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TS: iWork 07 Details with spreadsheet screenshot!
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Wyatt
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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2007-01-05, 08:23

http://thinksecret.com/news/0701iwork.html




They're saying the application is called Lasso and iWork 07 will be released Tuesday during the keynote. I'll wait for reviews on this one, but I may have to pick it up, especially since Excel is the only MS Office component I still use.

It's time to play the feature speculation game now. Obviously, it won't be as fully-featured as Excel, but I imagine it'll be more than enough for most people who need to use spreadsheets. I found this quote from the article particularly interesting:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkSecret
Sources have also passed along additional notes regarding features in Lasso, including many that will transcend all iWork applications, such as conditional formatting in spreadsheets, enabling images to be treated as content in table cells, and an iPhoto-like "heads-up display" interface offering image editing options. Other improvements will focus on the interface, improving how documents are viewed and navigated and allowing multiple inspectors to be snapped together and moved as a group.
EDIT: I just want to be the first to say Lasso is a really dumb name. Unlike the other iLife apps, it doesn't even give a hint about what it does. I really hope it's a project name and not the final application name.

Here are their reports on the other iLife apps:
Pages 3 - sounds interesting, especially the word processing mode and Wikipedia integration
Keynote 4 - a little less interesting, but the iPod-friendly themes might be interesting. I wonder if that would be as a static movie or if you'll control the slides on the iPod -- full control would be really interesting.

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kieran
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2007-01-05, 08:30

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkSecret.com
...the application, referred to internally as Lasso and expected to be titled Numbers or Charts,...
Lasso is a dumb name, but it's only an internal name. (if this even exists)
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Wyatt
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2007-01-05, 08:45

Quote:
Originally Posted by kieran23kk View Post
Lasso is a dumb name, but it's only an internal name. (if this even exists)
Oh, good. I guess I missed that part. Numbers is good, I guess.

I really think this is the year we'll finally see the spreadsheet app included. With MS Office not going universal until next year at the earliest, people with basic productivity needs (like myself) would really like to dump Office, I think. Apple may finally get its foot in the door of the productivity market with this.

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Wraven
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2007-01-05, 09:20

This addition will FINALLY prompt me to buy iWork.
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Bryson
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2007-01-05, 11:08

Interesting. If this is true, it also means that Think Secret are back on form after a disappointing period of failing to predict anything of any use....
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Wyatt
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2007-01-05, 11:39

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryson View Post
Interesting. If this is true, it also means that Think Secret are back on form after a disappointing period of failing to predict anything of any use....
Right. It also makes me wonder if they wanted to include it last year (as TS predicted) and pushed it back at the last minute because it wasn't up to Apple's standards. If that's the case, I think the spreadsheet app might actually be quite nice.

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Moogs
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2007-01-05, 11:47

I dunno. With the advent of Parallels and Vista, I might go the Windows office route and skip any potential translation hang-ups, missing features or going with Apple's variant. I'm pretty sure any 1.0 spreadsheet from Apple is not going to have the computational horsepower as the very mature Excel.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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Gizzer
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2007-01-05, 11:51

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraven View Post
This addition will FINALLY prompt me to buy iWork.
I bought the original iWork when it came out, and I have to say that it's the only Apple software that I absolutely hate! I just find it's UI the most un-Apple and unusable interface I've seen. The six million inspectors it uses are mostly to blame. I find it very unintuitive. Also, I hated the lack of Exposé functionality in Keynote when in full screen presentation mode, although maybe that changed in iWork '06.

Bizarrely, one of the most elegant solutions I've seen recently is the new "Ribbon" in Office 2007. I hope the MS Mac unit utilise it in the Mac '07 release. Or alternatively, I hope Apple just rip off the idea and make it even more snazzy!
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Wyatt
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2007-01-05, 11:54

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs View Post
I dunno. With the advent of Parallels and Vista, I might go the Windows office route and skip any potential translation hang-ups, missing features or going with Apple's variant. I'm pretty sure any 1.0 spreadsheet from Apple is not going to have the computational horsepower as the very mature Excel.
True. I don't think most people use the computational horsepower of Excel, though. I rarely use very complex formulas. For me, it's relegated to simple budgeting tasks, which I'm sure Apple's application will be able to handle.

For a lot of people, it's going to come down to whether they need a database application or not. The people that need one will go the Windows Office route to get Access (or iWork + Filemaker).

I think Apple's recent success in the market shows that people are more willing than ever to look into change in their computers. With PCs shipping with a new OS anyway, most people buying new computers are starting over, in a way. This has led a lot of people to look into Macs, and I think switchers will start to give iWork 07 a hard look, especially since there's no universal version of Office yet and iWork doesn't require buying a Windows license.

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Messiahtosh
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2007-01-05, 11:56

Hell, a spreadsheet for logging weight training/running workouts would be nice. Sure you can do it in iWork now, but not very quickly.
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Enki
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Join Date: Nov 2004
 
2007-01-05, 12:08

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs View Post
I dunno. With the advent of Parallels and Vista, I might go the Windows office route and skip any potential translation hang-ups, missing features or going with Apple's variant. I'm pretty sure any 1.0 spreadsheet from Apple is not going to have the computational horsepower as the very mature Excel.

The problem with Excel is that it doesn't really add much anymore, and the statistical functions are worthless as their implementations are flawed, not to mention the completely repetitive random numbers. And the charting functions are godawful ugly and bug-ridden. I cannot count the hours I have spent un-hosing bad formats and mis-plots for smooth presentations. My employer of the time would have saved big labor $$ just by springing for a copy of S-Plus despite the price tag.

If you consider unpredictable dementia to be mature, the mature description would be accurate. I have come to use, almost exclusively, the basic arithmetic functions. Generating all my own advanced formula's, because the answers I got from Excel standard functions were always off by a bit from trusted tools numbers. It takes an extra couple minutes when setting up the spreadsheet but at least I can sleep at night.

From my point of view, if that's all Excel offers once the Emperor is seen to be naked, just about any spreadsheet that does basic cell manipulation works. I only keep using it because I get it free from my employer.
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MagSafe
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2007-01-05, 12:11

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzer View Post
I bought the original iWork when it came out, and I have to say that it's the only Apple software that I absolutely hate! I just find it's UI the most un-Apple and unusable interface I've seen. The six million inspectors it uses are mostly to blame. I find it very unintuitive. Also, I hated the lack of Exposé functionality in Keynote when in full screen presentation mode, although maybe that changed in iWork '06.

Bizarrely, one of the most elegant solutions I've seen recently is the new "Ribbon" in Office 2007. I hope the MS Mac unit utilise it in the Mac '07 release. Or alternatively, I hope Apple just rip off the idea and make it even more snazzy!
I've tried out the iWork '06 Trial that came with my mac, but i've never been able to get into it. I'd be quite happy to ditch MS Office and NeoOffice and buy the reasonably priced iWork suite, but like you said its just an awful environment to work in. Maybe its because i've been used to using MS Office for so long and know my around it, even still though you would think Apple could make an easy-to-use office environment. So far they've fallen flat on their feet trying to create one, it's a shame really as I would benefit so much from iWork, I rarely use any of the advanced Word features, and Powerpoint is simply awful anyway compared to Keynote.

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Wyatt
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2007-01-05, 12:16

Quote:
Originally Posted by MagSafe View Post
I've tried out the iWork '06 Trial that came with my mac, but i've never been able to get into it. I'd be quite happy to ditch MS Office and NeoOffice and buy the reasonably priced iWork suite, but like you said its just an awful environment to work in. Maybe its because i've been used to using MS Office for so long and know my around it, even still though you would think Apple could make an easy-to-use office environment. So far they've fallen flat on their feet trying to create one, it's a shame really as I would benefit so much from iWork, I rarely use any of the advanced Word features, and Powerpoint is simply awful anyway compared to Keynote.
I think iWork should be easier to use with this release, especially since you can reportedly snap the little inspectors together and move them around as a group. The inspectors are my biggest gripe with iWork, and I think this will be a good change.

I think you also need to divorce yourself from Office when you start using iWork. You need to wipe your mind clear of any preconceptions about productivity software. It's an entirely different workflow, but I think it works if you really let yourself dig into it.

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Moogs
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2007-01-05, 12:17

Enki: I'm obviously not a big spreadsheet geek but your comments are surprising. I would think by now all things computational would be uber-stable in Excel. I mean every business on the face of the planet, including engineering businesses, etc, use Excel. Or at least I thought so. You'd think math would be the very easiest thing to fix, bugs-wise, but I guess not?

Maybe Apple's version will be better. And yah personally I wouldn't use a lot of statistical stuff I would just get Vista office for straight 1:1 compatibility with the rest of planet earth. And there's also that free version of office you can download that mirrors a slightly older Windows version I think.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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drewprops
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2007-01-05, 12:23

Did you know that Adobe (or Aldus) used to have a spreadsheet app? Pretty sure that they did. My humongous gripe with Excel is the rigidity of how you must lay out your cells and how the styling of cells is achieved. It takes 400 fiddly shits to get things done. The power beneath is wonderful to have mind you, I want the power AND the glory of fine graphic control.

And a pony.

Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
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bassplayinMacFiend
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2007-01-05, 13:52

Enki:

To get truly random numbers in Excel, you'll have to write code in VBA and use the Randomize function. The generic RAND() function only generates pseudo-random numbers. IIRC, this is also true in Java and on *NIX-based OSs.
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Moogs
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2007-01-05, 14:10

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
And a pony.



There's always the pony... crucial. Like boogers. If we didn't have boogers, that would mean we're all getting sick all the time because we'd have no mucus interceptors inside the battlefield that is our noses.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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Enki
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2007-01-05, 15:25

Quote:
Originally Posted by bassplayinMacFiend View Post
Enki:

To get truly random numbers in Excel, you'll have to write code in VBA and use the Randomize function. The generic RAND() function only generates pseudo-random numbers. IIRC, this is also true in Java and on *NIX-based OSs.
I know about the pseudo-randomness, it is impossible to generate a true random stream electronically, even with VBA which is only pseudo-random as well (although possibly not as broken as XL). It's just that Excels stream for many years was only 16K deep before repeating, I believe it is 32K deep now. Those truly suck and don't meet even the definition of pseudo-random, they are just long repeating series that are completely predictable once you have the first repeat value.

Now if I need to do something that requires programming, I don't use Excel or a VBA hack, I code it.
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Enki
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2007-01-05, 15:40

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs View Post
Enki: I'm obviously not a big spreadsheet geek but your comments are surprising. I would think by now all things computational would be uber-stable in Excel. I mean every business on the face of the planet, including engineering businesses, etc, use Excel. Or at least I thought so. You'd think math would be the very easiest thing to fix, bugs-wise, but I guess not?

Maybe Apple's version will be better. And yah personally I wouldn't use a lot of statistical stuff I would just get Vista office for straight 1:1 compatibility with the rest of planet earth. And there's also that free version of office you can download that mirrors a slightly older Windows version I think.
It's not that the functions mathematics are "buggy",in the broken sense of the word, it's that they use some odd nonstandard interpretations of how to implement many of them. Since they aren't adequately documented and fully modifiable, you gets what you gets whether you want it or not. Well I don't want some oddball implementation of a function that I don't trust. The graph plot stuff is class A-1 hosed, guaranteed-pain-in-the-ass though.

Most users are oblivious and just always use the default XL functions, which is fine as long as they don't compare with the exact same numbers to a non-Excel function that isn't oddly implemented. Or I often hear "there's just a little typo in the data somewhere, but we are close enough". Riiiigggghhhht. And we wonder why 75% of all businesses fail in their first year. (Not XL's fault directly, just users ignorance in general).

I'm merciless about correctness and cross-checks. Others like myself accept XL for the great tool it is, but acknowledge that once you get too far into provided formula land you give up too much control and verification of the result. The oddball functions have never been updated as far as I can tell despite protests a good number of years ago, that leaves me with little confidence in the rest of the non-trivial ones.
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Mac Donald
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2007-01-05, 16:50

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moogs View Post
I dunno. With the advent of Parallels and Vista, I might go the Windows office route and skip any potential translation hang-ups, missing features or going with Apple's variant. I'm pretty sure any 1.0 spreadsheet from Apple is not going to have the computational horsepower as the very mature Excel.
Why not just use Office for Mac. It is better than Office for Windows and does not have any translation hang-ups.

In any event, I still think this is not going to happen. Why would Apple compete with Microsoft so directly when it wants Microsoft to continue to develop Office for Mac? Hell, Office for Mac is something that Apple never fails to mention in its advertising to "switchers" -- even is mentioned in the "I'm a Mac/I'm a PC" commercials.

I think Apple has to walk a fine line with this stuff -- it needs Microsoft and Adobe to continue to develop for the Mac platform, but also wants to create great apps of its own.

Someone hacked my signature. I demand an investigation.
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Wyatt
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2007-01-05, 17:48

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Donald View Post
Why not just use Office for Mac. It is better than Office for Windows and does not have any translation hang-ups.
A lot of people disagree with you. I actually think Office for Mac is kind of a turd. Excel is the only product in the bunch that's worth a damn, IMO. It also doesn't include a database application (yes, I know, iWork doesn't either), and Access is used quite a lot by businesses.

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rasmits
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2007-01-05, 18:58

I'm hoping it's fake. You'd think iWork would be unified by '07, to match iLife. In fact, I'm surprised it wasn't unified for '06.

Not that it really matters, but I'm tired of this mess of themes.

You had me at asl
.......
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Moogs
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2007-01-05, 20:15

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Donald View Post
Why not just use Office for Mac. It is better than Office for Windows and does not have any translation hang-ups.

In any event, I still think this is not going to happen. Why would Apple compete with Microsoft so directly when it wants Microsoft to continue to develop Office for Mac? Hell, Office for Mac is something that Apple never fails to mention in its advertising to "switchers" -- even is mentioned in the "I'm a Mac/I'm a PC" commercials.

I think Apple has to walk a fine line with this stuff -- it needs Microsoft and Adobe to continue to develop for the Mac platform, but also wants to create great apps of its own.

I think it's better in some ways as far as the interface / palettes, but in general the only thing that matters with office is standardization. Every time I build a big PPT presentation with transition effects and such I get all these stupid "might be incompatible with PPT 97 yadda yadda" warnings in the compatibility checker. It's just useless.

As for why Apple would do this, because in my mind what they're releasing is really office lite. It's like the difference between Photoshop CS and Elements. Both are capable tools for many editing functions but one has a far deeper feature set and and more refined interface. Although you could argue MS' interface is a cluster fuck I realize.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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blakbyrd
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2007-01-05, 20:31

^ iWork, to me, seems more like Apple's answer to Microsoft Works.
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chucker
 
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2007-01-05, 20:42

Well, iWork sure is targeted to replace AppleWorks, and AppleWorks/ClarisWorks is, historically, the Microsoft Works competitor.
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zuschlag
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2007-01-06, 13:51

When looking af this screenshot I thought about Lotus's old Improv (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_Improv) spreadsheet app, which appeared intially on NextStep. Apparently Steve Jobs was very enthusiastic about it and gave the folks at Lotus a lot of input and feedback during its development. Mayby some of the ideas from Improv will re-emerge in Number (or what they choose to call it).
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blakbyrd
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2007-01-06, 15:15

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
Well, iWork sure is targeted to replace AppleWorks, and AppleWorks/ClarisWorks is, historically, the Microsoft Works competitor.
I know. I was kind of commenting on fgriz' post.
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bassplayinMacFiend
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2007-01-06, 18:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by fcgriz View Post
A lot of people disagree with you. I actually think Office for Mac is kind of a turd. Excel is the only product in the bunch that's worth a damn, IMO. It also doesn't include a database application (yes, I know, iWork doesn't either), and Access is used quite a lot by businesses.
Also, Office 2007 for Mac won't include VBA which will blow compatibility between PC/Mac Office files that use this feature.
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Enki
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2007-01-06, 20:15

Quote:
Originally Posted by bassplayinMacFiend View Post
Also, Office 2007 for Mac won't include VBA which will blow compatibility between PC/Mac Office files that use this feature.
Well, Office 2008 for Windows won't have it either. MS is killing VBA comparability across the line, it's hopelessly broken from a security standpoint and that's the main reason it's being retired. You can just think of Office Mac as ahead of the overall security curve.
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DK-Lach
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2007-01-08, 09:20

Quote:
Originally Posted by fcgriz View Post
Oh, good. I guess I missed that part. Numbers is good, I guess.

I really think this is the year we'll finally see the spreadsheet app included. With MS Office not going universal until next year at the earliest, people with basic productivity needs (like myself) would really like to dump Office
Use NeoOffice!

Full-featured, universal and free!
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