Left() and Right() functions not working properly

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RichardP
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Left() and Right() functions not working properly

Post by RichardP » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:56 pm

I installed SO 2016 recently and started working with a spreadsheet I created a couple of years ago with SO 2012 and update regularly.

I noticed the left() and right() functions don't work properly.

LEFT("abcd",2) returns "a" and LEN(LEFT("abcd",2)) returns 1.

RIGHT("abcd",3) returns "bc" and LEN(RIGHT("abcd",3)) returns 2.

This is a problem, and I'm sure it wasn't a problem in SO 2012. What gives?

Robin Holt
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Re: Left() and Right() functions not working properly

Post by Robin Holt » Sun Sep 20, 2015 5:40 pm

The MID() function doesn't seem to be working properly either. From what I can tell by executing from the backup directory, this error may have been introduced with service pack 742.

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XL-Dennis
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Re: Left() and Right() functions not working properly

Post by XL-Dennis » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:31 pm

Hi,

First, I can confirm it and it should be related to the latest patch 742.

But when testing with numbers the functions shows the correct numbers.
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Kind regards,
Dennis

RichardP
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Re: Left() and Right() functions not working properly

Post by RichardP » Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:23 pm

@XL-Dennis, I'm not sure what you mean by "when testing with numbers the functions shows the correct numbers". Left(), right(), and mid() are string functions.

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XL-Dennis
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Re: Left() and Right() functions not working properly

Post by XL-Dennis » Tue Sep 22, 2015 11:01 am

Hi again,

I usually take a broader perspective when it comes to bugs etc. I simple added numbers in one column and then applied the string functions to them.
sshot-2.png
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Kind regards,
Dennis

Alfred
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Re: Left() and Right() functions not working properly

Post by Alfred » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:29 pm

As Robin mentioned, and as your screenshot shows, the MID() function is also broken.
La perfection est atteinte non quand il ne reste rien à ajouter, mais quand il ne reste rien à enlever.
(Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.)
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944)

RichardP
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Re: Left() and Right() functions not working properly

Post by RichardP » Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:10 pm

@XL-Dennis, this is a good exposition of the problem.

SoftMaker, how in the world did an obvious bug like this escape detection in your quality control process? Three pretty basic spreadsheet functions don't work in a production release? Now I'm wondering what other functions don't work, not just here but in the database, too.

This is a serious lapse. I can't use a spreadsheet product if I have no confidence that the functions don't work properly, and I can't recommend a company that doesn't catch a bug like this in testing. SoftMaker needs to address this immediately. Their internal controls are obviously inadequate. Someone's head ought to roll. Oh, and by the way, fix the spreadsheet functions.

msteinborn
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Re: Left() and Right() functions not working properly

Post by msteinborn » Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:20 pm

RichardP wrote:Oh, and by the way, fix the spreadsheet functions.
The spreadsheet functions have already been fixed. I know that 'cause I've got a hotfix from SoftMaker fixing that issue.

sven-l
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Re: Left() and Right() functions not working properly

Post by sven-l » Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:28 pm

Robin Holt wrote:The MID() function doesn't seem to be working properly either. From what I can tell by executing from the backup directory, this error may have been introduced with service pack 742.
This has been solved by our developers and should work better with the next service pack.
Sven Leßmann
SoftMaker Software GmbH

RichardP
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Re: Left() and Right() functions not working properly

Post by RichardP » Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:19 pm

sven-l wrote:This has been solved by our developers and should work better with the next service pack.
Sven, thanks for the info.

This is for SoftMaker corporate: How long has this been a known problem, and why was there nothing posted about it on this forum until now? When is the new service pack scheduled for release?

sven-l
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Re: Left() and Right() functions not working properly

Post by sven-l » Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:25 pm

We will release the new service pack within the next weeks. We have to test it first.
Sven Leßmann
SoftMaker Software GmbH

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XL-Dennis
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Re: Left() and Right() functions not working properly

Post by XL-Dennis » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:19 pm

Richard,

Given my 30 years relation with spreadsheets my explanation would simple be that these functions are not so widely use.

I know myself when I was part of the beta program for MS Excel that my main focus was on "calculation" and not "string manipulation".

But I agree, it's very seriously and raise questions about the product and its quality...

Sven, a curious question, is all test only done inhouse?
------------------------------------------------
Kind regards,
Dennis

RichardP
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Re: Left() and Right() functions not working properly

Post by RichardP » Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:31 am

XL-Dennis wrote:Given my 30 years relation with spreadsheets my explanation would simple be that these functions are not so widely use.

I know myself when I was part of the beta program for MS Excel that my main focus was on "calculation" and not "string manipulation".

But I agree, it's very seriously and raise questions about the product and its quality...
I don't use spreadsheets a lot, but when I do, I often use string functions. Maybe my usage is atypical, I don't know.

Regardless, EVERY spreadsheet function ought to be subject to regression testing. Either SoftMaker isn't doing that or their regression testing process failed. Either way, as XL-Dennis rightly says, it raises questions about the product and its quality. SoftMaker ought to tell us why the bug wasn't caught and what steps they are taking to address the regression testing issue so as to restore confidence in PlanMaker (and, by extension, BaseMaker). I'm happy that the bug will be fixed in the next service pack in a few weeks, per Sven, but that doesn't address the underlying concern of SotMaker's internal controls.

If this error had been in Excel instead of in PlanMaker, people would be going nuts all over the world. If SoftMaker wants to position SoftOffice as a viable alternative to MS Office, they can't release a product with this kind of a bug, and not publicly address it until a casual user finds it -- how many weeks or months later? If you want to play with the big boys then you have to have a big boy infrastructure.

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