[EpiData-list] Status on EpiData developments (August 2009)

epidata-list at lists.umanitoba.ca epidata-list at lists.umanitoba.ca
Mon Aug 10 08:32:12 CDT 2009


Dear all

During the most recent year development has been focused on SPC methods
in Analysis (SPC: Statistical Process Control graphs and analysis), but
also directed towards the longer sustainability issue of converting all
EpiData Software to Open-Source and a unified approach, including a new
principle of translation (not put into practice yet).

Such that regardless of variety (Entry, Analysis, EpiC) the same
function will do the same. The other aspect is to run on several
operating systems (linux, windows, Mac). A major break through in this
respect was reached upon release of the first test version for Linux and
Windows in May/June this year.

In the near future (weeks/days) two aspects will become visible:
a. Minor update of EpiData Analysis with key reported problems such as:
     Histograms (are essentially bar graphs until now),
     Parsing of varible names containing "if",
     Setting font size in graphs via dialogs

b. Next step in the core project, where users can test the future
"engine". The current and next release allows reading and writing of
text files, including "intelligent" guessing of variable format. A new
aspect is that decimal separator can be defined by the user. With a bit
of luck also a Mac variant of the core module will appear in a few weeks
(if no major problem shows up).

The principle now is that known problems mainly are solved in the core
project rather than a temporary solution in e.g. Analysis.

The coming phases of development are expected to be:
A
 - getting to the point where translation can be applied
   (the principle is visible - but not implemented fully
         at:  epidata.info/asger3)
 - rewriting EpiC to use the core module
 - develop a batch testing principle for reading and writing files

B
- Inclusion of the new core in Analysis

C
- Development of a GCP/FDA part 11/EMEA (Good Clinical practice for US
and EU officially approved data entry) compliant data-entry client. The
GCP principles will follow guidelines as shown on the European Clinical
Network research ECRIN - page and published by an international working
group in which I was a member, see  http://www.ecrin.org - publications
and find: GCP-compliant data management in multinational clinical trials.
ECRIN-2, Deliverable D10, Version 1, 15 September 2008.

In between these aspects some further development of Analysis and other
products (Entry and EpiC) will take place, but focus will be on getting
it all together on the new core to ensure sustainable development.

Actually the current year marks a decade since first relase of EpiData
Software and the autumn might contain special activities to celebrate
this.

I should mention that the project as a whole could not have been
completed without the efforts of donors, the user base, the critical
input, the specific work of people involved (see
www.epidata.dk/credit.htm) .

In particular for the rewriting focused donations from a number of
institutions mentioned on the www.epidata.dk/funding.htm page has been
essential. Such that full time employed Torsten Christiansen has been
extended beyond the first year to a full two year period. Without the
skillful efforts of Torsten in the first year leading to funding for a
second year the whole rewriting would not be possible. I could also add,
that without the thorough programming efforts by Michael Bruus in Entry
and EpiC in the first ten years the rewriting would also not be possible
in a two year period.

The coming year again seems to give the EpiData Society as a whole
(users and developers) another fruitful season.

Warm Regards to all
Jens Lauritsen

Coordinator and initiator of EpiData Project
http://www.epidata.dk





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