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From: Tim Cross <theophilusx@gmail.com>
To: Andreas Eder <a_eder_muc@web.de>
Cc: emacs-orgmode@gnu.org
Subject: Re: Syntax Proposal: Multi-line Table Cells/Text Wrapping
Date: Sun, 21 Mar 2021 09:06:53 +1100	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <87tup58n0h.fsf@gmail.com> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <878s6ij61x.fsf@eder.anydns.info>

Andreas Eder <a_eder_muc@web.de> writes:

> On Fr 19 Mär 2021 at 13:33, Eric S Fraga <e.fraga@ucl.ac.uk> wrote:
>> With respect to the topic at hand, I believe it's the result of the same
>> tendency that Excel users have of using spreadsheets (aka tables) for
>> everything, something I hate when I'm given some Excel sheet that I need
>> to modify and where entries are huge paragraphs.  The UI in Excel is
>> horrible for these types of tables.  I would hate to see org go in the
>> same direction.
> +1 for that
> Unfortunately I have to deal with this type of people at work.

In my world, I suspect project managers would be liked a lot more if
they had never discovered excel!

Funny thing, survived for years without the scourge of excel, but
noticed it creeping in more around 2007 or so, then by 2015 it was
everywhere - project plans, requirement specifications, software testing
and even software/API design documentation.

I didn't mind when the core of the document was still about linked cells
with calculated values which would change based on changes in various
cell entries - that is what spreadsheets are for. However, often now,
I'm presented with a spreadsheet (or workbook) with not a single
calculation or cell formula - it is just about formatting. In many ways,
workbooks are being treated like a poor persons slow inefficient
database with a really poor interface.

More than once, I've taken these spreadsheets and extracted the data
into an org file with headings, sub-headings, TODOs and lists, possibly
with a couple of clock tables and been far better off. In one project,
we were really lucky because there was multiple Emacs users and we were
able to get org used as the primary data format for managing the project
(we even used taskjuggler to generate the diagrams needed for steering
committee). Unfortunately, that is a very rare situation and most of the
time, we are forced to use excel simply because it is a format available
to everyone on every platform.

This I think is the key problem - MS Office and excel in particular have
become ubiquitous and now people think the way information is presented
in spreadsheets is the 'default' or acceptable way to format data (i.e.
tables with large columns cntaining paragraphs of data). IMO tables are
really only a good presentation format when you can see the whole table
in a page or screen. Once you need to navigate around large cells,
columns, rows, it is really just about navigation around the data and I
find is often less efficient or useful and navigation around a well
structured org file. Where excel has us beat is in sharing of
information and enabling others to add/update the data. Everyone has
access to excel or excel compatible software, hardly anyone uses org (as
a proportion of total users, doesn't mean org doesn't have a lot of users). 

Tim Cross

  reply	other threads:[~2021-03-20 22:44 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 33+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2021-03-17 20:29 Syntax Proposal: Multi-line Table Cells/Text Wrapping Atlas Cove
2021-03-17 21:02 ` Daniele Nicolodi
2021-03-17 22:07 ` Juan Manuel Macías
2021-03-18 13:38   ` Atlas Cove
2021-03-18 14:04     ` Daniele Nicolodi
2021-03-18 15:15     ` Juan Manuel Macías
2021-03-18 14:19 ` Maxim Nikulin
2021-03-18 14:26 ` Timothy
2021-03-18 14:31   ` Atlas Cove
2021-03-18 21:58     ` Tim Cross
2021-03-18 22:41       ` Juan Manuel Macías
2021-03-19  8:08         ` tomas
2021-03-19  8:44           ` Juan Manuel Macías
2021-03-19  8:53             ` tomas
2021-03-19  9:22               ` Juan Manuel Macías
2021-03-19 10:14                 ` tomas
2021-03-19 10:53                   ` Juan Manuel Macías
2021-03-19 11:08                     ` Juan Manuel Macías
2021-03-19 13:43                     ` tomas
2021-03-19 15:07                       ` Juan Manuel Macías
2021-03-20 22:49         ` Samuel Wales
2021-03-21  8:43           ` Juan Manuel Macías
2021-03-19  2:27       ` Timothy
2021-03-19  3:50         ` Tim Cross
2021-03-19  4:02           ` Timothy
2021-03-19 13:33       ` Eric S Fraga
2021-03-19 21:33         ` Tim Cross
2021-03-20  9:19           ` Eric S Fraga
2021-03-20 10:40           ` Juan Manuel Macías
2021-03-20 13:41         ` Andreas Eder
2021-03-20 22:06           ` Tim Cross [this message]
2021-03-22 10:54             ` Eric S Fraga
2021-04-01  6:15       ` Tom Gillespie

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