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Re: NCDF functions

From: Ben Pfaff
Subject: Re: NCDF functions
Date: Fri, 2 May 2014 09:53:34 -0700

On Fri, May 2, 2014 at 9:43 AM, John Darrington
<address@hidden> wrote:
> 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 
> works
>      > 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 
> implemented.
> 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.

This sounds like a good idea.

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

I never expected it to take so long to get these functions implemented.
I agree that we should update the manual.

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