Some afterthoughts on the use of Spreadsheets to work with Images
Although this project was a very solid attempt to start working with
images in a spreadsheet like context, in the end it didn't work out
too well because, often image analysis relies on grouping an
regrouping of elements. To understand this: suppose we have 4 data sets
which we want to align and compare to each other: we would like to
compare all those that belong to group 1 and 2 against those of group
3 and 4. However, two days later we want to see whether there is any
relation between groups 1/3 and 2/4. Such a simple change to the
analysis question directly requires the user to turn their spreadsheet
upside down. Potential solutions to this are adding extra 'selecting'
operators and so on, but in the end what one then does is teaching
those poor biologists to program; clearly something they are not cut
out for (keep on classifying things).
OF course the comment above is also valid for general purpose
spreadsheets, without the image part; and indeed, often you see people
laying out their spreadsheets in the most horrifying ways to get what
they need. E.g: we have 5 subtables of different sizes and want to
compare the averages of the columns of all tables. Try to do that
without INDEX and similar functions.