Table of Contents

*conv123* is a utility for reading
a specially-formatted flat ASCII file and converting it into a Lotus/123(TM)
".wk1" file. Each specially-formatted ASCII file creates one entire spreadsheet.
This spreadsheet file is in its final, directly-readable binary form, and
need undergo no further translation before being read directly by Lotus/123(TM).
This feature makes *conv123* especially suited to networked environments,
where report writers or programs running on transaction processing machines
can easily and directly create spreadsheet output, instantly ready for
copying, downloading, or direct access in the MS-DOS(TM) or Macintosh(TM)
environments. In addition to individual data values, certain common aggregate
functions (formulas) may be specified (sum,min,max,variance,std deviation,
and average), and five binary functions (addition, subtraction, multiplication,
division, and percentage) may also be specified.

The input file format has been optimized for generation by a simple top-down, left-to-right report generator, and is human-readable. The input logic has been made fairly intelligent, automatically discerning numeric and non-numeric values, calculating formula ranges, and calculating the maximum number of decimal places in a row or column.

Following is an example input file, followed by a more detailed explanation of its contents:

Jan Feb Mar Qtr

Product Sales Sales Sales Total

--------- ----------- ----------- ----------- -----------

widget-1 45000.87 54390.9 75947.12 @RSUM

widget-2 47000.78 64550.0 73647.77 @RSUM

widget-3 47800.11 67830.5 54536.37 @RSUM

widget-4 33003.30 76530.7 98653.83 @RSUM

widget-5 12000.44 64836.7 27637.91 @RSUM

@CSUM @CSUM @CSUM @CSUM

This is a fairly simple spreadsheet with ten rows and five columns. The
fifth column is actually made of formulas ("row sums"), as is the last
row ("column sums"). *conv123* is smart enough to know that each data value
in the first column is non-numeric, and creates the formulas in the fifth
column accordingly, i.e., the "row sums" are sums of the values in the second
through the fourth columns. In addition, since *conv123* keeps track of the
maximum number of decimal places used in a given row or column, the number
of decimal places displayed in Lotus/123(TM) will be two (2)
for all formulas,
with the exception of the CSUM in the third column, which will display
with one (1)
decimal place. Note also that the position of the number or
formula code in each column is not significant, as long as the entire values
fits under the dashed-line column definition(s). Also, most spreadsheet
programs will re-position the values within each cell as the values are
displayed.

The range for a binary function is simply the last two adjacent cells "above" the formula definition for column functions, and "left" of the formula definition for row functions. The adjacent cell is always used in the calculation; an override number after the function code in a row function is treated as an absolute column number overriding the penultimate cell. For commutative functions (addition and multiplication), order is not significant. For non-commutative functions (subtraction and division), the definition is a - b, or a/b, where a is the penultimate cell, and b is the immediately adjacent cell. If there is an override column number, THIS ORDER IS REVERSED -- i.e., b - a and b/a, where a is the overriding column number and b is the immediately adjacent cell. This situation is made clearer in the examples below.

Following is a summary of the available functions, which MUST be in upper case where applicable:

SUM -- Performs addition on a range of cells.

AVG -- Takes the average value on a range of cells.

MIN -- Extracts the minimum value on a range of cells.

MAX -- Extracts the minimum value on a range of cells.

VAR -- Calculates the variance on a range of cells.

STD -- Calculates the standard deviation on a range of cells.

+ -- Adds two cells.

- -- Subtracts two cells.

* -- Multiplies two cells.

/ -- Divides two cells.

% -- Divides two cells, and multiplies the result by 100.

NUL -- This is actually not a function, but performs the task

of a "placeholder", preventing the "resetting" of auto-

matically calculated numeric ranges without creating

cell contents. This function is most frequently used to

extend the row range of aggregate column functions.

input:

--------- ----------- ----------- ----------- -----------

widget-1 100.00 200.00 300.00 @RSUM

result:

--------- ----------- ----------- ----------- -----------

widget-1 100.00 200.00 300.00 600.00

input:

--------- ----------- ----------- ----------- -----------

widget-1 100.00 200.00 300.00 @R+

result:

--------- ----------- ----------- ----------- -----------

widget-1 100.00 200.00 300.00 500.00

input:

--------- ----------- ----------- ----------- -----------

widget-1 100.00 200.00 300.00 @R/

result:

--------- ----------- ----------- ----------- -----------

widget-1 100.00 200.00 300.00 0.67

input:

--------- ----------- ----------- ----------- -----------

widget-1 100.00 200.00 300.00 @R/3

result:

--------- ----------- ----------- ----------- -----------

widget-1 100.00 200.00 300.00 1.50

Note in the above example that the order of divisor/dividend as

regards the immediately adjacent cell is the reverse of the

previous example.

input:

--------- -------- -------- -------- ---------- ------- ----------

widget-1 100.00 200.00 @RSUM 300.00 400.0 @RSUM

widget-2 100.00 100.00 @RSUM 100.00 200.0 @RSUM4

@NUL

@CSUM @BSUM @CSUM

result:

--------- -------- -------- -------- ----------- ------- ----------

widget-1 100.00 200.00 300.00 300.00 400.0 700.00

widget-2 100.00 100.00 200.00 100.00 200.0 500.00

200.00 500.00 0.00

The dashed-line definitions must begin at the first character of the line in which they occur.

Output files are basically in Lotus(TM) ".WK1" format, and output files should be named with this extension to provide maximum information to spreadsheet programs.

Binary functions in column formula codes are allowed, but rarely make much sense.

The program is simple by design, and makes no attempt to incorporate useful, more complex features such as absolute cell positioning, general-purpose formulae, macros, etc. It also has not undergone a complete test suite.

The maximum number of columns is currently hard-coded into the program at 124; memory should be dynamically allocated to support an arbitrary spreadsheet size.

Optimizations could be applied at several points.

Starting/ending points for formulae should be arbitrarily specifiable.