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Value label length [Was Re: Suggestions]

From: John Darrington
Subject: Value label length [Was Re: Suggestions]
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2009 19:38:11 +0900
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.13 (2006-08-11)

On Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 10:58:33PM -0800, Ben Pfaff wrote:
     John Darrington <address@hidden> writes:
     > Actually, I'm not too sure from whence the figure of 60 comes.   The
     > spssv14 documentation says 120 bytes, the limit that sys-file-writer
     > permits is 255 bytes, and as you discovered, the dictionary.c and
     > value-labels.c specifies 60
     The limits of 120 bytes on a variable label and 60 bytes on a
     value label are from the SPSS file format documentation available
     A little bit of experimentation with my collection of SPSS .sav
     files from around the web shows that SPSS itself doesn't abide by
     these limits:
         "4740_F1.sav" near offset 0x14f4: Variable YRDEFACE has label of 
invalid length 135.
         "6068-DURANT.Sav" near offset 0x114: Variable QP2A has label of 
invalid length 139.
         "Poll2006.sav" near offset 0x3681: Value label has invalid length 78.
         "bazaTL_lab.sav" near offset 0xa1c: Variable Q17 has label of invalid 
length 147.
         "cpdsI2006_ger.sav" near offset 0x178: Variable GOVRIGHT has label of 
invalid length 183.
         "sexuality_Fiji_2.sav" near offset 0x2fe4: Variable VASECOP has label 
of invalid length 143.
     Some of these files were written by SPSS as early as version 14.
     It would be really easy to relax each of these limits to 255
     bytes.  I'm willing to try that unless you object.

The "SPSSv14.0 Command Syntax Reference" says "Each value label can be
up to 120 bytes long".  Information at suggests that v14
was the first version to be able to do this.  As of v16, it seems that
value labels of any length are supported.


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