To paraphrase Jonathan Coveney: The dream spreadsheet for 18xx PBEM would:
- Cause changes in the past spreadsheet tabs to flow forward to the future tabs.
- Create a new tab with one click.
I have created a large number of spreadsheets that meet this criteria. I have decided to call these spreadsheets “Dream Spreadsheets”.
This page is intended to document how to create and how to use dream spreadsheets. It also contains links to three other pages that talk about specific issues in creating dream spreadsheets. These pages are:
- Spreadsheet Formulas for 18xx
- Google Apps Scripts for 18xx
- 18xx Dream Spreadsheet Authorization Issue
Existing Dream Spreadsheets
There is a text file in my Google Docs Spreadsheet Templates directory that contains a list of the existing Dream Spreadsheets and their status. The process of creating dream spreadsheets has evolved as I have continued to create them. I'm trying to come up with some standards that I can follow in creating new spreadsheets. The most noticeable change in dream spreadsheets as the creation project process envolved is in the use of colors for the spreadsheet cells. My current thoughts in this matter are mentioned below.
Cell Background Colors
The data entry portion of a dream spreadsheet uses the same light grey and dark grey color pattern [used on alternate rows] that many pre-existing spreadsheets seem to use. The exact definitions of these colors are RGB(230,230,230) and RGB(179,179,179).
The formula portion of a dream spreadsheet uses the same light orange and dark orange color pattern [used on alternate rows] that many pre-existing spreadsheets seem to use. The exact definitions of these colors are RGB(255,204,153) and RGB(255,153,102).
The remaining cells on a dream spreadsheet use standard Google Sheets colors found on the second row of the Fill Color drop-down box on any Google sheet. Cyan is used for Headings and Yellow is used for Constants. These two colors do not use a light/dark color pattern.
NOTE: Players should only type in data entry cells.
I have started to always place the word "Players" in Cell A1 instead of the formula for the number of players. I moved this formula to Cell A2. This is because the default location for the cursor on opening a sheet is Cell A1 and the formula in the "fx" row can be confusing.
Independently of this document, Paul Zieske wrote a document explaining his take on creating Dream Spreadsheets.
I have included here a link to Paul's document which is stored in the Spreadsheet Templates folder.