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Re: how to document/comment a complex org table formula

From: Jude DaShiell
Subject: Re: how to document/comment a complex org table formula
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 2021 11:20:24 -0400

Why not use functional narrative form to document complex formulas?
formula name:
formula function:
formula uses:
formula returns:
usually one line of text for each of those.  I know, this comes from
structured programming where no block of actual code is supposed to go
above 50 lines and that for many people cramps their styles.  It makes
maintenance a little easier though.

On Mon, 5 Jul 2021, Tim Visher wrote:

> On Mon, Jul 5, 2021 at 10:14 AM Eric S Fraga <e.fraga@ucl.ac.uk> wrote:
> > Sorry; I cannot help you directly.
> >
> > My rule of thumb is that if formulas are getting too complex to
> > understand/recall clearly, it's time to use a proper programming
> > language instead.  The nice thing about org is you can have tables as
> > inputs to and outputs of src blocks...
> >
> > My papers often have awk source blocks that process tables to generate
> > statistics for some (numerical) experiments.
> >
> > Spreadsheets, org tables being an example of such, are brilliant tools
> > for simple calculations but are pretty much "write only programming
> > languages".
> >
> I had never heard of using an org table as input into a source block.
> That's really interesting.
> The OP also poses an interesting idea that I have occasionally wanted. I
> have generally accomplished this by simply including the documentation
> above or below the table. In other words just having human text around it
> that says 'This =formula= bit is because of X'.
> But the idea of a multiline TBLFM syntax seems to be already be almost
> supported. I was mildly shocked to find that this mostly works
> ```
> |---+---|
> | a | 1 |
> | b | 3 |
> |---+---|
> |   | 4 |
> #+TBLFM: @2$2=@-1*3
> #+TBLFM: @3$2=vsum(@I..II)
> ```
> Note that I don't need the usual `::` separation between formulas. Where it
> breaks down is that I can't seem to reevaluate the whole table's formula by
> whacking `C-u C-c C-c` anymore and, obviously, there's no syntax for adding
> comments. Also I doubt that I'd be able to use any of org's keys for
> editing formulas. I wonder how hard it would be to extend org's
> understanding of the TBLFM to allow for this kind of syntax.
> Once you had it then adding a comment character to it should be very simple.
> --
> In Christ,
> Timmy V.
> https://blog.twonegatives.com
> http://five.sentenc.es

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