[R] Gnumeric - 1 Excel - ?

Marc Schwartz MSchwartz at medanalytics.com
Thu Feb 26 04:57:04 CET 2004

Hi all,

As happens from time to time, discussions on this list appear regarding
the use of popular spreadsheets for statistical analysis. One such
thread (post of mine) is here:


While not advocating such use, these discussions have referenced
articles that provide independent reviews of these applications and
issues of accuracy, etc.

Based upon a posting to Linux Today
(http://linuxtoday.com/news/2004022600226OSBZGN), I became aware this
evening of a new paper by the well known B.D. McCullough, who has
published many such reviews of both spreadsheets and other statistical

In the latest paper (pdf available from
http://www.csdassn.org/software_reports.html), Prof. McCullough reviews
Gnumeric as an example of how an open source project has responded to
prior criticism of issues, while raising well known issues with Excel,
at least through XP. He leaves open to further research, any
improvements to Excel 2003.

One lingering criticism is Gnumeric's RNG, however Prof. McCullough (who
references Prof. Ripley's 1990 PRNG paper) indicates in this article
that the Gnumeric team has incorporated the Mersenne Twister to a beta
version of Gnumeric, which may already have been released by now. This
modification ameliorates this concern.

For those wishing to stay abreast of such issues, this new paper may be
of interest. It puts the open source efforts of the Gnumeric team
(http://www.gnome.org/projects/gnumeric/) in a very favorable light.

Best regards,

Marc Schwartz

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