[R] [OT] Oo-calc & StAtistics

Marc Schwartz marc_schwartz at me.com
Thu Jun 17 23:37:34 CEST 2010

On Jun 17, 2010, at 4:29 PM, Ted Harding wrote:

> On 17-Jun-10 20:36:27, Marc Schwartz wrote:
>> On Jun 17, 2010, at 3:03 PM, Ted Harding wrote:
>>> The thread "R licensing query" currently running has raised
>>> the classic critcisms of using Excel for statistics.
>>> I was wondering: Has anyone applied the same or similar set
>>> of tests to OpenOffice "calc"?
>>> Or would the Executive Summary be: "Calc is just like Excel"?
>>> (Not that I'm a spreadsheet user, if I can avoid it; but I
>>> sometimes get asked about such things).
>>> Sorry to be completely non-R here, but I can't think of a
>>> better place to ask!
>>> Ted.
>> Ted,
>> The most recent work on this that I know of, that includes Calc, is:
>> On the Numerical Accuracy of Spreadsheets
>> Marcelo G. Almiron, Bruno Lopes, Alyson L. C. Oliveira, Antonio C.
>> Medeiros, Alejandro C. Frery
>> JSS
>> Vol. 34, Issue 4, Apr 2010
>> http://www.jstatsoft.org/v34/i04
>> There have been some discussions on R-Help in the past (circa 2003),
>> which I have participated in, which discuss some of the faults in Calc,
>> such as rounding numbers "close to 0" to 0 (like Excel does) and some
>> of the non-IEEE 754 floating point behavior (like Excel does)...
>> HTH,
>> Marc Schwartz
> Thanks, Marc, it helps indeed! Not so off-topic as I feared, either,
> since R itself was used as a tool in the investigations, and gets
> honourable mention at the end:
>  "Finally, as a rule of the thumb, every user should be aware
>   that spreadsheets have serious limitations. Other platforms
>   are advisable, being currently R the most dependable FLOSS
>  (Free/Libre Open Source Software, see Almiron et al. 2009)."
> Executive Summary: There is no general justification at all for
> using oocalc rather than Excel. It is sometimes better, sometimes
> worse, does not have the same features as Excel, and in its own
> way can drop you just as deeply in it.
> Ted.

I would say that there be a candidate for the 'fortunes' package....  :-)



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