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GNU PSPP 0.6.0 released
GNU PSPP 0.6.0 released
Sun, 08 Jun 2008 22:30:13 -0700
Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.2 (gnu/linux)
GNU PSPP 0.6.0 is now available. It may be downloaded from
and mirrors of the GNU FTP site.
PSPP is a program for statistical analysis of sampled data. It
interprets commands in the SPSS language and produces tabular
output in ASCII, PostScript, or HTML format. Also newly
available in this version of PSPP is PSPPIRE, a graphical
interface to PSPP.
For more information on PSPP, visit its website, at:
For information on PSPP development, visit the developers'
Notable changes from PSPP 0.4.0 (the prior released version) to
0.6.0 include the following:
* 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. This
interface allows you to enter data and variable definitions
interactively. Commands may be executed in syntax form, or by
using the interactive dialog boxes available from the dropdown
* A few sample syntax files are now included in the `examples'
* Numerous major and minor bugs have been fixed.
* 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 (http://www.gnu.org/software/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.
* PSPP is now able to start up and run even if it cannot find its
* 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
* 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 configuration options have changed. Please refer to the
manual for a full description of the available options.
In consequence, you will need to reinstall your "devices" file.
"make install" will do this for you.
* 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
* ASCII driver:
- This 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.
- Configurations are provided that use VT100 (and xterm)
line-drawing characters in tables. The option "-o list-vt100"
requests use of this device for output to pspp.list.
* PostScript driver:
- The default paper size 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.
- Font metrics are now read from AFM files, instead of
Groff-format metrics files. PostScript fonts can now be
embedded in output.
In consequence, you will need to install an AFM file for each
font used in PostScript output. "make install" will install
AFM files for the standard PostScript fonts, including the
ones that the PostScript driver uses by default.
- Standard paper sizes no longer need to be specified through a
configuration file. The "papersize" configuration file is no
longer needed, or supported.
- The PostScript prologue is no longer obtained from the
"ps-prologue" configuration file. This configuration file is
no longer needed, or supported.
* HTML driver:
- The HTML prologue is no longer obtained from the
"html-prologue" configuration file. This configuration file
is no longer needed, or supported.
Command language changes:
* The following commands are new:
- GET DATA, which currently supports reading Gnumeric files and
text data 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.
- CLOSE FILE HANDLE (a PSPP extension; see below).
- XEXPORT, a PSPP extension that is a transformation equivalent
* 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.
* PSPP now supports very long string variables (over 255 bytes
* 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:
- CLEAR TRANSFORMATIONS
- MATRIX DATA
- REPEATING DATA
* 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.
"Scratch files", a new PSPP extension:
A scratch file, like a system file, consists of a dictionary and
any number of cases. Small scratch files are stored in memory;
one that grows too large is written to disk. By default, any file
handle whose name begins with # is assumed to refer to a scratch
Scratch files can be used just about anywhere a system or portable
file can be used. Also, portable files are now allowed in most
places that system files were allowed in previous PSPP version.
A new CLOSE FILE HANDLE command allows the storage associated with
scratch files to be freed. It also allows file handles to be
reassigned to new files.
For more information on scratch files, refer to the "File Handles"
section in the PSPP manual. For specifics of what commands now
allow what kinds of files to be specified, refer to the
documentation on those particular commands.
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
* 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
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