Calc research & funcalc ...

trent shipley trent.shipley at
Wed Sep 19 07:04:09 UTC 2018

About a year ago, I thought up an idea on my own very like Funcalc, that I
called Scriptsheets.  At the time, I did not know Funcalc and its
predecessors, going back about 20 years, existed.  I briefly though I had
had a Very Original Idea.  Alas, it was not so.  See: .

I have only a degree in mathematics (at which was was not very good) and a
community college certificate in computer programming from the CIS
department (at which I did quite well).

At present, my plan is to:

   1. Finish the Haskell book I'm working on (Hutton 2016) to get some
   exposure to functional programming.
   2. Work my way through a book on writing compilers in Java. (Ronald Mak
   2009, or maybe I'll get something newer by then.)
   3. Work through the Calc/Funcalc book.
   4. Translate the Calc/Funcalc programs from C# into Java.
   5. Start the Scriptsheets project.

Given that I am one person, and woefully under-prepared in computer science
to accomplish my goals, the odds are I won't get very far on my roadmap
before getting distracted.  Even if I do embark on step 5, the odds are it
will wind up as Java-based abandonware like Frege or Jython.

But that is not why I am writing.  Can I prevail on the good graces of
either of you to look through my first draft prospectus for Scriptsheets to
see if, against all odds, there is anything of interest in it?  I would
REALLY appreciate feedback from someone involved with spreadsheet
professional programming or research.  The text runs 31 dry, boring pages.
I finished it 2017-11-02.



On Tue, Sep 18, 2018 at 2:56 AM Michael Meeks <michael.meeks at>

> Hi Alexander,
> On 18/09/18 10:26, Alexander Bock wrote:
> > I would be delighted to join one of the hackfests if time allows. Is
> > there a schedule available somewhere?
>         We typically have one in Hamburg at some stage in the year - which
> would be near you; the ESC minutes have details on all of those as they
> come up (posted to this list weekly). We also have a larger hackfest in
> Brussels before or after FOSDEM - which is an excellent conference to
> attend anyway =)
> > I know of EUSPRIG as well and their horror stories
> > <>
>         Some good stories there =) Thanks for the list of conferences.
> > Do you run any of the generated OpenCL kernels in parallel or do you run
> > a normal sequential recalculation and call the kernel code as necessary?
> > I would suspect the latter given the information you have provided so
> far :)
>         Only in very recent times (the last generation) has typical GPU
> hardware become capable of running multiple kernels simultaneously
> and/or pre-empting running kernels. This leads to amusing situations -
> whereby moving the mouse while a long running sheet calculates would
> simply not be able to render - until a Windows / TDR was triggered. We
> had to come up with heuristics to break down the CL workload into
> bite-sized chunks to avoid this. More modern hardware doesn't have this
> issue though.
>         And yes, we use CL when we think it makes sense - based on weights
> and
> complexity of the relevant formulae. Otherwise we use the old
> interpreter (or now its threaded variant - again depending on complexity).
>         HTH,
>                 Michael.
> --
> michael.meeks at <><, GM Collabora Productivity
> Hangout: mejmeeks at, Skype: mmeeks
> (M) +44 7795 666 147 <+44%207795%20666147> - timezone usually UK / Europe
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