Spreadsheet systems are live programming environments. Both the data and the code are right in front you, and if you edit either of them, the effects are immediately visible. Unfortunately, spreadsheets lack mechanisms for abstraction, such as classes, function definitions etc. Programming languages excel at abstraction, but most mainstream languages or integrated development environments (IDEs) do not support the interactive, live feedback loop of spreadsheets. As a result, exploring and testing of code is cumbersome and indirect. In this paper we propose a method to bring both worlds closer together, by juxtaposing ordinary code and spreadsheet-like grids in the IDE, called TrueGrid. Using TrueGrid spreadsheet cells can be programmed with a fully featured programming language. Spreadsheet users then may enjoy benefits of source code, including added abstractions, syntax highlighting, version control, etc. On the other hand, programmers may leverage the grid for interactive exploring and testing of code. We illustrate these benefits using a prototype implementation of True- Grid that runs in the browser and uses Javascript as a programming language.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-50230-4_29
Series Lecture Notes in Computer Science/Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence
Conference STAF 2016 Collocated Workshops
Citation
Hermans, F, & van der Storm, T. (2016). TrueGrid: Code the table, tabulate the data. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science/Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-50230-4_29