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Re: Date binary encoding in SPSS .sav files

From: John Darrington
Subject: Re: Date binary encoding in SPSS .sav files
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 12:38:45 +0800
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.13 (2006-08-11)

On Mon, Jun 18, 2007 at 08:54:56PM -0400, Pascal Heus wrote:

     I'm currently developing a Java class to read SPSS files. I found the
     documention that describes the .sav file format and have made good
     progress so far. I'm doing fine reading numbers and strings but am
     trying to figure out the way dates are encoded. Could anyone provide me
     with an insight on the binary storage for date/time or point me to docs
     / pspp source code?

There are only two types of data : strings and numbers.  Dates/times are
nothing more than the number of seconds since midnight, 14 October 1582.

     Also let me know if you are interested in a Java version of a SPSS
     reader, this will be released under the LGPL over the summer as a
     component of a larger project. It will also include the export of XML
     metadata based on the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) XML
     specifications. I have no current plan to turn it into a writer as well
     but this should not be too hard if the need arises.

Strangely enough, I've been working on a Perl module to do a similar thing.
It'll be interesting to see how the two compare. Somewhere on the net
there is already a Java class which does this, but I think it's
proprietary.  You might want to have a look at it if only for
comparison purposes. 


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