable version 1.2.6 was released, and Open has done an interview with the Maintainer."
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Study Recommends Gnumeric Over MS Excel

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  • Gnumeric is great! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SkeptiNerd75 ( 85087 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @09:07AM (#8361338)
    The most recent release of Gnumeric is amazing. The only downside is that I often have trouble deciding between OOcalc or Gnumeric, and often flip back and forth depending on my mood. Both are worthy competitors for Excel.
  • Jumping the Gun? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Peorth ( 719504 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @09:09AM (#8361347)
    It seems as if they're moving way too prematurely on this. In the article it said they posted to a Microsoft newsgroup and didn't receive a reply, and that this means that Microsoft will never fix the bug. Obviously there -may- be some tech support people roaming the newsgroups, but it would've made much more sense to simply contact Microsoft's technical support department and talked with someone directly about this error.
    This is similar to having your car found defective, and then placing a flyer downtown to ask the company to contact you about options instead of picking up the phone and dialing the correct number.
    I'm not a fan of Microsoftian ideals, but wouldn't that have made more sense before going all this way?
  • by jalet ( 36114 ) <alet@librelogiciel.com> on Monday February 23, 2004 @09:11AM (#8361358) Homepage
    Did you ever try to get a knowledgeable MS technician over the phone ?

    I think not.

  • by Y Ddraig Goch ( 596795 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @09:34AM (#8361463)
    If you are using VBA in your spread sheet you need to move to a better solution - a dbms and a decent programming language. You are doing the equivilant of using a table knife for a screwdriver. I've used spread sheets in the fashion that you state. I've also written dll's to be called by said spreadsheet. It's MUCH faster (performance wise) to use a programming language (Delphi, Kylix, C/C++) and a dbms to achieve your results. The learning curve of programming is a language is a little steeper but the payoffs are well worth the effort.
  • by biodork ( 25036 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @09:43AM (#8361501)
    The reason people won't switch away from MS Excel has nothing to do with technical specs and everything to do with the very large number of Macro's and templates already written. There is an awful huge installed base for whom Excel works fine, and they don't see the problem. Most of the financial services sector for example. From there point of view, it's not broke Why fix it?

    If TODAY everything was equal, there would still be a 10 year lag until a change happened, as that is the roll out time, and the time to convince people they 'want' to change. It better have some kick butt feature that they don't have in Excel, or they are going to resist change. That is just the way people are
  • by Spoing ( 152917 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @09:50AM (#8361537) Homepage
    I like your analogy, though most spreadsheet users can't program in VBA let alone more serious languages. Moving to a dedicated development environment is too scary for most of the VBA users.

    If you do heavy VBA, though, switching to a better tool is a wise choice.

  • by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @10:12AM (#8361659) Journal
    Keep in mind that inertia works both ways. Yes, there's a lot of folks that don't want to move. However, it's equally difficult (possibly worse) for Microsoft to regain any customers that do move. Also, actual movement tends to lag decision-making for a while, so visible market share lags actual inertia by some amount.

    Finally, keep in mind that even upgrading from one version of Excel to another can break compatibility. The office world has very strong backwards-compatibility requirements. Gnumeric may not fill those requirements, but we also know that Excel doesn't do so.
  • Re:Err... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hadean ( 32319 ) < ... <at> <gmail.com>> on Monday February 23, 2004 @10:57AM (#8361991)
    I'm honestly curious, what kind of study would require you to use pseudo-random numbers? Shouldn't any valid study require truly random numbers to be proven accurate?
  • Re:Err... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by haystor ( 102186 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @12:02PM (#8362538)
    Basically while you're working on it, not when you're working with it. You'd be interested in using a set of known "randoms" so that you can test that same set for accuracy against something else.

    Of course, this kind of complaint seems fairly weak to me, since you have a whole spreadsheet at your fingertips. You could just capture a whole lot of the numbers onto one sheet and use those over and over as input instead.
  • by DAldredge ( 2353 ) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Monday February 23, 2004 @02:01PM (#8363799) Journal
    Fixed in later versions means the customer had to buy a new version to get the bug fixes. That isn't support that is sales.
  • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Monday February 23, 2004 @02:38PM (#8364306)
    Fixed in later versions means the customer had to buy a new version to get the bug fixes.

    Not necessarily. You don't pay for MS service packs, you have to pay little or nothing for new versions of several MS products, and those who've bought a support contract from Microsoft get a lot of the serious stuff for no further charges, too. I don't agree with a lot of MS practices, but your comment is simply wrong.

  • Re:Solver:? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rangek ( 16645 ) on Tuesday February 24, 2004 @03:21PM (#8376458)

    As of gnumeric 1.2.1 the solver i gnumeric is not nearly as capable as the one in Excel. I am not bashing gnumeric. It has come a long way, and is probably great for 90% of what 99% of people do with their spreadsheets. But the only thing I really do with spreadsheets is use Solver, and I can't do it with gnumeric the way I can with Excel...

    If I had the time and energy, I would help you guys write a solver work-a-like, but grad school, work, family, you know...

    Keep it up though...

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford