I was a (lightweight) user of Lotus Improv 2.0, and now I’m a Quantrix beta tester. Hooray! A *sensible* spreadsheet program at last, and for a modern environment. I’m testing on Windows XP, and Quantrix adapts nicely to the XP look and feel, at least in most respects.
The fact that clicking on a non-input cell scrolls the formula pane to the relevant formula is *very* nice. It serves as an “Explain” feature that tells you why a number is what it is. If Improv did this, I don’t remember it.
I am very glad to see that Quantrix models are stored as gzipped XML. This will make it easy to construct them and extract things from them using XSLT and similar tools. Although it’s fairly easy to figure out the model, it would be nice to have a RELAX NG or W3C XML Schema definition of it as well.
What I miss most is Improv’s ability to infer patterns of item names. When I set up an item named 2003, doing Insert Item gives it a useless name like Year2 instead of correctly defaulting to 2004. I hope this will be fixed ASAP, as it makes creating sequences of items significantly harder.
Similarly, there seems to be no way to bulk-create items. If you pasted a string containing line breaks into an item name, Improv automatically split it up into multiple items and gave them each a single-line name. Q just throws away the line breaks. This means that given a list of items in some other document, each Q item must be created laboriously by hand.
Another irritant is that you can’t rearrange items by dragging and dropping. In particular, getting an item to be first in its category is *very* annoying: the only way I’ve found so far is to Cut it, Paste it on the current first item (which makes it the second item), then Cut the first item and Paste it onto the new first item (the one you just moved). This sucks big wind.
I was a heavy weight user of IMPROV, I ran a school accounts system using IMPROV for 5 years. I still have it loaded on my current computer. It was while looking nostagically at the latest IMPROV posts on the web that someone suggested QUANTRIX.
It looks like IMPROV and so I will try it.
I would have thought IBM would have murdered you for making this product.