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Re: next release soon?

From: Ben Pfaff
Subject: Re: next release soon?
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 13:33:52 -0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1 (gnu/linux)

Jason Stover <address@hidden> writes:

> SPSS has a "text import wizard" that walks the user through the
> process of reading text data. It asks the user questions about
> delimiters and whether variable names are at the top of the file,
> etc., then runs DATA LIST to read the data. This is a good function to
> have: Any frustration at the beginning of learning to use a new
> program is likely to make a new user give up. Later frustrations,
> after the user is a little familiar with the program, are less likely
> to make a user quit altogether. Reading data is the first task of
> any user, so it needs to be as easy as possible.

I have some ideas on how to guess the format of a text file, so
that in many cases it would be unnecessary to specify the format.
The UI would be like this: specify that you want to read a file
as text, then it would bring up a dialog that shows a few lines
of text from the file and how they would be interpreted by
default, with a set of controls that allow you to override the
defaults.  If done competently, I think that this would indeed be
"as easy as possible".
Ben Pfaff

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