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Volume 13 / Issue 6

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Programming through Spreadsheets and Tabular Abstractions

Carlos Henrique Q. Forster (Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica, Brazil)

Abstract: The spreadsheet metaphor has, over the years, proved itself valuable for the definition and use of computations by non-programmers. However, the computation model adopted in commercial spreadsheets is still limited to non-recursive computations and lacks abstraction mechanisms that would provide modularization and better reuse (beyond copy and paste). We investigate these problems by identifying a minimal set of requirements for recursive computations, designing a spreadsheet-based language with an abstraction definition mechanism, prototyping an interpreter and evaluating it with examples.

Keywords: abstraction, call-by-need, end-user programming, lazy structures, recursion, spreadsheet languages

Categories: D.1.1, D.1.7, D.2.6, D.3.3, F.1.1, H.1.2