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Re: PSPP conference call notes.

From: Ben Pfaff
Subject: Re: PSPP conference call notes.
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2006 19:52:45 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.110004 (No Gnus v0.4) Emacs/21.4 (gnu/linux)

John Darrington <address@hidden> writes:

> This is my first attempt at writing a non-trivial GUI program, and I'm
> still learning.  One thing I'm finding is that it's almost impossible
> to automate testing in the way that we do the rest of PSPP.
> Consequently, it's necessary to think very carefully before inserting
> new code.  I can always use feedback from people who discover problems.

A few quick web searches did turn up that there is something out
there called "gnome-test-tool" that appears to try to automate
gtk+ testing.  I wonder whether it is mature enough that it
actually works...

>      Here are some of the things that I took away from the
>      conversation, in addition to what you say:
>      - Need casefile bookmarking/cloning.  Should be easy; I'll take
>        care of it soon.
>        This will enable RANK.
> It will also enable (I hope) integration of casefiles into the GUI.
> There's a fundamental problem here:  The GUI needs to scroll through
> the cases.  Scrolling forwards is not a problem.  Scrolling backwards
> is something that casefiles don't allow.  My idea is to cache a small
> number of cases (about twice the number that fits in the window) which
> allows for small magnetude scrolling.  Scrolling back through larger
> offsets is where the bookmark would come into play.

There is no reason that casefiles *can't* support random access.
The reason that they *don't* allow it currently is to discourage
accessing them randomly: in the context of a procedure and a very
large casefile, jumping around randomly in a casefile in a single
pass is going to be slower than, say, doing two sequential

But I can easily add random access for the GUI to use.  That's a
situation where it makes perfect sense to support random access.

>      - Should add log file support and support for sending errors to
>        the listing file.  Both should be easy now.
> But we need to consider the i18n issues involved.

Are there any new ones, beyond those in sending errors to the

>      - Need some work to make Mac OS system files work.  John has an
>        example system file (can you file a bug report and attach it?).
> Looking at the problem again, I'm not sure that this isn't a more
> general issue with the way that sys-file-reader handles record 7(11)
> --- it so happens that all of my example files which have this record
> have been created with the Mac.  I'll try to get access to a Windoze
> machine next week to investigate a bit further.  In the mean time I've
> added code to make PSPP more tolerant of measure/alignment parameters
> which don't seem to have valid values.

"Platonically Evil Monkey has been symbolically representing the darkest 
 fears of humanity since the dawn of literature and religion, and I think
 I speak for everyone when I give it a sidelong glance of uneasy recognition 
 this evening." --Scrymarch

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