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From: Ben Pfaff
Subject: Re: GUI
Date: Fri, 04 Nov 2005 18:07:43 -0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.110004 (No Gnus v0.4) Emacs/21.4 (gnu/linux)

John Darrington <address@hidden> writes:

> 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
>       vice-versa.

Maybe we should specify some protocol that's easier to emit and
parse than the syntax.  I dunno.  I guess we'll see how it goes
when we get there.

> 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 have a bit of a plan here.  We'll see how it works out.  The
idea is that procedures emit their output in a neutral,
machine-readable format (possibly HDF5 or XML) and then readers
can convert it into whatever format they like (plain text,
PostScript, etc.) or display it as pivot tables or whatever.
There's a huge, huge stack of details to work out of course.
"I don't want to learn the constitution and the declaration of
 independence (marvelous poetry though it be) by heart, and worship the
 flag and believe that there is a god and the dollar is its prophet."
--Maarten Wiltink in the Monastery

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