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PSPP-BUG: DATA LIST using a slash to skip records doesn't work (example

From: knassen
Subject: PSPP-BUG: DATA LIST using a slash to skip records doesn't work (example from pspp docs)
Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2023 12:24:04 -0500

This error comes from running example code in the pspp 1.62 manual (Chapter 8, page 67 in my PDF file, YMMV, search for “survey.dat”). 


This is the error I get from these running the example program on two different Unix/Linux computers (I’m only showing one because they are the same error but used different compilers and operating systems):



(latte 5:49pm) : ~/diss> uname -a

FreeBSD 12.4-STABLE FreeBSD 12.4-STABLE stable/12-n236036-9b3d6127716e GENERIC  amd64

(latte 8:01pm) : ~/diss> pspp -o test_card_skip.list test_card_skip.sps

test_card_skip.sps:7.3: error: DATA LIST: Syntax error expecting variable name.

    7 |  /.

      |   ^

test_card_skip.sps:9: error: Stopping syntax file processing here to avoid a cascade of dependent command failures.


This error also happens in psppire.  Using a filename and an external survey.dat file gives the same syntax error due to the “/.”.


I see this error in pspp from the latest git source on FreeBSD 12.4 and on Linux Buster (Debian) on a Raspberry Pi 4.  This must have worked at some point because the example in the pspp manual example uses the skip-the-records feature of DATA LIST.  The program cannot read the data because it must skip the blank lines in the raw data. Instead, I get a “Syntax error” about expecting a variable name.


According to the SPSS 25 docs online (in the Command Syntax Reference for the RECORDS Subcommand).  It says, “To skip a record, specify a slash without any variables for that record.” And “ The number of slashes in the variable definition cannot exceed the value of the integer specified on RECORDS.”  Thus a DATA LIST with “/.” and no variables shouldn’t be an error if there is a record to skip.





Attachment: test_card_skip.sps
Description: application/spss-sps

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