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TOPIC: Structural Engineering Spreadsheets from the US
LQEngineer (User)
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Structural Engineering Spreadsheets from the US 11 Years, 8 Months ago Karma: 4  
John Doyle,
First - I received my newsletter today and have to tell you that I too am a Martin fan. My favorite is a 1990 OMC28 - a Guitar of the Month that my wife gave me on our 10th anniversary. I am a fingerstylist and love Blues to Celtic including a big fan of John Renbourne.

I am also a structural engineering consultant in the US (Licensed PE in California) who has written a large spreadsheet for Wind and Seismic lateral load distribution based on the original 97 UBC. I am revising it now for the 2006 IBC that is to be adopted here in California next January (2008).

My spreadsheets are public domain - I don't have an interest in selling them. I would, however, like to have other users who are handy in spreadsheet programing, improve the spreadsheet or make if Metric compatible and donate the improvements back to public domain.

I've been doing this for 21 years and am the co-creator of the SEAINT (Structural Engineers Association International) e-mail distribution listservice that now has over 15,000 subscribers. This too is free (www.seaint.org) and intended to bring structural's from around the world together to improve peer review and quality of construction issues.

I would like to see my spreadsheet posted in numerous locations when I have it finished some time toward the end of the year. My goal is also to use an Online Blog to create the user's guide for the spreadsheet.

There are no macros, programing language and I am stripping out ActiveX controls I used prior to Excel XP in lieu of the newer embedded pull down menu choices. The spreadsheet sticks to the basics as far as Excel function uses for conditional statements. I want to keep it simple but attractive to allow more people to improve it and give it back to the profession for a reliable tool.

Reliability is the most important issue since this is the one concern that most people will criticize public domain software about. They feel that because it is free it can't be accurate or reliable. I disagree since most of us have spent years volunteering out time based on our love of creating the tools.

I do have some who want to beta test and I am thankful for this - most of my spreadsheets were written in the process of working on projects and this is how they evolved - never do manually what you can automate accurately.

I am not looking for profits - just would like to have something to leave the community by the time I am ready to retire (I'm 57 years old now). You write about the possibility of charging for tools and I don't like the idea since it binds you to the community to make promises that are not easy to live up to if you design for a living. I tried the sales route years ago and while the spreadsheets were accurate, most of the questions I wasted my time on was using the basic spreadhseet software rather than how to input or interprete the input on my own structural worksheets.

I wish to keep it free, but I would not mind some credit for what I worked hard to donate to my profession.

Regards and keep playing
Dennis S Wish, PE

Martin OMC-28
Taylor 915 (received from Ben Harper after retrofiting his grandfather's store in Clairmont California)
Guild Bluesbird (low serial - original) with Fender Blues Deluxe tweed amp (original - not the reissue).
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JohnDoyle[Admin] (Admin)
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Gender: Male MoreVision Location: LEEDS, WEST YORKSHIRE, UK Birthdate: 1965-02-24
Re:Structural Engineering Spreadsheets from the US 11 Years, 8 Months ago Karma: 494  
Dennis, a kindred spirit (calcs and guitars - doubly exasperating!). You are clearly doing fantastic work at SEAINT and quite a lot of your guys have signed up here too following a post in the SEAINT forum from Vish.

If ExcelCalcs helps you get your good work out there then I am delighted to support your initiative in anyway I can. You may be interested in some of the enhancements to the Excelcalcs site that will be taking place over the next couple of weeks. Another Excelcalcs administrator (Katie) is working away linking the repository items with the discussion forum (see new style repository entry - there will be a discussion page for every calculation in the repository). I am hoping that this will catalyse user discussions and interaction. I believe that it could be a useful feature to give authors better quality feedback. If you upload your calculations at ExcelCalcs you have the option of subscribing to the forum topics to be kept informed about any new user comments on your excel files.

I particularly endorse your approach of keeping logic outside of 'VBA' and in native Excel - it is about transparency for me and if I am going to feel confident about using someone else's calculation I need to see exactly how it is working.
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