[EpiData-list] Comments about SET and OPTIONS

epidata-list at lists.umanitoba.ca epidata-list at lists.umanitoba.ca
Sun Oct 8 04:49:43 CDT 2006


Jens wrote:

"Another intention is to have more options and fewer commands, but to
assist users by more intuitive dialogs. E.g. as now where graph commands
can be specified with a structured dialog where most options are
available."

I am not sure what you mean. In my opinion the only unnecessary command,
right now in EpiData Analysis is EPiTables, because you can modify very
easily the TAB command using an option /Epi (for instance) if you want to
add calculation of RR, OR ,etc.

In addition, including dialogs can be very useful for beginners, but still
try to keep it as simple as possible. In my experience the one already for
graphs is a little bit confuse, you have lot of options you don’t know how
to use and most users are not going to explore it.


" The problem with the current way of implementation is that there is a
non-unified approach to what is defined at command level and what at "set"
level.
Mostly due to the way it was done in Epi6. And this confuses users."

That’s clear and it is better to have a defined approach.

..................................................................................................................
" option:
A specification for a given command. These are a combination of / and
letters or numbers

All options are made as short as possible and there is no intention to
try to make the option name understandable, but in the documentation they
should all be explained."

But at least you must try to follow a rule: e.g. the first letter of the
meaningful word affected by the options.

If options are case sensitive then a rule should be followed, e.g. always
in CAPITAL LETTERS.

"A given designation for an option should mean the same in all commands if
possible.
e.g. /m   is always allow missing values"

Agree.

Options affect the current command and only this instance of the command.

Options should affect only:

1.- what kind of records are affected by the command (e.g. those including
missing values; or those marked as deleted);
2.- what information is included in the output (e.g. Row percents, CI,
Statistics, etc..);
3.- the way the output is sorted (e.g. by labels, by count, by RR)

Options shall be also part of the set group, so that the default option is
the one defined by the SET parameters (e.g. SET MISSING=ON will affect all
the commands as if in the command a /m were included).

"set:

a general specification for running the programme or setting formats.
The first word of a "set" tells what this specifies.
General which cannot obey this rule should
be avoided.
e.g. set display databrowser = on/off   (will always show data browser
in the background).



..................................................................................................................
"All showing of labels, values etc are defined by these "set"  commands:"

Agree

"Creation and display of statistical tests, percentages etc are moved to
each command:"

Agree (See above)

"Format of Confidence Intervals are

TABLE CI HEADER    (95% CI)
TABLE CI FORMAT    C2-()"

Don’t understand. Do you mean: CI-( )?

I hope other users want to share their experiences and opinions about
these topics.

Saludos, and thank you Jens for your efforts and this wonderful program.


Pedro Arias
Epidemiologist
Co-Translator of EpiData into Spanish





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