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Re: It is a problem that Windows PSPPIRE/PSPP is pretty wonky

From: Ben Pfaff
Subject: Re: It is a problem that Windows PSPPIRE/PSPP is pretty wonky
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2014 09:32:48 -0800
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

All this rings true.  Thanks for laying it out so clearly.

I think that the only real solution is for a Windows developer to come
forward to join the PSPP development team.  I don't know where to find
one, though.  I don't use Windows myself, and few of my coworkers use it
(they are almost exclusively Mac or GNU/Linux users).  Honestly I don't
know where all the Windows users are; if it's true that 90% of desktop
users use Windows, it's not over here in my part of Silicon Valley.

On Wed, Dec 31, 2014 at 11:05:59AM -0600, Alan Mead wrote:
> Michal,
> You are preaching to the choir; one of the ways PSPP improves is through
> reports about the wonky bits.
> However I had a point which I didn't make explicitly that bears
> explication: I'm not at all sure that PSPP *FOR WINDOWS* is under active
> development.  One of the ways (probably the main way) that free software
> gets better is when developers are motivated to solve their own
> problems. Recently Ben added support for new encrypted SAV files and
> even more recently old SPSS+ SAV formats. He did that because he enjoys
> that kind of work. That's how free software works and why it's often
> better than commercial software.
> And here's the point: I don't think that Ben or John ever use Windows,
> so any annoyances specific to the Windows version (like not being able
> to paste properly) are invisible to them and will never be fixed.
> Windows is treated like a distribution package and the Windows-specific
> issues are a problem for a Windows package manager to solve. But there
> is a gap there.  I am grateful for (or I admire and applaud) Harry's
> work to provide a Windows version, but he cross-compiles it on (I think)
> OpenSUSE.  I don't know that there is any developer of PSPP who
> regularly uses PSPP on Windows and who is motivated to solve these
> annoyances in the Windows version.
> And I think that's a problem because, despite Sinofsky's best efforts to
> drive everyone away, Windows still has a desktop market share around
> ~90% and I'd expect that means ~90% of new PSPP users are trying to use
> PSPP's second-class implementation, the Windows version. My specific
> motivation for posting about the wonky bits was as a bug report; a
> Windows user was trying to use PSPP on Windows to make boxplots and I
> had pasted exact steps but even if that user uses the right steps they
> will encounter the paste problem and the boxplot they get will
> (presumably) be flawed in the ways I described. A couple weeks ago, I
> had a new PSPP user email me off list because she was running Windows 8
> and she reported that PSPP won't run at all on her computer. I wouldn't
> be surprised to find out that she was the first to try PSPP on Windows 8
> (I know I don't have a Windows 8 machine to try). Another problem I've
> encountered is that it's easy to create multiple instances of PSPP(IRE)
> on Windows (just double-click on two or more different SAV files in
> Windows Explorer). So, you can easily have a situation where you have a
> dataset open in one window and syntax in another but, because the
> windows are attached to independent instances of PSPP, the syntax cannot
> access that data.  To solve this, one must open a new syntax window from
> the window containing target the dataset and paste your syntax into that
> window (or save the syntax from one window to a file and open it in the
> other window).  For an SPSS user, this is extremely confusing because in
> SPSS any syntax window can activate any dataset; it's probably fairly
> confusing to people who've never used SPSS.  But the overall issue I'm
> addressing is that I think it's a problem for PSPP that the Windows
> version is so wonky.
> So, as you say, this is free software and there is no solution per se,
> but I think this is an appropriate forum for raising this issue.
> -Alan
> On 12/31/2014 9:09 AM, Michał Dubrawski wrote:
> > Dear Alan,
> >
> > Although what you are saying are things that could be improved in PSPP
> > you should remember that PSPP is still under development - it is not
> > version 1.0.
> -- 
> Alan D. Mead, Ph.D.
> President, Talent Algorithms Inc.
> science + technology = better workers
> +815.588.3846 (Office)
> +267.334.4143 (Mobile)
> Announcing the Journal of Computerized Adaptive Testing (JCAT), a
> peer-reviewed electronic journal designed to advance the science and
> practice of computerized adaptive testing:

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