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    Announcing the Tableau Calculation Reference Library

    James Baker
      Have you ever thought to yourself, whilst trying to write a calculation, "I'm sure someone else must have done this already..." and wished that you could just grab what they've written? I know I have. In that spirit, I'm going to be incubating what I call the Tableau Calculation Reference Library, a place to find and reuse the best efforts of others' productions in the Tableau calculation language. The TCRL will consist of a set of content web pages, open to commentary, on both built-in calc language functions and complex named calculations that express common concepts or tasks. I refer to my role as "incubating" because I neither can nor desire to write every useful calculation known to man -- this can only truly succeed as a community effort. Most of the value of this library will come not from the initial page content for a particular function or calculation, but from the comments from you and others saying "Don't forget this detail!" or "And you can extend this further by...", etc. Submissions of entirely new calculation pages will also be very welcome. As for the implementation, we're going to start small and low-tech. There will be a new "Tableau Calculation Reference Library" forum appearing very shortly. I'll be the only one creating new posts there for now(using a consistent format maintained by me in order to make upgrades/transformations easier in the medium-term future). Each function or calc page will be a separate post, and comments, critiques, and additions are encouraged. The plan is to give the TCRL its own separate home after 6.0 is released and we make some website technology improvements. I'm dreaming this up as I go along, so please feel free to reply here with any design ideas you have. I'm hoping to do some cool things like:
      • Have a navigable/browsable tree to go from concepts to calculations
      • Auto-link from function pages to all the calculations that use that function
      • Bubble-up the most useful contributions by voting
      • Syntax highlighting that matches Tableau Desktop
      • Perhaps integrate the TCRL directly into Tableau Desktop some day?
      Submissions for new calcs are welcome even now, as a post in this (Calculations) forum with a title prefix of "TCRL:". The page format of content pages will probably evolve a few times as I/we figure out how best to codify things like "your field name here" and keys for which fields are of which type. It may take several weeks or months for us to go from nothing to something useful, but here's to a future where all of our lives are made a little bit easier.
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