Browsing the list of Excel worksheet functions, compelled me to designate one the least necessary. Soon, one rose above the rest: SQRTPI
Returns the square root of (number * pi).
So trivial is SQRTPI’s implementation, I don’t know why it was ever included as a core worksheet function. Where is this function even useful? Tenth-grade geometry students’ spreadsheets?
Thinking more led me to the conclusion that these core functions must be:
- Impossible to implement without the function (RAND),
- used frequently enough in general computing, convenience compels an addition (RANDBETWEEN), or
- not generally used, but used frequently in a supported field (POISSON).
I’m sure everyone on the Excel team agrees with me on this, too; SQRTPI has no business being in the core spreadsheet functions, yet I’m sure its justification is “backward compatibility.” Now the question is not, “Why is SQRTPI in Excel?” but, “When did SQRTPI first get added to spreadsheet applications’ repertoire?” Anybody know?
Some API writer has infected us with SQRTPI, probably without thinking twice about it. It’s not the worst outcome in the world, but now we have this to show for that programmer’s lack of forethought.