Issue 74556 - Link External data needs graphical user interface
Summary: Link External data needs graphical user interface
Alias: None
Product: Calc
Classification: Application
Component: open-import (show other issues)
Version: OOo 2.1
Hardware: Other All
: P3 Trivial with 8 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
: 74557 (view as issue list)
Depends on:
Reported: 2007-02-14 20:27 UTC by xandros1
Modified: 2013-08-07 15:12 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

See Also:
Latest Confirmation in: ---
Developer Difficulty: ---

Image of Excel's import external data screen (205.47 KB, text/plain)
2007-02-15 16:20 UTC, xandros1
no flags Details
JPEG Image of Excel's import external data screen (205.47 KB, image/jpeg)
2007-02-15 16:28 UTC, xandros1
no flags Details

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Description xandros1 2007-02-14 20:27:01 UTC
When linking to external data online, a graphical user interface (i.e. web
browser) is needed for obtaining information from the web.  

I would like to download stock qoutes from the internet, but when I link to the
web page from calc I get a list of about 50 tables to choose from.  This is not
user friendly.  Look at how Excel handles importing data from the internet. 
They give you a web browser from within Excel that will highlight all the tables
that have data that is available for downloading.  This way you can see which
table you want instead of having to guess the text number of it.   

Try this example in Excel:
Data> Import external data> new web query:  Here you will see a browser opened
up that allows you to search the internet for the info you want to import.  You
can see yellow arrows at the corners of each graph or table allowing you to
select the data.

Ooo needs this kind of an import feature for external data.
Comment 1 kpalagin 2007-02-15 07:53:11 UTC
please attach screenshot for how Excel does that. 
Comment 2 kpalagin 2007-02-15 07:54:32 UTC
*** Issue 74557 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 3 terrye 2007-02-15 10:57:18 UTC
Functionally the issue here is that the import routine lists the tables in the
form as HTML_n where n relates the nth table reference in the form.  The problem
form most users is that they have to use trial and error to work out which to
load as they have absolutely no cues.  In fact if you do a show source, find an
element in the table that you want and search back counting the "<table" tags,
this gives you the "n" you need.

A GUI would be nice as per Excel, but the main thing is that the user can simply
reference the table that is wanted.  A simpler functional alternative to the
full GUI might be to parse the DOM and append the text strings from the first
row so in the case of for example, instead of
you might get
HTML_13 Country Currency $US £Stg €Euro ¥Yen (x100) 

This is enough to allow you to choose the table.
Comment 4 xandros1 2007-02-15 16:20:27 UTC
Created attachment 43042 [details]
Image of Excel's import external data screen
Comment 5 xandros1 2007-02-15 16:26:48 UTC
You can see in the Excel screen shot that you can choose any one of the yellow
arrows scattered through out the page to select that table or cell.  In the
example shown, the table I have chosen is marked by the green checkbox and
highlighted with a gray box surrounding the table.  I  could have chosen any one
of the individual stock prices within the box.  But choosing the entire box
gives all info within the box.

This is much simpler to understand than a text list of 30+/- tables you would
get with OOo.  I wanted to show how OOo showed the same page but it would not
load this page for some reason.

Sorry first attachment didn't work I will try again.  Attachment is named Excel
Import data.
Comment 6 xandros1 2007-02-15 16:28:03 UTC
Created attachment 43043 [details]
JPEG Image of Excel's import external data screen
Comment 7 frank 2007-02-21 14:33:58 UTC
Not a defect but an enhancement request, therefore re-assigned to requirements.

Comment 8 sfnch 2007-07-17 21:49:43 UTC
Newbie fed up with 13 years of Excel - This Issue is a dealbreaker or it's back
I have to go.
Comment 9 hoserjoe 2007-07-18 03:02:12 UTC
I'm still unable to use OO Calc for most daily chores because of its weak data
import skill-set.  It looks like Excel is really the Calc of choice for these
tasks.  I'd really like to see Calc's skill-set expanded as the other users have