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.
Archive for the ‘general’ Category
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 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.
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:
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).
- Averages can be displayed for most chart types e.g. a line chart of average income by month.
- Attractive and dynamic Box and Whisker plots added.
- 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.
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.
Box and Whisker plots have been added.
In keeping with the SOFA ethos these have been made as attractive as possible:
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.
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:
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.
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.
SOFA Statistics has now become the most downloaded general purpose statistics application on SourceForge, having passed the 40,000 download mark. There are plenty of new features forthcoming, and every effort will be made to add them without compromising the commitment to ease of use, learn as you go, and beautiful output.
For line charts, users can now add trend lines and smoothed lines (using a weighted rolling average).
And histograms can now be produced with a normal distribution curve overlaid.
Other improvements include:
- Histograms display better when lots of bins – wider chart and smaller font for x-axis.
- Simplified layout of project selection form and changed preferences form.
- Clearer labels when users are selecting a range of groups rather than discrete groups e.g. in ANOVA.
- Added medians etc to the Wilcoxon Signed Ranks output.//
- An early error message directs the user to the help page on “SOFA Won’t Start”. It also includes connection details in the error message if unable to connect to the default database.
- Only delays next “What’s up” connection date if it successfully gets through.
There have also been some useful bug fixes:
- Bug fix when importing from ODS any data which could potentially be a year e.g. 2631.
- Report quality histograms no longer leave out values falling right on the upper limit.
- Two-tailed vs one-tailed corrections in output display.
- Fixed problem with table names (esp safetblname) surviving test for SQLite validity and breaking future tests.
I suspect that downloading SOFA Statistics is, for most users, the last contact they have with the project or the community. The latest version (1.0.2) addresses this. Approximately 2 weeks after the first use, and every couple of months thereafter, SOFA Statistics pops up a “What’s Happening” web page within the application. This page has links to help, quotes, latest SOFA Statistics news, resources, featured statistics videos etc. I hope it will be of value to users, and help them get the most out of SOFA Statistics and the training etc resources available. This aspect of SOFA is intended to be relatively unobtrusive and it can be closed immediately if so desired with its close button.
Other changes include:
- Added explanation of Mann-Whitney U to output, added degrees of freedom to output wherever possible, added footnotes for p values where lacking, and ensured all p values are to 3 decimal points unless under 0.001 in which case ‘< 0.001' is displayed.
- Better help messages if early problem with comtypes (Windows only) or library dates.
Bug fixes include:
- Fixed bug when reporting on datetime fields as rows or columns in report tables in MySQL, PostgreSQL, Access, and SQL Server.
- Fixed minor bug which meant MySQL importing failed on Macs because it didn’t recognise the platform.
Work will begin soon on the versions leading up to 1.1.