December 1st, 2012
SOFA has a plug-in for exporting reports and individual output as images (PNG) and/or PDFs. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to make a version which works for OS X. The plug-in works on Windows and Linux but there are crucial libraries I haven’t yet been able to get working on Mac. Fortunately there are some signs of progress. Sid Stewart of PDF Labs is working on a new version of pdftk (one of the libraries I need working) and will be building a new installer for Mac. And wkhtmltopdf and pyPDF are already working. So getting the export output plug-in working for Mac might be possible after all.
You might be able to help. If you are a Mac user, and you are able to get either of the following libraries working on your machine, please drop me a line (email@example.com) letting me know how you did it.
- Ghostscript (used to convert PDF → PNG)
- ImageMagick (used to trim PNG to correct dpi) or, even better still, PythonMagick
November 20th, 2012
More good news for the SOFA Statistics project – CUBRID recently donated $300 to SOFA Statistics. CUBRID is “a comprehensive open source relational database management system highly optimized for Web Applications” and SOFA recently added a plug-in to connect to CUBRID databases.
It was also great to see the support that CUBRID gave to a range of other projects. One of the interesting things was the range of countries represented: New Zealand (SOFA Statistics), Switzerland, South Korea, Kenya, Russia, Australia, Denmark, Romania, China, Spain, Germany, Indonesia, the Netherlands, and the USA. Truly a global effort.
So on behalf of the SOFA project, thanks
November 9th, 2012
Great news! SOFA Statistics won the 2012 People’s Choice Award in the NZ Open Source Awards. Thanks to everyone who voted in support.
In addition to the trophy and framed certificate I was lucky to get a nice new Android tablet from Zareason (http://zareason.com/shop/zatab.html). Busy playing with that at the moment.
And SOFA was also a finalist for the Best Open Source Project award.
So it was a great awards ceremony for the project.
Video of Open Source People’s Choice Award (Presented by ZaReason)
Video of finalists for Open Source Software Project (SOFA one of 3 finalists)
November 4th, 2012
SOFA 1.3.0 has plenty of small but important additions:
And there have also been some important bug fixes making it worth upgrading:
- Fixed bug in row stats where data should have explicitly filtered out None values.
- Fixed bug in setting of min and max values for y-axis for boxplots when min is below 0.
- Refactored code for running report in output module. Easier to understand and also made it easy to save copy of internal html output with absolute paths to images – very helpful when exporting images.
- Built more robust value quoting e.g. for sql statements.
I hope you like it.
October 12th, 2012
I was lucky enough to get interviewed by FLOSS for Science. Check it out
October 12th, 2012
SOFA has been nominated for The People’s Choice Award as part of the New Zealand Open Source Awards. I would really love it if as many people as possible voted for SOFA at The People’s Choice Award. Tell your friends; spread the word.
September 20th, 2012
- The latest SOFA, version 1.2.2, lets you import from Excel XLSX files (previously, Excel files had to be in the XLS format).
- Normality analyses can be included in reports, saved as output etc.
- And there is support for CUBRID databases. CUBRID is an open source relational database highly optimized for Web Applications. That brings to 6 the total number of SQL-type databases that SOFA can directly link to.
A few bugs were also fixed:
- Restored standard deviation option to row stats report tables.
- Fixed bug which meant row % was appended multiple times to config col dialog (until session closed).
- Restored PostgreSQL functionality by fixing faulty psycopg import statement.
August 28th, 2012
The latest version of SOFA Statistics makes it easy (via a plug-in) to export to spreadsheet.
SOFA also makes it easier to select multiple variables when making report tables.
Additionally, there have been some important bug fixes – mainly for bugs which snuck in during the major change to 1.2.0.
- Fixed nasty bug breaking demo report tables. A casualty of the changes to the independent display of titles from report tables in 1.2.0 so wide titles didn’t mean wide table cells.
- Fixed bug with display of percent symbols in report tables. A missing not was the culprit – another casualty of the big refactoring for 1.2.0.
- Fixed bug with Data List reports – wouldn’t update display after changing sort order of a variable.
- Sort by value now works properly in Data List reports.
- Can now handle excessively long values being used as categories in report tables or charts etc. Checks are also now made for excessively long category variable values.
- If encoding problems, SOFA now tries to use the field encoding e.g. iso-8859-1.
August 18th, 2012
SOFA creates HTML web reports ready to share but sometimes you want to share a PDF or include graphs and tables in documents and slideshows. The ‘export output’ extension makes it easy. And the images can be exported in draft for speed or a range of higher quality resolutions e.g. for publication.
The Export Output plug-in is available at get_extensions.php and is compatible with SOFA 1.2.0, which has just been released.
Version 1.2.0 also offers the following:
- Scatterplots can have more than one series e.g. different coloured male and female dots on same plot.
- Individual columns within a data display report table can be sorted. This is extremely useful for checking your raw data, looking for anomalies before analysis.
- Report tables of summary statistics e.g. mean, median, sd, now show the measures across columns instead of down rows. This makes it much easier to compare results and notice difference.
Numerous changes to layout and functioning to make SOFA easier to use. For example, the demonstration tables displayed when configuring report tables now use real data instead of random data if the data source is small enough to make updating fast. And the “Show Results” button becomes “Add to Report” when report tables are able to use live data for examples (and the “Add to report checkbox” is hidden). Add to report now defaults to False and remembers the last setting throughout the user session. And some standard GUI items have been repositioned to increase the logic of placement and speed of use.
- Added IQR (Inter-Quartile Range) to the Row Stats Table.
- Can now do a boxplots of a single variable (not requiring a variable for it to be By).
- Now save and show cropped matplotlib charts.
- Scatterplots are a better size.
- Excel importing copes with faulty dates better and tells the user where the problem is.
- Filter dialog now checks if user wants to apply a filter when the settings haven’t been changed. Prevents inadvertent filtering to null.
- Better font sizes in auxiliary clustered bar charts (matplotlib).
- GUIs no longer update if the user selects the same database as is already selected.
And there have been plenty of useful bug fixes too:
- Fixed bug when more colours are required for auxiliary clustered barcharts than in the css.
- Fixed bug re: linked images with non-English characters not displaying in GUI html window (still issue if user relying on IE6).
- Fixed bug which made report tables widen if the title or subtitle was wider.
- Fixed bug where removal of filter in the charting dialog would change third variable dropdown to the last value it had when the filter was applied even if it had subsequently been changed to the Nothing Selected value. The default values are now updated everytime the dropdowns change.
- Now a guaranteed consistency in series colours across charts even if a series is missing e.g. the middle one, from one of the charts.
- Misc bug fixes for stats tests where no variability. Better user messages.
- Independent variable tests cope with new lines in text values.
- Histograms all get title case titles if no value label instead of upper case.
- Fixed bug when filtering results in no group a and b values possible in indep2var analyses.
- Fixed histogram width issue esp if wide numbers e.g. 12000 is wider than 12.
- Fixed css display problem in webkit internal browsers.
This is an exciting release and hopefully the plug-in will be well received.
July 18th, 2012
I was wanting to shrink the font of elements of the SOFA GUI dialogs so I could squeeze more in or relocate items to more logical positions. Can’t be that hard, surely? I have since discovered that if a drop-down list (wxPython wx.Choice widget) has lots of items e.g. 30+ it takes seconds for fresh items to be added the the widget if you are trying to use your own font selection (using setFont()) on Linux. SetItems() takes a long time as, presumably, it sets the font for each individual item. And given I can’t control how many items will appear in drop-down lists or avoid having to repopulate lists (e.g. new data table selected so variable lists have to be updated) the option of shrinking fonts is not viable. Back to the drawing board.
[UPDATE] I came up with a workaround. Because there is no performance problem when items are included with the initial instantiation of dropdown widgets, all dropdowns are rebuilt each time they are changed. This means they have to be destroyed before being replaced, and the panel they are on must be hidden temporarily to avoid flicker on Windows, but it works. The fact that I was able to clean up some code in the process almost compensates for the considerable extra work