Validating the unit correctness of spreadsheet programs

18-Nov-2020 06:13

Some other existing spreadsheet applications do not allow any computations between numbers that are formatted differently and/or have dissimilar units.

In such cases, for example, a computation such as “.00 5” results in an error since the 5 does not have the same unit as the 2.

In some embodiments, one or more different number formats may each be defined as a distinct data type.

Each data type may be associated with its own semantics so that nonsensical results can be prevented from occurring, e.g., in computations in a spreadsheet application.

validating the unit correctness of spreadsheet programs-71

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The scope of the invention is limited only by the claims and the invention encompasses numerous alternatives, modifications and equivalents.

Context sensitive computations in a spreadsheet application are disclosed.

In some embodiments, semantics with respect to various spreadsheet operations are specified for each of a plurality of number formats in a spreadsheet application.

Examples of number formats include durations, dates, times, currencies, etc., each of which may support one or more associated units.

As used herein, the terms “format” and “number format” refer to a dimension or a type of quantity (e.g., durations, dates, times, currencies, etc.) and not necessarily to other aspects that may be associated with formatting that do not have a bearing on the units associated with the format such as the number of displayed decimal places.Although in some of the examples described herein the cells of a spreadsheet application are organized into such table objects, the techniques described herein may be similarly employed with respect to other cell configurations or organizations, such as the (seemingly) infinite single grid or table of cells in each sheet of some typical spreadsheet applications that includes an unlimited (or very large) number of rows and columns of cells.