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Re: PSPPire problems

From: John Darrington
Subject: Re: PSPPire problems
Date: Thu, 26 Mar 2009 08:37:28 +0900
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.13 (2006-08-11)

On Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 08:06:59PM -0300, Michel Boaventura wrote:

     ... we should use the same encoding as SPSS, who sadly uses the
     windows encoding. 

That's not generally true.  It would be more accurate to say: 

 Spss, when running on windows, generates data files using the
 encoding of the current user's locale.

In your case, this encoding is likely to be CP1252, however for Matej
and other people in Eastern Europe CP1257 is more probable, in Greece
it'll be CP1253, and in Korea, Japan and Thailand something else.  So
there is no single "windows encoding".  Furthermore, what spss does on
operating systems other than Windows is likely to be different again.

At the end of the day, Pspp (like any software) will produce
unexpected results if you tell it to expect one thing, then feed it
something else.

Having said that, whilst the current situation  is a sensible approach
- it ensures that files produced by the default settings by one
machine/user can be read by that same machine/user - it seems that
many Pspp users are trying to read files produced by a different
machine and/or different locale settings.    Newer versions of Spss (>= v16)
store the encoding within the file, so Pspp could use that.  With older
files the onus is always going to be on the user to tell it the
correct thing.

It may be possible for future versions of Pspp to make it easier for
the user to choose the encoding, but if the user chooses wrong, he'll
see ? where his non-ascii characters are supposed to be.


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