Archive for the ‘general’ Category

Further improvements in 1.1.4

Friday, February 24th, 2012

The latest version adds a range of improvements:

  • Added lower and upper quartiles to Row Stats report tables.

    Quartiles

  • Box plots now start y-axis from just below the minimum y value of the data unless the content is close enough to the bottom of the graph to make it worth using 0 anyway.
    Y axis adjusted automatically  for box and whisker plots
  • Showing the percent sign in percent columns for report tables is now optional – which is good news for many dissertation students.

    Show (or hide) percentage symbols

  • SOFA now displays value labels sorted by the numerical version of numbers even if stored as text. So no more 1, 11, 2,3 etc in cases where people have stored the number as a Text data type.
  • Added some more valid US date formats using dot dividers.
  • New help button for importing data.
  • New help button to advise on how to make of flexible data filters.
  • English translations are handled better (no more messages about not having US English and using UK English instead etc).

Plus there are some useful bug fixes:

  • Fixed bug where getting observed values e.g. for chi square test, fell over when one field in pair had missing values while the other didn’t.
  • Fixed bug in calculation of upper and lower whiskers in box plots.
  • Single bar charts don’t show a bar title anymore – only needed if multichart.
  • Fixed bug which only changed variable definitions when the extra settings dialog was closed with OK and didn’t ever set it otherwise e.g. when changing the selected project.
  • Now copes with newer versions of matplotlib on Linux.
  • No longer stores empty strings as variable labels if user doesn’t enter a label.

Honey I Shrunk the Installers

Monday, December 19th, 2011

The SOFA installers for Windows and Mac have shrunk substantially – from 43MB to 25MB for Windows and from a rather hefty 85MB to 36MB for Mac. They’ll be quicker to download, and the new installers also avoid possible conflicts with other Python packages on a system. It’s all self-contained. A final benefit is that the installation process itself has become much simpler, with much fewer steps. For those who are technically minded, it is thanks to pyinstaller and py2app (with some initial help from Gui2exe).

Mainstream German Computer Magazine Reviews SOFA

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

SOFA has been reviewed and included in the software CD for a recent edition of Germany’s c’t magazine (c’t 2011 Issue 26 p.118). C’t (Magazin für Computertechnik) has a sold circulation of about 367,000 so it was wonderful to show up on their radar.

c't magazine cover

Better installation in non-English environments

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Version 1.1.2 fixes a bug which affected people trying to install SOFA into many non-English environments. SOFA also has some changes which make it safe for SOFA to communicate progress in more detail while being run in Windows using the non-console version of Python. Overall, SOFA has become much more robust in recent versions.

Good news for Mac & Linux users – Excel importing added

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

SOFA Statistics 1.1.1 brings good news for Mac and Linux users. You can now import Excel xls files directly. This is no longer a Windows-only feature.

Here is the full list of changes:

  • Excel can be imported from Mac and Linux as well as Windows.
  • ODS importing now copes with single ‘divider’ columns – i.e. columns with no field name in the header.
  • CSV importing now autofills blank columns with field numbers such as Var018.
  • More informative if locale issues.
  • More informative if unable to connect to MySQL on Mac.
  • Changed standard deviation in report tables from population sd to sample sd.

There is one important set of bug fixes which allows more sophisticated extraction of cell values from ODS spreadsheets. SOFA now copes with formatted content of cells and other complex cases by handling subelements in the XML.

Version 1.1.0 brings it together

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Version 1.1.0 finally brings it together adding some of the last features to round out the original vision for the application. The main change is much easier access to data – users can now open data tables from anywhere the table can be selected e.g. charts, report tables, statistical analyses.

Open your data from anywhere

Another change makes it easier to import from spreadsheets – SOFA now gives a preview of the first few rows of data to make it easier to determine whether there is a header row or not:

Spreadsheet sample

The two extra changes are: Importing from Google Doc spreadsheets now automatically starts import process if downloading was successful; Windows users can install into any folder now, not just one with sofastats in the name.

There are also a couple of bug fixes: Fixed bug when trying to display feedback on resizing operation on data table from dialogs other than data select; and fixed regression when running data list report tables.

Here are all the major feature changes since version 1.0 was released:

  • Single line charts now have option of a trend line and data smoothing (weighted rolling average).

    New options for line charts

  • Averages can be displayed for most chart types e.g. a line chart of average income by month.

    Chart Averages

  • Attractive and dynamic Box and Whisker plots added.

    Box and Whisker Plot button

    Box and Whisker Plot

  • Much easier access to data – can now open data table from anywhere the table can be selected e.g. charts, report tables, stats analyses.
  • Numerous usability improvements and bug fixes.

I hope you really like it.

1.0.7 Much easier data entry; better support for non-English text

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

It is now a lot easier and more pleasant to enter data directly into SOFA. Check it out and see if you agree. It is also easier to get CSV data in if there are lots of fields. Overall this is an incremental step forwards rather than the introduction of lots of new features. Here is the full list of improvements:

  • Much easier and quicker data entry. Return key now functions like Tab in data entry tables. Deleting a cell automatically inserts the appropriate value.
  • Much faster importing of csv files with lots of fields. Now has option of quickly checking field names collectively (in batches under the surface) rather than individually.
  • Improved feedback to user if problem in early stages starting SOFA. Program now makes an error text file on the user desktop as well.
  • All field or table name checks in SQLite now return the SQLite error text as well.
  • Better message to user if installation of wx backend for matplotlib missing.
  • If cancel process of changing file used to define variable config, report table display no longer reverts to random demo.

and bug fixes:

  • Fixed bug in chi square when no labels set for numerical variables. Needed to convert value to unicode before using as label.
  • Fixed bug when importing datetimes with ‘T’ as the separator between date and time.
  • Fixed bug caused by SQLite queries sometimes returning strings instead of floats when extracting REAL (numeric) data. Fixed it where it affected Row Stats medians and std devs; and statistical tests.
  • Fixed bug when uwhisker and lwhisker not set. Also copes better when no boxes are displayed in boxplot.
  • Handling Python 2.6 unicode keyword bug.
  • Replaced pprint.pformat where it messes up unicode e.g. user paths with non-ascii characters. Misc other changes to fix internal issues.
  • Fixed bug allowing None to be displayed in Val A and Val B drop-downs under Group by e.g. ANOVA.
  • Config dialog in Report Tables widened slightly when needed to display title.
  • Fixed bug when decimal entered into value label list for an integer field.
  • Fixed CSV import bug when trying to guess whether a header or not.

Thanks to all the users who helped identify and resolve problems.

50,000 downloads – another milestone

Monday, June 6th, 2011

SOFA Statistics had its 50,000th download today, and last month had over 4,600 downloads – a new record.

Download milestone

Box and Whisker Plots in version 1.0.6

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

Box and Whisker plots have been added.

Box and Whisker Plot button

In keeping with the SOFA ethos these have been made as attractive as possible:

Box and Whisker Plot

As with all SOFA output, the Box and Whisker Plots are themed and, like other charts, the content is dynamic and interactive. A minor feature added to this version is a warning about the need to include the “sofa_report_extras” subfolder to see charts.

The following bug fixes have been made:

  • Fixed bug preventing comma being used as decimal separator when importing data.
  • Fixed bug when making line charts with averages – shows smoothed data line and trend line appropriately. Also only enables or disables checkboxes for smoothed data line and trend line where appropriate.
  • Better handling of comtype errors.
  • Fixed bug in histogram code when no default limits supplied.

Easier to “Get Started” and to give feedback

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

It is easier than ever to get started with SOFA Statistics. A new “Get Started” button has been added to the main form and other buttons have been shifted to better emphasise the most important:

New "Get Started" button

Clicking on the “Get Started” button open a web page with screen shots and step-by-step examples.

It is now easy for first-time users to give their feedback. Was it as useful as they hoped? Is there anything which can be done to improve SOFA? There is a link on the main start form, plus a pop-up option on first exit from SOFA.

Feedback via simple Google Docs survey

The goal is to make SOFA more useful by finding out what worked, and didn’t for users – especially first-time users.

There were two other changes:

  • When importing csv files, SOFA now sets the default for ‘Has header row?’ according to a review of the sample contents.
  • And an Exit control has been added to all forms where appropriate.

Once again, there have been a number of bug fixes:

  • Fixed postgresql quoting error by using single quote values.
  • SOFA now uses the default database when making an initial connection. If connecting to a project fails, SOFA reverts to previous project. Postgresql projects insist on default database if user is not ‘postgres’. Gives useful error if an old project has this problem.
  • Fixed minor bug in Mann-Whitney output exposed whenever labels with %s in them were used.
  • Improved error trapping if error importing wx.lib.iewin.
  • Better font for help text on main form according to platform.
  • CSV importing copes with single-row data.
  • Better font settings for help text on Macs.
  • Fixed display bug in Mac when more than 20 values warning shown (smaller font now).
  • Chart by now filters out data lacking values in chart by variable.

The most important thing for the project is the feedback we will hopefully receive.