Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2010 16:56:34 +0200
Reply-To: John F Hall <email@example.com>
Sender: "SPSSX(r) Discussion" <SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: John F Hall <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: more virtues of using syntax: getting and giving remote
I only ever use syntax in preference to GUI.
Reasons for this will soon become clear if you check out the syntax-based SPSS tutorials on my site.
----- Original Message -----
From: Art Kendall
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 1:16 PM
Subject: more virtues of using syntax: getting and giving remote help
Using syntax makes it a lot easier to get help from others and for
other to give help.
Sending syntax (and error messages) makes it possible for others on the
list to know what you are trying to do and make good guesses about what
the problem is.
Also helpers can be explicit about what they are suggesting and can
often even test the concepts they are suggesting.
Many people who would help have a single monitor. Putting instructions
for using the GUI in an email is a very error prone process. They have
to remember exactly which choices they made in the GUI. Steps become so
"obvious" that it is easy to omit some. There are not many conventions
for instructing how to go through the menus. About the only ones I am
are aware of are: angle brackets to indicate what to click or choose
from a menu, and "type" to specify what to enter in edit boxes.
Many people who help do use the GUI to write first drafts but when they
are satisfied they exit via paste. The syntax pasted into the syntax
window can then be copied into email and pasted into the requester's
syntax window. Whereas when an email is a long series of click <this>
and type "that" the requester has to go back and forth from the email to
the GUI to do what is suggested, another error prone process.
Social Research Consultants
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