Calc has stopped me migrating from Windows to Linux Mint

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Re: Calc has stopped me migrating from Windows to Linux Mint

Post by taxedserf » Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:51 am

Pjotr wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:14 pm
Have you considered using Excel in a Windows Virtual Machine, within Linux?
Yes.

At this stage of the project's roadmap, I aim to eliminate Microsoft from my life. So I have deferred the use of virtual machines/translation layers to enable Microsoft apps to run within Linux.

What are the Microsoft licencing requirements of Excel's deployment within a Windows virtual machine in Linux?
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Re: Calc has stopped me migrating from Windows to Linux Mint

Post by taxedserf » Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:56 am

rui no onna wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:34 pm
Alas, what's the likelihood of Microsoft playing nice and sharing?
With no evidence to the contrary, I would assume a zero likelihood.

My expectation of LibreOffice - and all other competitors to Microsoft Office - is that they read, re-read, re-re-read Microsoft documentation to find out what the functions are and reverse-engineer them.

LibreOffice have clearly recognised =SUMIF(), but inexplicably failed to make to it operate reliably with linked spreadsheets.
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Re: Calc has stopped me migrating from Windows to Linux Mint

Post by taxedserf » Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:17 am

BenTrabetere wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:35 pm
Who claimed that Excel was a cross-platform/multi-platform application?
No-body.
BenTrabetere wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:35 pm
Are the same erroneous claims being made for the rest of MS-Office?
No.
BenTrabetere wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:35 pm
IMO, this is an unreasonable expectation, and you are setting yourself (and Calc) up for failure.
So, by analogy, I go to buy a brand new chisel to do some woodwork, and the vendor says, "Oh, sorry, mate, you better not use that on wood that's more than 10 years old."

"Why?" I ask.

"Well," replies the vendor, "it's unreasonable to use this chisel on old wood."

Really?
BenTrabetere wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:35 pm
I would be surprised if another Windows spreadsheet or even another version of Excel could offer this level of compatibility. Would the transition be seamless if you stuck with Excel but were moving from Win10 to macOS?
Yes, it is. Excel on Windows and Excel on Mac run with different user interfaces, but the functionality is congruent without issue.

Where an issue arises, it is MacOS screwing up file permissions on a Windows server.
BenTrabetere wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:35 pm
And if the LO developers were to provide the features you seek, there is no guarantee it will be a permanent solution - Microsoft will break stuff in order to maintain and manage its users.
Microsoft would get sued by its corporate customers - via their business interruption insurers - were they to withdraw individual functions, such as =SUMIF(). Microsoft knows this, and so does Google (re Google Sheets). Hence why Google Sheets are fluent in both XLSX and ODS, and Microsoft was willing to extent support for Windows XP albeit for additional charges to the then userbase.

This is one reason why Microsoft is keen to move to the cloud using Office 365. To the extent that it can snoop on user data (or do so and get away with it), Microsoft would be in a position to count the instances of every function in use. And this is another very worrying possibility.

How so? Because Microsoft has form in screwing thing up based on "evidence". In Office, the move from the menu interface to the ribbon was a classic example of "evidence-based" research. Problem was, the "evidence" was flawed. The "evidence" was a survey of users. Power users were de facto excluded, because power users have jobs to do with no time to participate in stupid surveys. Microsoft pressed ahead anyway. On migration from Office 2003 to Office 2007, power users worldwide were comprehensively sabotaged when every keystroke needed re-learning. Even now, after all the re-learning has taken place, Microsoft has burdened its users with an even clumsier user interface, with more than double the number of keystrokes required to achieve anything, and loads of pointless, middling dialogue boxes, some of which have no useful business purpose, and no useful keyboard access at all (eg Excel's new "sort by..." functionality, an absolute time killer). So much for being a productivity suite: Microsoft has killed users' productivity! We now take longer to achieve what we used to achieve. How is that an advance?

But as most users worldwide use spreadsheets as nothing more than a glorious typing exercise, often without basic data management functionality within their spreadsheets, Microsoft is likely to find that its userbase in Cloud 365 use less than 1% of the functions in Excel, and start withdrawing them, to reduce the costs of supporting the "unused" functions. When that happens, and Microsoft's competitors stupidity follow Microsoft, corporate data systems will revert to a new Dark Age.
BenTrabetere wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:35 pm
An example this is the screen capture of an Excel message I find particularly annoying - "*.ods may contain features that are not compatible with...." You will get this error when there is only one empty sheet in the workbook.
This is not a case of your cited issue, but rather an anti-competitive, emotionally-driven, emotion-causing, manipulative false error message that all software developers get up to. Yes, they drive me nuts too.
BenTrabetere wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:35 pm
Just curious.... What happens when, instead of using .ODS in Calc, you save the files as .XLSX?
That is outside the scope of my project, which is to migrate from Windows/Excel to Linux/Calc (or, now, Linux/TBC). The reverse migration is down to somebody else!

However, I did discover a taste of the failures to come when I first used Calc as a direct replacement for Excel in the Linux Mint environment, blogged here (caution: some adjectives are not for the faint-hearted!).
Last edited by taxedserf on Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Calc has stopped me migrating from Windows to Linux Mint

Post by taxedserf » Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:18 am

AndyMH wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:51 am
I'm running office 2013 under mint 18.3 via crossover and used to run office 2007 under wine. Also have office 2016 running in a vm. What's the problem? I earn my living with excel.
How have you solved Microsoft licencing requirements?

How did you recognise and resolve the security issues of using a translation layer (in your case, Crossover) in Linux?

With Crossover in place, do you use anti-virus software on your Linux machine?
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Re: Calc has stopped me migrating from Windows to Linux Mint

Post by Pjotr » Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:25 am

taxedserf wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:51 am
Pjotr wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:14 pm
Have you considered using Excel in a Windows Virtual Machine, within Linux?
Yes.

At this stage of the project's roadmap, I aim to eliminate Microsoft from my life. So I have deferred the use of virtual machines/translation layers to enable Microsoft apps to run within Linux.
That may have negative security implications:
https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/wine

Other Windows emulators have of course the same impact as Wine.
taxedserf wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:51 am
What are the Microsoft licencing requirements of Excel's deployment within a Windows virtual machine in Linux?
I don't know, but surely you should be able to do that legally, if you've already paid for a license on that machine for use in its "bare metal" Windows?

I'll send you a PM about a no-cost (and legal) solution that I use myself.
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Re: Calc has stopped me migrating from Windows to Linux Mint

Post by taxedserf » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:32 am

lsemmens wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:30 pm
I can see the problems if you use a lot of automation in excel i.e. VBA.
Yes, VBA automation would be a major issue in my work environment.

In my home environment, VBA does not apply. Here, Calc's Achilles Heel was an inability to use =SUMIF(), =VLOOKUP() etc reliability with a linked workbook.
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Re: Calc has stopped me migrating from Windows to Linux Mint

Post by taxedserf » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:43 am

mediclaser wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:09 pm
Instead of trying to find compatibility, why not just move to Calc (or other spreadsheet apps for Linux) and change the way you link your workbook files?
Calc's failure was an inability to reliably operate =SUMIF() with a linked workbook. What would be the alternative workaround methodology with what alternative workaround function?

Please also refer to the documentation for the test workbooks, to check potential alternative workarounds already tested.

Here is the decision rule: if the alternative workaround methodology and the alternative workaround function require a manual re-typing of over 10 years'-worth of spreadsheets, then the proposed alternative is a fail!
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Re: Calc has stopped me migrating from Windows to Linux Mint

Post by taxedserf » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:50 am

leonette wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:46 pm
What happens when, instead of using .ODS in Calc, you save the files as .XLSX?
That is outside the scope of my project, which is to migrate from Windows/Excel to Linux/Calc (or, now, Linux/TBC). The reverse migration is down to somebody else!

However, I did discover a taste of the failures to come when I first used Calc as a direct replacement for Excel in the Linux Mint environment, blogged here (caution: some adjectives are not for the faint-hearted!).
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Re: Calc has stopped me migrating from Windows to Linux Mint

Post by AndyMH » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:04 am

Instead of SUMIF have you tried SUMPRODUCT, infinitely more flexible! And I think the syntax is more understandable and you can have as many tests/conditional expressions as you want. :)
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Re: Calc has stopped me migrating from Windows to Linux Mint

Post by taxedserf » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:05 am

phd21 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:46 pm
- You can use MS Office online or "Office 365" using your browsers on any operating system.
Yes, but at additional cost. I've already bought a licence for MS Office 2016. I'd like to avoid buying the same functionality more than once.
phd21 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:46 pm
- Google Sheets part of Google Docs may work for you too.
Yes, Google Sheets is one of two platforms I use at work. I use it at home as well, but the sole means of linking workbooks is via =IMPORTRANGE(). This has other limitations, including the backup of data stored only in the Googleverse. Is the only backup service available a paid-for SaaS like Spanning.
phd21 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:46 pm
- Some versions of MS Office can be installed using Linux "Wine".
Yes. At this stage of the project, I wanted to avoid using Microsoft altogether, and thus dispense with the need for translation layers and the risk that they entail for the Linux environment.
phd21 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:46 pm
+1 for installing Virtualbox and a version of MS Windows in that where anyone can install and run any MS Windows applications in that while still in Linux Mint.
What are the licencing requirements for Windows 10 in a virtual machine and Office 2016 running on it? Would I need to buy a second set of licences?
phd21 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:46 pm
- Try converting, exporting, or "save as" the Excel (spreadsheets) into an open document format before using LibreOffice or another Linux spreadsheet application.
Please refer to the testing documentation.
phd21 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:46 pm
- Make sure you are using a current version of LibreOffice by using their PPA. There are many LibreOffice add-ons in the "Synaptic Package Manager (SPM)" that may need to be installed.
Not specifically tested, but preparatory half-tests in v6 were the same as in v5. v5 was tested, because it's bundled into Linux Mint. Note also the time requirement with the project.
phd21 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:46 pm
- Search for "spreadsheet" in the Synaptic Package Manager (SPM), try other spreadsheet applications like "gnumeric" (install all related and recommended and suggested packages).
Will do! And thanks also for the further links to other packages.
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Re: Calc has stopped me migrating from Windows to Linux Mint

Post by taxedserf » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:20 am

AndyMH wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:04 am
Instead of SUMIF have you tried SUMPRODUCT, infinitely more flexible! And I think the syntax is more understandable and you can have as many tests/conditional expressions as you want. :)
I've never used =SUMPRODUCT(). At first glance, Ockham's Razor looks appealing: =SUMIF() is all the functionality I need. In the work environment, my choice of functions needs to be easy for my colleagues to understand with minimal (preferably zero) effort. In the home environment, the workbooks I want to migrate have no other users.

I'll add =SUMPRODUCT() to the test method version 2. If Calc can't link workbooks reliably with =SUMIF(), then my expectation is that Calc will similarly fail to link workbooks reliably with =SUMPRODUCT(). For me, finding a workable replacement for LibreOffice is a more likely propitious strategy.
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Re: Calc has stopped me migrating from Windows to Linux Mint

Post by phd21 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:57 pm

Hi taxedserf,

You are welcome...

phd21 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:46 pm
- You can use MS Office online or "Office 365" using your browsers on any operating system.
taxedserf wrote:Yes, but at additional cost. I've already bought a licence for MS Office 2016. I'd like to avoid buying the same functionality more than once.
I can understand that, but if this is for business(es), perhaps they might help to provide the funds for your MS Online license(s) (just a thought).
phd21 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:46 pm
- Google Sheets part of Google Docs may work for you too.
taxedserf wrote:Yes, Google Sheets is one of two platforms I use at work. I use it at home as well, but the sole means of linking workbooks is via =IMPORTRANGE(). This has other limitations, including the backup of data stored only in the Googleverse. Is the only backup service available a paid-for SaaS like Spanning.
I know that everyone that has a Google Mail account has 15gb of free Google Drive (cloud storage) space available for use with all Google Services including Google Doc apps, and anyone can also create another Google Mail account for another free 15gb of cloud space. And, anyone can pay for more space from Google. 15gb is a lot of space for documents and spreadsheets and could hold a lot of data as well. Of course as you probably already know, any linked documents, spreadsheets, etc... would have to reside on the same "drive" and "folder (directory)" so to speak or be available (accurately referenced and linked) for any linked processes within those documents or spreadsheets (or databases) to work properly.

I am not familiar with "SaaS" that you linked, so I cannot answer that question.
phd21 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:46 pm
- Some versions of MS Office can be installed using Linux "Wine".
taxedserf wrote:Yes. At this stage of the project, I wanted to avoid using Microsoft altogether, and thus dispense with the need for translation layers and the risk that they entail for the Linux environment.
With some time and effort, I am sure that all your current documents and spreadsheets could be successfully migrated to Linux applications and still be workable for (usable by) users of MS Windows applications (if need be).

In the meantime, while converting or migrating your current documents and spreadsheets into an open document format, you could install MS Office in Linux using Linux "Wine" or Virtualbox with a version of MS Windows in that.
phd21 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:46 pm
+1 for installing Virtualbox and a version of MS Windows in that where anyone can install and run any MS Windows applications in that while still in Linux Mint.
taxedserf wrote:What are the licencing requirements for Windows 10 in a virtual machine and Office 2016 running on it? Would I need to buy a second set of licences?
If you (anyone) has a retail "boxed" version of MS Windows, you can use that for Virtualbox. Most people have bundled OEM versions of MS Windows that came with their computer hardware and the license will not permit using those versions in Virtualbox. There are "hacks" for doing this that might or might not work. You might be able to get a retail "boxed" version of MS Windows at reasonable prices if you search the Internet.

I would highly recommend carefully reading the link below:
How to install Windows in VirtualBox - Easy Linux tips project (great website, please unblock ads)
https://sites.google.com/site/easylinux ... ct/oldgrub

phd21 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:46 pm
- Try converting, exporting, or "save as" the Excel (spreadsheets) into an open document format before using LibreOffice or another Linux spreadsheet application.
taxedserf wrote:Please refer to the testing documentation.
Okay, not sure what this means? I have not checked the link yet.
phd21 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:46 pm
- Make sure you are using a current version of LibreOffice by using their PPA. There are many LibreOffice add-ons in the "Synaptic Package Manager (SPM)" that may need to be installed.
taxedserf wrote:Not specifically tested, but preparatory half-tests in v6 were the same as in v5. v5 was tested, because it's bundled into Linux Mint. Note also the time requirement with the project.
I really like LibreOffice because it is actively maintained and updated. Each upgrade provides new enhancements and bugfixes, so installing their PPA is a good thing to do IMHO. If anyone wants something in one of the LibreOffice apps or finds a bug, then just provide a feature request and or bugfix on their support website(s).
phd21 wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:46 pm
- Search for "spreadsheet" in the Synaptic Package Manager (SPM), try other spreadsheet applications like "gnumeric" (install all related and recommended and suggested packages).
taxedserf wrote:Will do! And thanks also for the further links to other packages.
I am always finding new applications and utility software in the Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM) that I never knew was there. There are usually around 50,000 software packages in the Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM). I prefer using the "Synaptic Package Manager (SPM)" where I can see all the available and recommend and suggested packages, but now there are also "flatpaks" available through the Software Manager and not through the Synaptic Package Manager (SPM). There are also "Snap" and "AppImage" packages available that are not in either the Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM).


Hope this helps ...
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Re: Calc has stopped me migrating from Windows to Linux Mint

Post by lsemmens » Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:32 pm

One of the "tricks" with converting to Calc, is that, even though some of the functions work well in calc, only if you save in .odf format. I ran into all sorts of trouble with indexing when I was saving as .docx from writer. Saving as .odf, and my indexes all worked as intended.
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Re: Calc has stopped me migrating from Windows to Linux Mint

Post by mediclaser » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:58 pm

taxedserf wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:17 am
BenTrabetere wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:35 pm
And if the LO developers were to provide the features you seek, there is no guarantee it will be a permanent solution - Microsoft will break stuff in order to maintain and manage its users.
Microsoft would get sued by its corporate customers - via their business interruption insurers - were they to withdraw individual functions, such as =SUMIF()...
Well, they've been breaking a lot in how VBA works in their Office automation between versions of MS Office but I don't remember hearing about MS getting sued for those.

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Re: Calc has stopped me migrating from Windows to Linux Mint

Post by AndyMH » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:54 pm

Personally, I wouldn't bother with calc, stick with Excel either under wine or crossover or in a VM. It's what I do.

Quick tutorial on SUMPRODUCT, real life example:

=SUMPRODUCT(--(MatPeriod=$E$6),--(MatPhase=M$2),--(MatPBS>=$I3),--(MatPBS<$I4),MatMostlikely)

MatPeriod etc, are named ranges, so we have 4 conditionals which is then summing the range in MatMostlikely. You need the '--' and brackets around the tests so that TRUE or FALSE evaluates to 1 or 0. A lot more powerful than SUMIF and I think easier to understand.

What's it doing - adding up all my material cost estimates (there are several thousand), but only those where matperiod = E6 where E6 could be this year (don't want last year's estimates) and only for material estimates defined by M2 (could be development or production estimates) and only for PBS (product breakdown structure) codes in a given range, e.g. 300 to 399 where the 300 group happens to be all the electrical equipment.
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