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Structuring Spreadsheets with the “Lish” Data Model

Hall, Alan Geoffrey; Wermelinger, Michel; Hirst, Tony and Phithakkitnukoon, Santi (2017). Structuring Spreadsheets with the “Lish” Data Model. In: Proceedings of the EuSpRIG 2017 Conference "Spreadsheet Risk Management".

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A spreadsheet is remarkably flexible in representing various forms of structured data, but the individual cells have no knowledge of the larger structures of which they may form a part. This can hamper comprehension and increase formula replication, increasing the risk of error on both scores. We explore a novel data model (called the “lish”) that could form an alternative to the traditional grid in a spreadsheet-like environment. Its aim is to capture some of these higher structures while preserving the simplicity that makes a spreadsheet so attractive. It is based on cells organised into nested lists, in each of which the user may optionally employ a template to prototype repeating structures. These template elements can be likened to the marginal “cells” in the borders of a traditional worksheet, but are proper members of the sheet and may themselves contain internal structure. A small demonstration application shows the “lish” in operation.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Copyright Holders: 2017 EuSpRIG European Spreadsheet Risks Interest Group & The Authors
Extra Information: Presented at the European Spreadsheet Risks Interest Group Conference 2017, London, 6 July 2017.
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Computing and Communications
Research Group: Centre for Research in Computing (CRC)
Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
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Item ID: 50150
Depositing User: Alan Geoffrey Hall
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2017 08:58
Last Modified: 02 May 2019 19:26
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