[EpiData-list] Bug in EpiData 3.1? (TYPE STATUSBAR)

epidata-list at lists.umanitoba.ca epidata-list at lists.umanitoba.ca
Fri Jul 1 07:44:28 CDT 2005


I noticed some differences between EpiData 3.0 and 3.1 and a possible 
bug in version 3.1:

1) If I use the check command TYE STATUSBAR "CaseNum = " the value of 
the field (here: casenum) is only shown in the statusbar if the focus is 
on the field. If I move to other fields, the value is not visible 
anymore. This occurs in version 3.1 but not in 3.0. This seems to be an 
error of version 3.1.

2) Version 3.0 and 3.1 differ in the way they display values defined by 
RANGE, MISSINGVALUE, and/or COMMAND LEGAL (field).

For example, I have a multiple response question and the first question 
is a filter (if checked, the following multiple response questions do 
not apply). Or there is no filter variable but I want that the coder 
first has to decide whether any of the multiple response questions are 
checked (this is what I use in the following example). If not, I want 
that all values are set to missing (9 - no answer) and the focus should 
be set to the next block of questions. On the other hand, if there is at 
least one answer checked, the focus should move to the first of the 
multiple response questions and the user has to enter one of the folling 
values: 0 (no checked), 1 (checked), or 7 (ambiguous answer). When all 
data are entered, I want that the value labels are defined as follows 
(because I want that the SPSS syntax attaches value labels to missing 
values, as well; 8 is necesseary because the whole block of questions 
may not be applicable):

* ---------------------------------------
   LABEL notice
     0  "somebody found out"
     1  "nobody found out"
     7  "ambiguous answer"
     8  "not applicable"
     9  "no answer"
   END
* ---------------------------------------

However, to help the coder I want that while entering the data he/she 
does not see these labels but the following:

-----------------------------------------
    0 -  (not checked)
    1 -  no
    7 -  (ambiguous answer)
-----------------------------------------

With EpiData version 3.0 this is possible if I use the following check 
commands:

* =======================================
beerdt
   MISSINGVALUE 9 8 7                  * <- (1)
   BEFORE ENTRY
     HELP "MULTIPLE RESPONSE QUESTION\n\nQuestion 46.6: Anything 
checked? (y/n)" KEYS="YN"
     IF (RESULTVALUE=2) THEN
       beerdt=9
       beerdtpa=9
       beerdtpo=9
       beerdtte=9
       beerdtse=9
       GOTO beerpun
     ENDIF
     COMMENT LEGAL SHOW                * <- (2)
       0 "(not checked)"
       1 no
       7 "(ambiguous answer)"
     END
   END
   COMMENT LEGAL USE notice            * <- (3)
   MUSTENTER
   TYPE COMMENT RED
   JUMPS
     1 beerpun
     9 beerpun
   END
   AFTER ENTRY
     IF (beerdt=0) THEN
       clear beerdtpa
       clear beerdtpo
       clear beerdtte
       clear beerdtse
     ENDIF
     IF (beerdt=1) THEN
       beerdtpa=0
       beerdtpo=0
       beerdtte=0
       beerdtse=0
     ENDIF
     IF (beerdt = 7) THEN
       WRITENOTE "ambiguous answer"
     ENDIF
     IF (beerdt=9) THEN
       beerdtpa=9
       beerdtpo=9
       beerdtte=9
       beerdtse=9
     ENDIF
   END
END
* =======================================

However, with EpiData 3.1, I cannot use "MISSINGVALUE 9 8 7" (see: * <- 
(1)) _and_ "COMMAND LEGAL SHOW" (see: * <- (2)) or "COMMAND LEGAL 
notice" (see: * <- (3)) simultaneously. If I use (1) and (2), the user sees:

----------------------
    0 -  (not checked)
    1 -  no
    7 -  (ambiguous answer)
    9 -  missing
    8 -  missing
    7 -  missing
----------------------

and is able to enter 9 (which should not be used) or 8 (which would be 
wrong). If I only use (2), the value (9) or (8) cannot be set by the 
"BEFORE ENTRY .. END" command or by an IF .. THEN condition in another 
field. To use (3) would also be no solution to this problem. Thus, only 
version 3.0 seems to allow a solution to this problem.

My main question is:

Are there any reasons why I should prefer version 3.1 to version 3.0? Or
which check commands do I need to solve the problem in version 3.1?

With respect to the missing values it would be extemely helpful if 
EpiData could create SPSS syntax that defines missing values according 
to the definitions in the EpiData check file. However, if (like in 
version 3.1) I cannot use MISSINGVALUE and "COMMAND LEGAL labelname" 
(because I want to label the missing values and to show the coder the 
meaning of the values entered) simultaneously , there are no missing 
value definitions that EpiData could use to create the SPSS syntax file.

I think that there are two solutions to this problem:

(1) If MISSINGVALUE and "COMMAND LEGAL labelname" are used 
simultaneously, in displaying the legal values the values defined in the
LABEL block get priority (and values MISSINGVALUE are not duplicated in 
the display). This would solve the problem described above, as well.

(2) Alternatively, if the MISSINGVALUE is commented out EpiData uses 
only the values defined by RANGE or COMMAND LEGAL, but uses the values 
defined by the MISSINGVALUE command that is preceded by "*" for creating 
the missing value definition in the SPSS syntax. For example:

* ----------------------------------------
LABELBLOCK
   LABEL variable
     1 no
     2 yes
     8 "not applicable"
     9 "no answer"
   END
END

variable
   COMMENT LEGAL variable
*  MISSINGVALUE 9 8
END
* ----------------------------------------

would create the following SPSS syntax:

* ----------------------------------------
VALUE LABELS variable (1) 'no'
                       (2) 'yes'
                       (8) 'not applicable'
                       (9) 'no answer'.
MISSING VALUES variable (9,8).
* ----------------------------------------

Regards,
Dirk

*************************************************
Dr. Dirk Enzmann
Institute of Criminal Sciences
Dept. of Criminology
Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1
D-20146 Hamburg
Germany

phone: +49-040-42838.7498 (office)
        +49-040-42838.4591 (Billon)
fax:   +49-040-42838.2344
email: dirk.enzmann at jura.uni-hamburg.de
www: 
http://www2.jura.uni-hamburg.de/instkrim/kriminologie/Mitarbeiter/Enzmann/Enzmann.html
*************************************************



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