Talk:Table (information)

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It would help if you put a headline above your contributions[edit]

I'm really pleased that what started as an overly detailed aid to disamb. is turning into an interesting article. But my agenda re this article is completing cleanup of the disambiguation of Table.

IMO that cleanup will be facilitated if this article can be refactored into up to 3 articles:

  1. table (visual information interface)
  2. table (application program feature)
  3. table (programming technique)

(As i note at talk:Table, that also calls for at least a stub,

which may not need to be further mentioned here.)

Tentatively i suspect part of this article should go into Array rather than one of the articles already mentioned.

I'm going to try to outline that division, using section headings, on the article itself, rather than make a copy for this talk page; as the period of rapid editing by several of us may not be over, that may help us keep the refactoring plan in step with the development of the content, as any discussion of refactoring progresses. --Jerzy 19:55, 10 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Here's the same list, with the corresponding headings just added. User:Sewing's reorg fits well with what i'm picturing, and there's little that i'd want to shift from one section to another.

  1. table (visual information interface) -- Tables as visual aids to conveying information
  2. table (application program feature) -- Tables as features offered by application programs
  3. table (programming technique) -- Tables as a technique used in programming computers

Interestingly enuf, i didn't look at the article while listing the three titles, and i listed first my name for what she/her put first, the largest one; only the other two, the short ones, did i put in reverse order. -- Jerzy 22:44, 10 Oct 2003 (UTC)

(Speaking of cleanup, my apologies to User:Patrick: i not only broke his contribution, but also left the pieces lying all over the kitchen floor, in my edit at 03:13 (7:13 UTC?) 10 Oct 2003 of Table. Especially since that was a consequence of my wrong-headed effort to refactor paper and on-screen tables into separate subtopics; i now see that as a poor substitute for distinguishing form (paper and software) from information structure (whose communication is what makes tables valuable). Perhaps the info structure is more challenging in what we are willing to tackle with digital aids, but that doesn't make the paper/software distinction useful. I no longer care much whether paper continues even to be mentioned -- tho i'm not sure we still have enuf of Patrick's contribution on how a schedule book gets additional dimensions after running out of perpendicular directions.) --Jerzy 19:55, 10 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Having added the section headings, i find myself less sure whether 1 and 2 are separate; perhaps they should stay together, as the logical and physical aspects of tables, unless a stronger need for separation arises. --Jerzy 06:14, 13 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I've marked with double slashes (//) material more suited to Array, and edited out already some of it that i contributed. My reason for not finding it helpful here amounts, i think, to this:

  • Visually-oriented tables and mathematical arrays each have many aspects, but share few of them, e.g.:
    • While our familiarity with 2-D tables is of some value in gaining or improving our grip on abstract mathematical arrays, the reverse is hardly true (since we're hardly ever concerned with our visual tables' matrix products or determinants), and the purposes of a discussion of tables are burdened rather than enhanced by bringing mathematics in.
    • Worse yet, my own folderol about any countable number of dimensions doesn't reflect any knowledge on my part of even a mathematical application of infinite-dimensional matrices, let alone my imagining, even in the abstract, a sense of where the visual element in a table would contribute anything by going beyond the handful of dimensions that are practical to demonstrate.

I've also reversed the order of the 2nd and 3rd sections (which matches up with the 1/2/3 partition i've mentioned earlier), to help visualize how the 1st and 2nd can comfortably stay together as sections of one article. --Jerzy 08:40, 2003 Oct 13 (UTC)

It has been almost a year since anybody worked on this article. I am removig the ugly double slashes, if someone wants to see what they were, they can look at the history. --Fastfission 15:30, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

It seems that an article on tables should have an example of a table. Maybe it seems fairly obvious, but I think it's worth including. I'd do it myself but I don't know the markup for it yet. --Tsuji 18:04, 13 August 2006 (UTC)


Undertaking a re-edit of this article for: 1) tone; 2) clarity; 3)organization; 4)content. dr.ef.tymac 15:32, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

  • table (simple) and table (multi-dimensional) alternate representation examples (table representations ;; table syntax ;; table examples).
  • formal (math) terminology section (eg k-tuple an ordered set of k values vector of degree k)
  • note about alternate notations and syntax (eg different ways to represent the same raw data (xml, wiki, html, spreadsheet, etc etc)
  • see what links here and reconcile and unify content that is sporadically strewn about
  • fix up and repurpose commented-out stuff (if applicable) dr.ef.tymac 16:46, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

simple vs. multi-dimensional table[edit]

This needs to be greatly clarified. Right now it's pretty much meaningless. I have no idea what this is trying to say, so I can't edit it.-- (talk) 21:57, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

I am aware that in computer science and in maths there is an annoying difference in usage of the word "dimension". A single value is a scalar (monodimentional vector, 1 by 1 dimensional matrix, 0th order tensor), a list of n-values (array of size n) is a vector of n-dimensions (or n by 1 dimensional matrix, 1st order tensor), a table of n by m values (2-dimentional array or a LoL= list of list) is a matrix of n-by-m dimensions (2nd order tensor) while a cube-like table is a tensor. Is that what is meant here?! (Regarding this terminology problem, there is even a scientific paper which got it wrong... Pasamontes, A. and S. Garcia-Vallve, Use of a multi-way method to analyze the amino acid composition of a conserved group of orthologous proteins in prokaryotes. BMC Bioinformatics, 2006. 7: p. 257, they call a 3rd order tensor a matrix of dimension 3).


I think it would be valuable to find out when displaying data in tables first began to be used (in printed form). Possibly it began with just ruling lines down a page. martyvis (talk) 03:18, 1 February 2016 (UTC)