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Date:         Mon, 8 Aug 2011 22:35:57 +0200
Reply-To:     John F Hall <>
Sender:       "SPSSX(r) Discussion" <SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From:         John F Hall <>
Subject:      Re: First pop-up screen should include "Draft new set
              of syntax"
Comments: To:
In-Reply-To:  <>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;

I second that (about syntax). Syntax makes you think: GUI doesn't.

When I worked for the (UK) Social Science Research Council Survey Unit, the late Alan Little, Head of Research at the Greater London Council, once joked, "Research is a substitute for action." Quick as a flash, we retorted, ". . . and SPSS is a substitute for thought!" That was when we only had syntax, but everyone asked for chi-square regardless and it wasn't at all unusual to see SPSS runs with "crosstabs all by all".

John F Hall <> (All SPSS tutorials in syntax)

From: SPSSX(r) Discussion [mailto:SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Art Kendall Sent: 08 August 2011 18:29 To: SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU Subject: Re: First pop-up screen should include "Draft new set of syntax"

No. I do have a syntax window opened. First I often do want to use a previously used data or syntax file. That is why I do not want suppress that pop-up dialog. Secondly, as you have heard from me maybe to the extent of being tiresome, beginners should be aware of the centrality of syntax in SPSS use.

Beginners would be much more likely to be starting a draft of new syntax than to be using database queries.

Art Kendall Social Research Consultants

On 8/8/2011 11:28 AM, Jon K Peck wrote:

I have my preferences set to always open a syntax window automatically on startup. Isn't that all you need here.

I also always suppress that little startup dialog, though.

Jon Peck Senior Software Engineer, IBM new phone: 720-342-5621

From: Art Kendall <> <> To: SPSSX-L post <mailto:SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> <SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>, Jon K Peck/Chicago/IBM@IBMUS, Suggestions/Chicago/IBM@IBMUS Date: 08/08/2011 09:09 AM Subject: First pop-up screen should include "Draft new set of syntax"


When I start SPSS a dialog screen pops up with 6 radio buttons. However, it does not include what I most often do especially when responding to posts on this list. The thing I most often do is draft a new set of syntax.

However, I use an existing data or other data file often enough that I do not want to suppress this dialog box.

How often do members of this list start their session of SPSS by drafting a set of syntax? Would you find it helpful to have a new radio button (or something) for this?

Art Kendall Social Research Consultants

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