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NEWS for upcoming release

From: Ben Pfaff
Subject: NEWS for upcoming release
Date: Sat, 03 Nov 2007 23:11:01 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1 (gnu/linux)

I added the following to the NEWS file based on a look at the
diffs between current CVS and the PSPP 0.4.0 release.  Please
feel free to add or revise items.

In particular:

        * John, I figure you'd probably like to say more about
          the GUI than what I wrote.

        * Jason, I notice that there is a GLM procedure, but that
          it has no documentation and no tests.  Is it ready for


Changes since 0.4.3:

  * The PSPP license is now version 3 or later of the GNU General
    Public License.  Previously, it was version 2 or later.

  * PSPP now has a graphical interface, called PSPPIRE.

  * A few sample syntax files are now included in the `examples'

  * Numerous major and minor bugs have been fixed.

  Build changes:

    * The INSTALL file now reflects the details of how to install
      PSPP.  It is a tailored version of the generic installation
      instructions, instead of a verbatim copy.

    * iconv, which is ordinarily installed as part of a Unix-like
      system, is now required.  If you don't have it already, you can
      install GNU libiconv (

    * libxml2 and zlib are new optional dependencies.  They are
      required to use PSPP's support for reading Gnumeric files.

  Statistical procedure changes:

    * REGRESSION is a new procedure for fitting linear models to data
      via least-squares estimation.

    * NPAR TESTS is a new procedure for non-parametric tests.  In this
      release, it supports binomial and chi-square tests.

    * RANK is a new procedure to rank variables.  It supports numerous
      forms of ranking.

    * FREQUENCIES can now output histograms and pie charts.  These
      features were present in earlier releases, but not documented.

  User interface changes:

    * In many situations where PSPP once terminated with a fatal
      error, PSPP now recovers and continues execution.

    * Journaling of interactive commands to a disk file is now
      implemented.  By default, journaling is enabled, to a file named
      `pspp.jnl' in the current directory.  SET JOURNAL may be used to
      control journaling.

    * The use of `+' between syntax file names on the command line to
      prevent the dictionary from being cleared between their
      executions is no longer supported.  All syntax files are now
      executed as if `+' had been specified.

    * The -d/--define and -u/--undef command line options are no
      longer supported.  Instead, use /usr/bin/env or shell primitives
      to define or clear environment variables before invoking PSPP.

    * If a syntax file named named `rc' is found in a configuration
      directory (such as $HOME/.pspp), it is executed before any
      syntax file specified on the command line.  The -r or
      --no-statrc command line option may be used to disable this

  Output changes:

    * Most error messages are now written to PSPP output files by
      default.  SET ERROR can be used to disable this behavior.

    * When invoked interactively, PSPP now by default produces output
      on the terminal, piping it through the "more" program.
      Previously, by default output was written only to file
      pspp.list.  On most terminals, the page length used for output
      automatically adapts to the terminal size, even if the terminal
      is resized.

    * The ASCII output driver now supports charts in output.  Charts
      are written as separate files that the main output file refers
      to.  By default, charts are written in PNG format to files named
      pspp-1.png, pspp-2.png, and so on.

    * An output device is provided that uses VT100 (and xterm)
      line-drawing characters in tables.  The option "-o list-vt100"
      requests use of this device for output to pspp.list.

    * The default paper size for the PostScript driver is now determined
      using the PAPERSIZE environment variable, or the LC_PAPER locale
      category on systems that support it.  If these are not set, the
      default is now A4, instead of US letter.  To make US letter the
      default, set PAPERSIZE to "letter" in your environment.

    * Standard paper sizes no longer need to be specified through a
      configuration file.  The "papersize" configuration file is no
      longer needed, or supported.

    * The HTML and PostScript prologues are no longer obtained from
      the "html-prologue" and "ps-prologue" configuration files.
      These configuration files are no longer needed, or supported.

  Command language changes:

    * The following commands are new:

      - GET DATA, which currently supports reading Gnumeric files.  It
        will be extended later to read other types of foreign data

      - CD, to change the current directory.

      - INSERT, to execute a syntax file.

      - DELETE VARIABLES, to remove variables from the active file

      - ADD DOCUMENT, to add text to active file documents.

      - XEXPORT, a PSPP extension that is a transformation equivalent
        to EXPORT.

    * The following functions for transformation expressions are new:

      - DATEDIFF, for computing the difference of two dates.

      - DATESUM, for advancing a date by a specified duration.

      - VALUELABEL, to obtain the value label for a value.

    * MATCH FILES now supports the FIRST and LAST subcommands.

    * Previous versions of PSPP prohibited using commands to both read and
      write a single file at the same time.  Now, PSPP allows this, and
      the new version of the file atomically replaces the old version.

    * The following commands are no longer available.  They will be
      re-implemented in a later release:




    * The PROCESS IF command, which was deprecated, has been removed.
      You may replace any usage of it by SELECT IF following
      TEMPORARY, which has the same effect.

    * The output format for variables created by VECTOR may now be
      specified as part of the VECTOR syntax.

  Data access changes:

    * Binary formats and IBM/360 formats, including ASCII/EBCDIC
      translation, are now supported.  Use FILE HANDLE to specify the
      format of these files.

    * Little-endian, big-endian, and VAX-endian formats are now
      supported for integer binary formats when reading and writing
      data files.  The new RIB and WIB subcommands on the SET command
      control endianness of integer data.  The default is the host's
      native endianness.

    * IEEE 754, VAX, and IBM hexadecimal formats are now supported for
      floating point binary formats when reading and writing data
      files.  The new RRB and WRB subcommands on the SET command
      control the floating point format.  The default is the host's
      native floating point format.

    * DATA LIST now supports the SKIP subcommand, to skip records at
      the beginning of a file.  For compatibility, DATA LIST now
      treats N format as F format for FREE and LIST format input.

    * The SAVE and XSAVE commands now support the UNSELECTED,
      PERMISSIONS, NAMES, and MAP subcommands.

    * The EXPORT command has been re-implemented to obtain better
      results.  Support for the UNSELECTED, DIGITS, and TYPE
      subcommands has been added.

    * For compatibility, PRINT now inserts a space at the beginning of
      every output line, even lines that would otherwise be blank,
      when OUTFILE is specified.  (The behavior of WRITE is

    * For compatibility, PRINT EJECT now inserts the digit `1' at the
      beginning of each line that should begin a new page.

    * For compatibility, WRITE now outputs the system-missing value as
      a field filled with spaces.  Binary formats are an exception.
      (The behavior of PRINT is unchanged.)


    * Input and output format descriptions have been rewritten.  They
      now precisely describe what is accepted on input and written on

    * The descriptions of the PSPP system and portable file formats
      have been extensively revised and improved.

  For developers, the build system now requires Autoconf 2.60 and
  Automake 1.10.
"doe not call up Any that you can not put downe."
--H. P. Lovecraft

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