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Date:         Fri, 23 Sep 2005 17:46:32 -0400
Reply-To:     Richard Ristow <wrristow@mindspring.com>
Sender:       "SPSSX(r) Discussion" <SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         Richard Ristow <wrristow@mindspring.com>
Subject:      Re: Edit Command
Comments: To: "Tesiny, Ed" <EdTesiny@oasas.state.ny.us>
In-Reply-To:  <FED384E544086A47AAC07C0999BE8D170558D375@albmsx2k.rt.oasas
              .state.ny.us>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed

At 03:47 PM 9/22/2005, Tesiny, Ed wrote:

>A colleague of mine is exploring moving a program (3,000 lines of >code) [from an HP Unix server] over to the PC. What's "bugging" him >is that there is no Edit command in SPSS 13 to help him debug the >program.

First: would setting a very low N OF CASES do it? SPSS would still try semantics as well as syntax, but it should take very little time.

Second: it seems there should be something on Raynald Levesque's site spsstools.net; but I've just looked, including in the debugging section, and not seen anything. Try the downloadable copy of his book *SPSS Programming and Data Management: A Guide for SPSS and SAS Users*, http://www.spss.com/spss/data_management_book.htm

Third: This isn't about what you want, but be careful. SPSS for Windows has TWO sets of rules for syntactically valid statements. One's for running from interactive syntax windows, the other for batch files and INCLUDE files. Let me know if you want me to look up a summary.

Finally, when I was looking around Raynald's site, I found, http://spsstools.net/DebuggingSyntax.htm#CommonErrors:

"It has been said that Salesmanship starts after the prospect has said 'no!'. Similarly, programming could be said to start once there is a bug!"

Meaning, of course, that there's no such thing as programming ever ending.

I've heard of a programming methodology suggested, MOSTLY facetiously, by old-school programmers ("design? Only wuzzes need a design to write a program"):

"How do you write a program? Clear core to zeroes, and debug."

And remember: "Correct, adj.: Describing a computer program containing only hidden errors."


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