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Any other program languages as simple as spreadsheets like excel?

Harry0

Member
Excel is straight forward for the most part (not including macros) and easy, but any other programs that are as fast and as simple in adding numbers?

Excel is just, open program, type formula =123*789, and you get your answer within seconds.
 

Chihiro

Excel Ninja
I'm not sure the point of your question. But most (if not all) programming language has simple arithmetic functions built in.

Ex:
R / Python (Using Console)
123*789
Both will output [1] 97047
Meaning one element with value of 97047

Or just use calculator?
 

Hui

Excel Ninja
Staff member

Harry0

Member
I was giving the math as an example of simplicity and quickness. And I said other programming language. like unreal engine, C, binary. etc lol obviously they are not a simple as excel I assume but I was asking if anyone else thinks other programming languages are as simple as excel.
 

AliGW

Active Member
Excel is not a programming language, Harry. You cannot compare lemons with apples. VBA is a programming language, as are Python, C#, M Code (in Power Query), and so on. I think you need to be a bit clearer about what it is you are asking.
 

Hui

Excel Ninja
Staff member
Excel is absolutely a programming language
Each cell is simply a line of code that may display text, or calculate a variable
Excel has a simple grid layout rather than line by line code you maybe used to

A simple formula in A3: =A1+A2
is no different to a programing language doing
Range("A3").value = Range("A1").value + Range("A2").value

Subsequent formulas just build a series of instructions, which are executed in order, no different to a code block
 

klimbo13

New Member
VBA runs fast. Maybe not as fast as optimized and compiled C++ code, but certainly plenty fast for calculation intensive scientific and engineering work, high frequency stock trading, and analyzing workbooks. When I write VBA code to do the preceding tasks, I expect it to run at least as fast as I can type, and am seldom disappointed.
 

AliGW

Active Member
Excel is absolutely a programming language
No, it is a code compiler application, a bit like Notepad++. The underlying programming language that was used to build it and other Office applications is C++. If you want to programme using Excel, then you need to employ VBA (Visual Basic for Applications). Excel itself is NOT a programming language. :)
 

Marc L

Excel Ninja
VBA runs fast.
No as it is not a compiled language, just an interpreted one …
And it depends also how smart is the programmer as I already met
some VBA procedures lasting several minutes but operating manually
just using some Excel inner features needing less than a minute ! …
 

Lori

Active Member
Excel is an application - it is not any sort of language.
That's not strictly true. Spreadsheets in general are considered a programming paradigm and are listed as a class of ( cell-oriented ) functional language: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_programming_languages_by_type

Excel itself is commonly considered by developers to be an IDE and the formula language is an ECMA/ISO portable standard exchangeable with numerous other spreadsheets.

The underlying programming language that was used to build it and other Office applications is C++. If you want to programme using Excel, then you need to employ VBA (Visual Basic for Applications).
Many other languages are written in C/C++ as well, like python and java and C++ compilers.

You can actually use pretty much any language to program Excel via COM API without touching VBA . For user defined functions probably the best language is C++ since this accesses the native Excel API, as you say.
 

AliGW

Active Member
Lori - better expressed, thanks. If you click on the spreadsheet link you get this:

A spreadsheet is an interactive computer application for organization, analysis and storage of data in tabular form.[1][2][3] Spreadsheets are developed as computerized simulations of paper accounting worksheets.[4] The program operates on data entered in cells of a table. Each cell may contain either numeric or text data, or the results of formulas that automatically calculate and display a value based on the contents of other cells. A spreadsheet may also refer to one such electronic document.
My issue is that Excel is not a language in itself, although there is code (programming, whatever you want to call it) going on under the bonnet.

Is Excel programmable: yes. Do you have to understand a programming language to use it: no, not at a basic level, because it's the interface between you and the programming going on behind the scenes. It's more like an interpretor: it's like Google Translate, if you will. And that's my point. :)
 

Hui

Excel Ninja
Staff member
Excel is an interface,
The Excel Grid is an interface

Putting in A3: =A1+A2 is convenient to you the user, and the grid allows practical repetition of old column and row account journals which suits our human way of thinking, but in reality, you are simply adding 2 values from memory locations.

Even the memory locations won't be the same location from today until tomorrow.

Excel simply allows a graphical abstraction layer between you and underlying interpretor, but you are still laying out a series of instructions which when carried out in order give you the results you want, and that is programming.

Please check out: http://wiki.c2.com/?MicrosoftExcelProgrammingLanguage
 
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Hui

Excel Ninja
Staff member
Hi Ali

I hope my responses didn't come across as too strong

I have had this argument both here and elsewhere many times

Programming by definition is the process of creating a set of instructions that tell a computer how to perform a task. It is the breaking down of a problem into small manageable units and then having a computer solve them either sequentially or in parallel where applicable.

And this is in essence what all Excel models do

The language is transparent, but it is still there.
Try and do something like this in A1: =10/"Cat"
Excel returns a #Value! error.
This is effectively a syntax error
Excel simply removes the top down, line by line structure of a conventional programming language, but hidden behind is a dependancy tree which is an optimised calculation process defining the order of calculation of cells.

Excel also removes the need to worry about variable declarations, except where you try to do something like above A1: =10/"Cat"
And in a lot of other cases Excel makes assumptions and allows cross data type use anyway

Excel does this whilst providing a reporting framework that includes tabular layout and charting etc

But thankyou for the conversation, it is always good to have a healthy conversation over these type subjects as it broadens everyones view
 

Lori

Active Member
@Hui, i don't think there's much of a debate to be had. In the same wikipedia link above, spreadsheets are classified as multiparadigm, functional and visual languages.

Excel users may not feel like they are programming as the compilation (calculation) and variable declarations (cell references) are automatic. Just as Access users may not consider themselves programmers when the query designers they use are really just ways to generate SQL.
 
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