Trending March 2024 # Microsoft’s Excel Team Talks Visual Basic Vs. Javascript And Mac Woes In Reddit Ama # Suggested April 2024 # Top 3 Popular

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The questions plaguing users of Microsoft Excel—JavaScript support, slow Mac development cycles, the lack of Easter eggs—all apparently come down to one thing: prioritizing developer resources.

Yes… and no, Microsoft’s team replied. “We love VBA, and we plan to keep it around for the foreseeable future,” “Dan,” one of the members of the team, responded. “As we add new features to Windows Desktop and Mac versions of Excel (where VBA is supported), we’ll continue to add [an] object model for those features, so you have programmable access to all of the capabilities of the application.”

Why this matters: Legacy code can be a nightmare for developers, but it’s even worse when a generation of programmers depends on a particular toolset or API. Microsoft Office arguably remained stale for decades, with incremental changes. Microsoft’s having to make some tough choices about what to retain and what to jettison, even as its developer resources are being asked to support a growing number of platforms.

A more modern Excel

While Microsoft will continue to support VBA, it’s also working to make Excel more compatible with more modern object-oriented programming languages.

Microsoft is beginning to add support for JavaScript APIs, which will continually improve with monthly updates, the team added. “[W]e are actively working on dramatically extending that [JavaScript] API set to be in line with the existing VBA/COM object model,” “Dan” added. “The good news here is that the new APIs will work regardless of the Excel endpoint/device, which will mean that solutions will be much more universal than they are today.”

The problem, the Excel team said, is that Microsoft now has to support several platforms—Windows desktop, Windows mobile, Mac, iOS, Android, and the Web, among others—which implicitly prevents each platform from getting “caught up” with the others. Excel for the Mac, for example, has seriously lagged behind the PC, and even the most recent Excel 2024 for Mac processes calculations using just one core of a multicore machine. 

Like most of its apps and services, Microsoft uses its UserVoice platform to measure user demand, or at least the volume of complaints; for Excel feedback, you should use the Excel site. “We’re already tracking this request on on Excel’s UserVoice here,” the team wrote of the calculation restriction. “Restricting calc to a single core isn’t great for performance and we know that, so it’s safe to say this is on our radar.”

However, it looks like one irritation will remain in place: Excel’s annoying tendency to treat leading zeroes—such as on a tracking or billing number, like “00015632”—as excess that should be chopped off. The default “trick,” the team recommends, is to put an apostrophe in front of the first zero, as a tip that the number should be read as text.

Oh, and don’t go hunting for Easter eggs in the latest versions of Excel, like the flight simulator built into Excel 97. “Now it’s an Office policy not to include Easter eggs (for a bunch of reasons),” “Dan” wrote. “It’s a bummer sometimes, but we still do get to have fun on April 1 sometimes.”

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Mac Vs. Pc Pros And Cons List

For example, if you own an Xbox One, a Windows Phone, a Surface tablet and all the other computers in your home are Windows PCs, then it might be more convenient to stick with a PC. On the other hand, if you own an iPhone, an iPad, an Apple TV, and an AirPrint enabled printer, then a Mac would fit in really well with those other devices.

Table of Contents

Additionally, even if you end up with a mixed environment with Windows and Mac devices, it’s pretty easy to share data across devices. It’s also fairly easy to access Mac files from a Windows PC and vice versa. You can even connect a Mac-formatted drive to a Windows PC and view the files directly. If you’re new to Mac, you’ll be happy to know that OS X has an equivalent for pretty much every feature in Windows.

So, without further ado, let’s go into the pros and cons for each platform, which includes the hardware and software. Obviously, this is a very biased and opinionated article, so feel free to share your thoughts if they are different.

Mac Pros and Windows Cons

Macs have a built-in program called BootCamp, which allows you to install Windows, Linux or other operating systems in addition to OS X . Setting up a dual boot system in OS X is infinitely easier than it is in Windows. It’s also super easy to switch between the two operating systems.

Macs work better with other Apple products in terms of software. This includes features like Handoff, iMessage, iCloud, iCloud Drive, iCloud Photo Library, iCloud Keychain, Find My iPhone, etc. Microsoft has tried to copy this, but only partially. 

Macs are less complicated and more intuitive to use. This is a very debatable point and the reason why I also list it as a con in the section below. If you’ve always been a Windows user, it can initially be counter-intuitive to use, however, I’ve found that it’s more logical once you get used to it. 

Even though Macs can get viruses or malware, the number of threats is still significantly less than for Windows just because the Windows base is so much larger. 

Apple has excellent customer support, AppleCare warranty programs, and exclusive Apple Stores where you can take your Mac or other Apple products for repairs, training or other issues.

Macs are sleek and visually appealing. To get something close from PC manufacturers usually ends up negating the higher cost factor for Apple products. 

Speaking of cost, Macs are more expensive than PCs, but they also hold their resale value far better than PCs.

Apple computers have some of the highest customer satisfaction rates in the industry. When you purchase a Mac, you are getting a high-quality machine. This can be true for PCs also, but with so many manufacturers and configurations, getting the best quality can be more difficult. 

Macs can read NTFS or FAT formatted hard drives. Windows cannot read Mac formatted drives unless you install a third-party program.

The iMac, the only Mac desktop other than the Mac Pro, is an all-in-one computer that you can get with a 4K or 5K display, something that really doesn’t exist in the Windows market at all unless you get an ultra-expensive custom rig. There is the HP Envy, but it isn’t as good as the iMac.

PC Pros and Mac Cons

PCs are manufactured by many different companies, resulting in a huge selection of devices with a wide variation in prices. With Apple, you have only a few choices with set prices. In terms of desktops, Apple has only one geared towards consumers, so if the cost is prohibitive, a Windows desktop will be a much better choice. 

PCs are more up-gradable and configurable. On Macs, you can usually only upgrade the RAM or hard drive and that’s it. Pretty much every component on a desktop PC can be switched out. When purchasing PCs, you also have a lot more options that you can configure including processors, cases, memory, hard drives, ports, displays, etc. 

Overall, there is a lot more software available for Windows than for PC. The opposite is true when you look at smartphones, but we’re talking about computers here. There is usually an equivalent Mac program for every Windows app, but they are not always as good.

Windows based PCs may have greater backwards compatibility. A five year old PC can easily run Windows 10 without any issue. A five year old Mac can run the latest version of OS X, but half the features will be missing and things don’t run as smoothly. For some reason, you always need the latest Mac in order to utilize all the new features in OS X.

PCs are the absolute best option when it comes to gaming. Macs simply do not come with as powerful graphics cards, even high-end machines like the Mac Pro.

Worldwide, most computers are PCs and Windows is the most popular operating system by far. This means the community is much larger and you can get more support for software and hardware.

In terms of accessories, PCs have a lot more options and those options are usually cheaper.

Though OS X is simpler, that’s not always the best for some people. Windows is more complex and powerful than OS X.

PCs can be configured with hardware that Apple considers obsolete. Some newer Apple machines don’t even come with CD/DVD drives. It also seems Apple keeps reducing the number of ports on each newer machine. The new Macbook has one USB port and one headphone jack and that’s it.

PCs work great with a whole slew of other products too. For example, you can stream your Xbox or PlayStation games to Windows.

These are some of the major pros and cons when it comes to Mac and PCs. There are a ton of other smaller pluses and minuses, but I don’t think those warrant that much attention when discussing this topic in general terms. Obviously, if you’re a professional graphics designer, then looking at specific compatible hardware and software would make more sense. 

The point of this article is not to say one platform is better than the other, because that is simply not true. If you are a college student and the only thing that matters to you is your budget, then a Mac will probably not be best choice, regardless of the other benefits. In my opinion, if you have never tried a Mac, you should ask a friend or family member to loan you a device to see how you feel about it. Just about everyone has used Windows, so you pretty much know what you are getting in terms of software.

Micro And Visual Content = Maximum Impact

Visual, real-time content must move up the agenda

I said something in a meeting this week, it’s pure opinion to be honest, but I think I can back it up and wanted to post about it this week:- “brands that can leverage real-time, visual content will find themselves market leaders.” Would you agree or disagree?

A move to visual content since 2012?

I also remembered a great Altimeter report, again from 2012 that revealed a deep confidence that marketers saw the importance of visual content, social and mobile. We’d have to say that was well founded as it turned out?:

Equally, this 2012 research revealed that, amongst a lot of other insight, 44% of users are more likely to engage with brands posting imagery in social channels, over those that don’t. That’s 2012, we’ve come along way in two short years. This quote is useful to summarise the case:

“Blogs were one of the earliest forms of social networking where people were writing 1,000 words… When we moved to status updates on Facebook, our posts became shorter. Then micro-blogs like Twitter came along and shortened our updates to 140 characters. Now we are even skipping words altogether and moving towards more visual communication with social-sharing sites like Pinterest.” Dr. William J. Ward, Social Media professor at Syracuse University (2012)

The rise of micro, visual content

Since the observations above in 2012, we’ve seen visual content evolve faster than we’d imagined. Micro content, including short form video via Vine and Instagram, Snapchat and the established might of Facebook and Twitter, all provide means of visual communication and social sharing to the consumer, and with that consumer behaviour change marketers are having to get involved, albeit pretty slowly, considering?

So here I repeat my statement: “brands that can leverage real-time, visual content will find themselves market leaders.” All I’m saying in addition to the above evidence is that the visual content needs to also be of the moment as well, real-time – that relevance requires visual content and it has a deadline. I’ll spare the repetition of Oreo’s 2013 ‘dunk in the dark’ masterclass, and link here if that’s new to you. If it is, where have you been for a year!?

So what should brands do?

Glad you asked, because that’s what we’ve been discussing this week, and I’d like to share our thoughts and hear your reactions:

Mobile audience. I know, again, boring, mobile matters. Yet it bears repeating, your customer or consumer is on the end of a mobile, most likely glued to it. They can create and consume content on the fly. Imagine where we’ll be as computing power increases, and Gen-Y moves into the workforce. Right now, strategic planning for most of us must but content + mobile right at its centre.

Talent and process. You’re going to need lots of this, whether in-house and/or agency. Creating quality visual content is a fundamental way to earn a disproportionate share of consumer attention. That Oreo case study happened because talent and process combined under open leadership with a real-time mindset. They sought to be relevant. It’s unlikely that campaign led thinking from the 1960’s will serve us at all from here on, and nor will “hiring a journalist” either.

Visual imagery and high production values. Average content, visual or otherwise, won’t cut it. Your consumer is already looking at better stuff than most brands are creating. A 10 year old can film and edit video on a smart-phone, so what does that tell you about where the bar is? No, it’s higher than that.

Build your brand a platform. With consumers spread across a range of websites and channels, your brand platform (the combination of your owned and earned media) needs to be broad, to have consistency and quality, in order to be relevant. You’re going to have to ‘show up’ in more places, on more days, with relevant content.

Real-time conversation. It’s tempting to think that, with uncapped budget, you could ‘blast’ the market with your amazing video. Not really. It’s not practical or affordable, and nor is it relevant. We know social media is two-way, this requires you create content that serves at the right time, on the right outpost, and that’s ‘of the moment’. Being customer-led is no longer the option it may once have appeared to be.

Micro-content. High quality short form content is now the new standard for savvy brands. Easy to consume, a pleasure to look at it, and fleetingly relevant – about as good as you can hope in social? But build a process to make that possible everyday. Imagine the power of that? It’s good enough for Coke.

Content strategy. I think this is the key to making it work, otherwise there’s just too much to think about, and too much budget to waste. For efficiency of scale and consistency of message, content must be well equipped to travel across devices, platforms, formats, and media. Developing a content strategy that is made of modular content. When images, headlines, body copy, charts, photos and graphs can be assembled and reassembled to serve different functions on a variety of platforms and channels (e.g. swapping out elements to create appropriate messaging for a web site, Facebook and Twitter, as well as Instagram, Vine and YouTube). Brands and messages will have the consistency and resonance required, to rise above a the noise and stand out consistently.

Commercial sanity. It’s important to test new types of content across your owned and shared channels. To understand what works for you and your audience. You can also work with your influencers to co-create content with them or get your new content in their hands to share with their networks. Measure what happens, improve – at least nothing changes in this respect.

What do you think, what would you challenge or add to on the list above?

Understanding Call, Apply And Bind In Javascript

When it comes to JavaScript, there are three methods that are used to control the value of ‘this’ inside a function. These are: Call, Apply and Bind. Although they are similar in functionality, there are some key differences between them. In this article, we will explore the concept of Call, Apply and Bind in JavaScript, provide code examples to illustrate their usage, and explain related concepts that can help you understand the topic better.

What is the concept of Call, Apply and Bind?

Call, Apply and Bind are methods that are used to set the value of ‘this’ inside a function. When a function is invoked, the value of ‘this’ is determined by how the function is called. In other words, it depends on the context in which the function is executed. By using Call, Apply and Bind, we can change the value of ‘this’ to a specific object, which allows us to control how the function behaves.

Call

The Call method is used to call a function with a given ‘this’ value and arguments provided individually. It takes the object to be used as ‘this’ inside the function as the first argument, and the remaining arguments are the arguments to be passed to the function. Here is an example:

const person = { fullName: function() { return this.firstName + " " + this.lastName; } } const person1 = { firstName: "John", lastName: "Doe" } const person2 = { firstName: "Mary", lastName: "Doe" } console.log(person.fullName.call(person1)); console.log(person.fullName.call(person2));

In the example above, we have a ‘person’ object with a ‘fullName’ method. We also have two other objects, ‘person1’ and ‘person2’. We use the ‘call’ method to call the ‘fullName’ method with ‘person1’ and ‘person2’ as the ‘this’ value. This allows us to reuse the ‘fullName’ method for different objects.

Apply

The Apply method is similar to the Call method, but it takes an array of arguments instead of individual arguments. It also takes the object to be used as ‘this’ inside the function as the first argument. Here is an example:

const numbers = [5, 6, 2, 3, 7]; const maxNum = Math.max.apply(null, numbers); console.log(maxNum);

In the example above, we have an array of numbers. We use the ‘apply’ method to call the ‘Math.max’ method with the array of numbers as the arguments. This allows us to find the maximum number in the array.

Bind

The Bind method is used to create a new function with a specified ‘this’ value and arguments. It returns a new function that can be called later. It takes the object to be used as ‘this’ inside the function as the first argument, and the remaining arguments are the arguments to be passed to the function. Here is an example:

const person = { fullName: function() { return this.firstName + " " + this.lastName; } } const person1 = { firstName: "John", lastName: "Doe" } const person2 = { firstName: "Mary", lastName: "Doe" } const fullName1 = person.fullName.bind(person1); const fullName2 = person.fullName.bind(person2); console.log(fullName1()); console.log(fullName2());

In the example above, we have a ‘person’ object with a ‘fullName’ method. We also have two other objects, ‘person1’ and ‘person2’. We use the ‘bind’ method to create two new functions, ‘fullName1’ and ‘fullName2’, with ‘person1’ and ‘person2’ as the ‘this’ value. This allows us to reuse the ‘fullName’ method for different objects.

Related Concepts

There are some related concepts and methods that can help you understand Call, Apply and Bind better. These are:

Arrow Functions: Arrow functions do not have their own ‘this’ value. Instead, they use the ‘this’ value of the enclosing lexical scope. This means that they cannot be used with Call, Apply or Bind.

Function.prototype.call(): This is a method that is used to call a function with a given ‘this’ value and arguments provided individually. It is similar to the Call method, but it takes the function as the first argument instead of the object.

Function.prototype.apply(): This is a method that is used to call a function with a given ‘this’ value and arguments provided as an array. It is similar to the Apply method, but it takes the function as the first argument instead of the object.

Conclusion

In summary, Call, Apply and Bind are methods that are used to control the value of ‘this’ inside a function. Call is used to call a function with a given ‘this’ value and arguments provided individually, Apply is similar to Call but takes an array of arguments, and Bind is used to create a new function with a specified ‘this’ value and arguments. By understanding these methods, you can write more flexible and reusable code in JavaScript.

Storage Events And Event Handlers In Javascript

If you are a JavaScript developer, you must have heard of storage events and event handlers. They are essential concepts in JavaScript, which allow you to monitor changes made to the storage objects. In this article, we will dive into the details of storage events and event handlers, their usage in JavaScript with code examples, and related concepts that will help you understand them better.

What is a Storage Event?

A storage event is an event that is fired when a change is made to the storage area. The storage area can be either the localStorage or the sessionStorage. The localStorage stores data that persists even after the browser is closed, while the sessionStorage stores data for a single session.

When a change is made to the storage area, a storage event is fired on all windows that have the same origin as the window that made the change. The event is not fired on the window that made the change. The event contains the following properties:

key: the name of the key that was changed

oldValue: the old value of the key

newValue: the new value of the key

url: the URL of the document that made the change

What is an Event Handler?

An event handler is a function that is executed when an event is fired. In the case of storage events, you can create an event handler function that is executed when a storage event is fired. You can attach the event handler function to the window object using the addEventListener method.

Here is an example of how to attach an event handler function to the window object for the storage event:

window.addEventListener('storage', function(e) { console.log('storage event', e); });

In this example, we are attaching an anonymous function to the storage event. The function is executed when a storage event is fired. The function logs the event object to the console.

Usage of Storage Events and Event Handlers

Now that we understand what storage events and event handlers are let’s look at some practical examples of how to use them.

Example 1: Sharing Data between Tabs

One of the most common use cases for storage events and event handlers is sharing data between tabs. Let’s say you have an application that stores data in localStorage. If the user opens the application in multiple tabs, you want the data to be shared between the tabs. You can achieve this by attaching a storage event handler to the window object and updating the data in all tabs when a change is made.

Here is an example of how to achieve this:

window.addEventListener('storage', function(e) { if (e.key === 'my-data') { var data = JSON.parse(e.newValue); updateDataInAllTabs(data); } }); function updateDataInAllTabs(data) { }

In this example, we are attaching a storage event handler to the window object. When a change is made to the my-data key, the event handler function is executed. The function checks if the my-data key was changed and updates the data in all tabs using the updateDataInAllTabs function.

Example 2: Detecting Changes in localStorage

Another use case for storage events and event handlers is detecting changes in localStorage. Let’s say you have an application that stores user preferences in localStorage. If the user changes their preferences in one tab, you want to update the preferences in all tabs. You can achieve this by attaching a storage event handler to the window object and updating the preferences in all tabs when a change is made.

Here is an example of how to achieve this:

window.addEventListener('storage', function(e) { if (e.key === 'user-preferences') { var userPreferences = JSON.parse(e.newValue); updateUserPreferencesInAllTabs(userPreferences); } }); function updateUserPreferencesInAllTabs(userPreferences) { }

In this example, we are attaching a storage event handler to the window object. When a change is made to the user-preferences key, the event handler function is executed. The function checks if the user-preferences key was changed and updates the preferences in all tabs using the updateUserPreferencesInAllTabs function.

Conclusion

In conclusion, storage events and event handlers are essential concepts in JavaScript that allow you to monitor changes made to the storage objects. They are useful for sharing data between tabs and detecting changes in localStorage. By attaching a storage event handler to the window object, you can execute a function when a change is made to the storage area.

How—And Why—To Introduce Visual Note

Unlike conventional note-taking, which can “border on the edge of transcription,” allowing students to try more visual, interpretive methods of processing materials helps them “identify connections between topics and themes,” writes Nimah Gobir for KQED.

One technique known as sketchnoting—simple, hand-drawn renderings of things like facts, dates, or abstract concepts—allows students to respond to complex new ideas by engaging multiple parts of the brain simultaneously to deepen learning and retention, says Gobir. Instead of passively writing down everything a speaker is saying, the practice pushes students to actively process and make sense of what they’re learning.

“Sketchnoting doesn’t just lead to gains in keeping students’ attention, it’s a useful way for learners to organize and retain information,” she writes. “They’re actively listening and creating a visual representation of what they’re learning while continuing to stay engaged in class.”

Findings from a 2023 study back that up: Students who were asked to draw what they’d learned were nearly twice as likely to remember information than students who wrote the same information down. Drawing wins out because it allows information to be processed in multiple ways, explained Edutopia’s research editor Youki Terada: “When we draw, we encode the memory in a very rich way, layering together the visual memory of the image, the kinesthetic memory of our hand drawing the image, and the semantic memory that is invoked when we engage in meaning-making.”

Here are some ways to introduce visual note-taking to your students:

Rethink Your Paper: Note-taking doesn’t need to happen between the lines and within the margins of a sheet of notebook paper. The “more rigid structure of lines and lines of text” can bind the minds of some students, while the freedom to reimagine the space can free them, writes Gobir. Encourage students to play with spacing, vary text sizes, and add symbols anywhere on the page “to create a hierarchy of information that might be harder to capture in linear text.”

Start With a Little Practice: Not all students will welcome the idea of sketchnoting and other visual note-taking methods at first, so encourage them to start off just scribbling. Artist and educator Todd Berman has students “scribble for the duration of a song,” Gobir explains, which gets the creative juices flowing and creates a comfortable setting for the introduction of the concept. Berman then invites students to share what they’ve created with the class.

Develop a Symbolic Language: Educator Wendi Pillars has students “identify 10 key words or concepts” from the current learning materials and begin developing a visual library of shorthand—like an icon or character—to represent them, shares Gobir. Get students’ input for the library too, recommends Pillars, so “you have a co-created visual vocabulary that everybody can refer to when they take their own notes.” In time, students will develop their own vocabularies and visual note-taking styles independently.

Keep It Low-Fidelity: Communicate to your students that they don’t have to be accomplished artists to use visual note-taking techniques: The process isn’t about ensuring that the sketches and drawings look good, but that students find a way to tease out the relationships between topics and concepts. “It’s giving them permission to say, ‘You know what? Here’s the key concept. Here’s the key information,” explains Pillars, who says she emphasizes to students that there is no right or wrong way to take visual notes.

Skip the Grading: Sketchnoting, diagrams, freehand drawing, mind-mapping, and similar techniques are vehicles to get student thoughts down on paper—not practices meant to demonstrate their mastery of subject material. Educator Sarah Schroeder suggests focusing on grading what is “construct relevant,” or “avoiding measuring what is irrelevant or can’t be measured,” like creativity. Attaching a grade to visual note-taking might inhibit the student as they struggle to make sense of complex material, make them feel self-conscious, or simply be so subjective as to be meaningless—so provide feedback rather than a grade.

Join In: Modeling visual note-taking techniques for your students can be a great way to inspire them to try something new. Pillars uses her whiteboard and paper to show students how she visualizes her thoughts. “As we take the notes together, I will ask students, ‘How would you represent it?’” she shared with Gobir. “And they’ll shout out ideas like, ‘You could draw this or this!’ And sometimes I tell them ‘I can’t draw that! You want to come on up here and show [the class]?’”

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