0.9.6 Easier frequency tables; faster large data tables; can import Calc/Gnumeric spreadsheets

The latest version of SOFA Statistics (0.9.6) is well worth the upgrade.  Deep down, I was never happy with the approach to creating frequency tables.  It was elegant in some ways to think of frequency tables as a special case of a rows x columns report tables but it was still a mistake.  Now there are four types of report table – Frequencies, Crosstabs, Row summaries (means etc), and simple Data Lists.  Here is how to make a simple Frequency Table for Age Groups with column percentages:

New Frequency Tables Interface

New Frequency Tables Interface

Also, large data tables load almost instantly now.  The table I just opened was over 200,000 rows and it simply appeared as soon as I clicked on the Open button.

The third major advance is for people who want to work with spreadsheets.  Until now, Excel has been the only option, which is only available on Windows systems.  Now users can enter data into an OpenOffice Calc or Gnumeric spreadsheet and it should be possible to import it successfully.  Please let me know how that goes.

ODS spreadsheets

ODS spreadsheets

Here is the full list of new features:

  • Added Frequencies as new report table type and substantially improved ease-of-use.
  • Major speed-up when opening data files as larger files no longer have their columns autosized.  There is a button to allow that to be triggered manually.
  • Now able to import from ods files including OpenOffice Calc and Gnumeric-derived spreadsheets.
  • Action buttons on report tables form enabled/disabled according to completeness of configuration data.
  • The import button is disabled until suitable file and table names have been entered.
  • Shifted more close buttons to bottom right location.
  • Minor improvements to wording of importer dialog to reduce possible confusion.
  • The actual results continue to show for a report table if the user cancels changing the row or column configuration.  Doesn’t revert to demo data.
  • Importing now turns single dots ‘.’ into nulls (missing data) and informs the user.
  • Better error messages if import file not found.  Sets focus on SOFA Table Name if not provided.  Better handling of missing/misnamed css files.
  • Variable setting dialog now appears in more sensible position – esp on a notebook or netbook.

The bug fixes will probably be as important, especially if you have experienced any of them:

  • Fixed integer division issue which meant all row and column percentages were rounded down. Now 100.0* … rather than 100* …
  • Now copes with odd field names like ‘weight(kg)’ and ‘strength/100′ that would have broken SQL.
  • Opening the project select dialog now displays the notes for the selected project, which is not necessarily the first one.
  • Fixed bug which made csv importing unable to recover from data type mismatch. Also fixed bug in csv importing when importing missing cells. Now actual extracts nulls rather than the text ‘None’.
  • Minor fixes to row button enabling/disabling on report table dialog.
  • Fixed misc bugs that became apparent in Windows: right clicking opened dialogs twice; faulty script generation after changing table type; problems with ending busy cursor; and not giving proper message when no data in table.
  • Fixed raw table display problem – now shows raw value if no label available for particular item.
  • Project notes can cope with backslash U etc. Now escaped when written to project file.
  • Can view internal tables with dots in the name.

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