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Re: NCDF functions

From: John Darrington
Subject: Re: NCDF functions
Date: Fri, 2 May 2014 18:43:57 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Fri, May 02, 2014 at 07:44:52AM -0700, Ben Pfaff wrote:
     On Fri, May 2, 2014 at 7:27 AM, Stephan Weibelzahl <address@hidden> wrote:
     > I'm trying to calculate non-central distributions using the function
     > COMPUTE a = NCDF.T(0.2, 3, 1).
     > EXECUTE.
     > as documented in the manual. However, I get an error message that the
     > function has not been implemented. The central distribution function 
     > fine. Am I doing something wrong?
     No.  As the message says, NCDF.T has not been implemented.
I think we have had similar questions before about this error message.  I wonder
if we should reword it? It is a typical case of confusion which arises from use
of the passive voice in English.

"... has not been implemented" implies that something should have been 
That raises the question: "by whom?".  I think some users have misinterpreted 
this message to mean that they (the user) should have done something.

Perhaps we should reword it to something like "This function is not available in
this version of PSPP".  I am reluctant to use the word "supported" like so many 
proprietary software vendors seem to throw around, because in PSPP (as in most 
proprietary software) absolutely *nothing* is "supported" unless one has taken
out an explicit support contract.

Also, perhaps we should update the manual.  It is incorrect when the manual 
"The following continuous distributions are available", when this one is not.


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