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From: John Darrington
Subject: GUI
Date: Sat, 5 Nov 2005 08:18:15 +0800
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.4i

Well I've done some more work to make the GUI  a bit more tolerant to bad
input.  I think most scenarios should now write valid SAV files.

The only problem I found was writing string variables which have a width 
larger than 8.  I'm not sure what the problem is here.

Anyway, I'm going to have to catch up on my daytime work now ....

Regarding your earlier comments about the general direction of Psppire,
here are the phases of development I envisage:

Phase 1:  The outcome of this phase is a tool which can be used to
        edit/browse/view/read/write *small* system files.
        Such a tool might alone be enough to encourage some users to 
        try PSPP --- the most frightening spss syntax is the DATA LIST

Phase 2:  I said "small" in the above paragraph, because there'll be no
        use of casefiles.  All cases are explicitly stored in the data
        sheet.  Phase 2 will integrate our casefile object into Psppire,
        which will make handling of really big data sets manageable. And
        it'll open the way for the next phase ....

Phase 3:  Add the ability perform transformations on the data (eg. SORT,
        AGGREGATE etc).  I suggest the best way to do this is to have
        the GUI generate a syntax string eg "SORT CASES BY /x" and pass
        this request to an external daemon, similar to the way Ben
        suggested earlier.  The exact details of this protocol will have
        to be worked out --- eg it'll be necessary to specify a socket
        or pipe to stream the casefile from the gui to the backend, and

Phase 4:  Add procedures (eg EXAMINE, T-TEST, REGRESSION).  This will
        work much the same way as Phase 3.  The new issue will be how to
        display the output.  One way will be to use our existing output
        mechanism and to add a GDK driver to it.  This will however will 
        not allow for  interaction with the "Pivot Tables" the way that
        spss does.  Other options exist, which I've not really thought
        about much, and it's probably more in Ben's area of expertise.

I'm not going to be so foolish as to even try to put a time frame on



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