Florinda Ella May 1, 2021 Spreadsheet
Meta programming is writing of programs by other programs. The purpose of this is to provide a cascading series of layers that translate a relatively easy to use visual representation of a problem to be modelled, into code that can be run by present day compilers and interpreters. This is to make it easier for computer literate non-programmers to specify instructions to a computer, without learning and writing code in computer languages. To achieve this, any layer of software or information must be able to read the code or the information represented in any other. Code and information are only separated out as a matter of design choice to aid human comprehension, they can be represented in the same way using the same kinds of open standard languages. The methods used for this representation and translation are being researched.
Small businesses can also benefit from professionally produced bookkeeping spreadsheets that have been specifically arranged not just to produce a list of income and expenses but also in a way that analyze that information in the way the small business requires it. There are two main requirements of the way the financial records are analyzed being to produce a financial profit and loss account for the business on a periodic basis but also to provide the totals of the categories required for taxation purposes.
By choosing ready-made spreadsheet solutions instead of using spreadsheet-generating programs, business owners can economize time and also reduce costs substantially. Ready-made spreadsheet solutions are available in a wide range of formats, serving for a variety of predefined purposes. They are the ideal tools for companies who lack the financial resources and / or the staff required for generating spreadsheet solutions with specific programs. At present, the most requested types of ready-made spreadsheet solutions are ”Spreadsheets for Small Business” and the subcategory ”Spreadsheets for Actors”.
Panko (2000) suggests that “Given data from recent field audits, most large spreadsheets probably contain significant errors.” The most recent audit he cites found errors in at least 86% of spreadsheets audited. In 1997 Panko reported that 90% of the spreadsheets audited in a study carried out by Coopers and Lybrand were found to have errors. In ‘Automatic Generation and Maintenance of Correct Spreadsheets?‘ Erwig et al (2006) cite a figure of 90% from Rajalingham et al (2001) ‘Classification of Spreadsheet Errors‘. ‘Given the billions of spreadsheets in use, this leaves the worlds of business and finance horribly vulnerable to programming mistakes‘ (Scanlan et al, 2006). The studies by Paine, and Panko show that the chances of any given spreadsheet cell containing an error are somewhere between 0.3 and 3%, so that a spreadsheet of only 100 cells has about a 30% chance of having one error or more. Aragones et al (2006) state – ‘Desktop spreadsheet users are very creative in their adaptations, but distributed spreadsheets have the problem of distributed, inconsistent inputs and distributed results.
It is proposed that software and information represented by the software, be separated but represented in the same open standard searchable way. Software and the information it manipulates are just information that has different uses, there is no reason why software must be represented differently from other information. So XML can be used both as the information input and output by the application, and for the definition of the model itself. The model can read or write information it represents, and the information can read from or write to the model. This recursion makes ‘meta-programming‘ possible.
From businesses to non-profit organizations, spreadsheets are used in different sectors, ranging from Entertainment to Culture to Education and to Health to name but a few. With the emergence of home-based businesses and an increase in the number of entrepreneurs in the marketplace, such software is now highly sought-after among home users as well.