Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2000 16:01:18 +0000
Reply-To: "R. Allan Reese" <ccsrar@HUMUS.UCC.HULL.AC.UK>
Sender: "SPSSX(r) Discussion" <SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: "R. Allan Reese" <ccsrar@HUMUS.UCC.HULL.AC.UK>
Subject: Re: One Case Two Records from Excel file
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII
On Wed, 2 Feb 2000, Tim Dunsworth wrote:
> You'll have to decide if the alternative is any simpler than studying
> the arcane details of the DATA LIST command.
Let me just challenge the PC (in both senses) myth-building slant of this
comment. I'm someone who finds Windows restrictive and irritating (what
you see is All you get), and who is baffled by the bafflement of
non-DOS users (I can't remember those weird commands. How do you copy a
file? [copy] or print something? [print] or find a lost file? [whereis]).
The "arcane details" of data list can be summarised as:
name of command data list
general parameters name of file containing data, and a couple of
keywords describing overall features
punctuation / to divide keywords from list of names
list of names name for each variable, following each if
necessary with description of how to read its value
punctuation . end of command
Although it's not a requirement, when I write data lists I put one
varname (or list of linked names) per line, so that the names, formats
and types line up in columns. This makes it easier to check for
completeness, or to edit without worrying about line lengths.
The advantage of the syntax approach is that you can keep the files as an
audit trail of your analysis, and you can copy and modify commands far
more quickly and accurately than you can retrace your steps through a
maze of menus.
If you can't follow syntax diagrams, can't read manuals or copy and adapt
examples, the easiest way to start with syntax is to go through the menu
and click on PASTE rather than OK.
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