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Re: Value labels or names in dialogs ?

From: Andy Choens
Subject: Re: Value labels or names in dialogs ?
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 2009 09:30:23 -0400
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On Saturday 14 March 2009 21:52:02 John Darrington wrote:
> In future versions, would people prefer to see names or labels?

How about a compromise: Make it optional.

When a SPSS user uses psppire for the first time they will expect to see labels 
rather than names. 

This habit is especially ingrained in users of older versions of SPSS or where 
a SPSS file is several years old. Remember when the names were limited to 8 
characters? Where I work, there are several important longitudinal datasets 
which date back several years. Labels and names are already defined although I 
would not describe them as being user friendly, changing them would require us 
to go through and edit quite a bit of syntax. 

Although I have no empirical proof to support this, I suspect that my employer 
is not alone in these habits. I'm sure we aren't the only ones who are using 
datasets that go back to earlier versions of SPSS, where names were 
essentially useless.

But, I can definitely see why some people would prefer to see names rather than 

I think the best solution is to default to the SPSS behavior, but allow people 
to select the alternative if that works better in their specific work flow.


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