Deprecated: Function set_magic_quotes_runtime() is deprecated in /home/mwexler/public_html/tp/textpattern/lib/txplib_db.php on line 14
The Net Takeaway: Scripting in Clem vs. SPSS


Danny Flamberg's Blog
Danny has been marketing for a while, and his articles and work reflect great understanding of data driven marketing.

Eric Peterson the Demystifier
Eric gets metrics, analytics, interactive, and the real world. His advice is worth taking...

Geeking with Greg
Greg Linden created Amazon's recommendation system, so imagine what can write about...

Ned Batchelder's Blog
Ned just finds and writes interesting things. I don't know how he does it.

R at LoyaltyMatrix
Jim Porzak tells of his real-life use of R for marketing analysis.






Scripting in Clem vs. SPSS · 05/31/2004 01:41 AM, Analysis

I am somewhat surprised and disappointed everytime I go searching for help on Clementine scripting. Search for SAS help and you get pages; but Clem? I hear the sound of crickets...

Clem's scripting doesn't follow SPSS Base's model, nor does it follow the SaxBasic/VBScript model. Instead it shows its roots as a POPLOG tool, even though it's front end is an SWT Java app.

Like SPSS has bolted on SaxBasic for programming around its SPSS Base scripting and macro limitations, I hope Clementine adopts a BSF framework to allow any BSF-compatible scripting language to be used, including Judoscript (or Groovy or any of the other hot Java scripting languages).

Why script Clementine at all? Isn't it a data-stream GUI? Sure, but there are lots of little annoying things that you have to script around. For example, the set-to-flag node likes to append the original variable name to the new "flagged' fields. This cannot be turned off in 7.x... but a script can strip those out. Also, there are times when you need to branch or loop depending on aspects of the data. No node can handle this, but you can script and adjust the functioning of a node. Finally, think of this: Scripts can generate your own custom nodes and streams; the old "programs-writing-programs" approach. Think of it as a macro language: What you use when the basic script needs some help.

The included docs do not really give much of a tutorial on how to script or why.... but SPSS sells what we used to call "included manuals". The "training" area has these manuals at $100 a piece, give or take... but to be honest, most of them are pretty darn good. For the programming subjects, they describe useful techniques and when to use them; for the stats, they often review how to interpret output and how to decide between the variety of ways to analyze, say, a bunch of categorical data with a few continuous factors.

In the meantime, this link will give you a good starting place to learn more about the tricks of scripting Clementine. Its a search for all the scripting articles in the SPSS Support db. Yes, its behind the support wall, but like all good hosts, they are usually kind to guests.

In addition, the SPSS FTP Site has some streams in zip files worth reviewing (especially, how to transpose and aggregate, worth its weight in gold).

Finally, there are great examples in the vertical streams (the "Clementine Appplication Templates") included with some versions of Clementine. Those are relatively well documented in the accompanying PDF, but do require some effort to understand how to duplicate some of their effects.

So, its not easy, but Clementine scripting can make life much easier. Now if only someone besides me would write about it... (well, someone besides me and Tim Manns.)

(PS: Yes, I know this is an extension whine of my previous whine here. Perhaps if SPSS just created some user groups (with cash and prizes) or got the old ones (one?) to be more active... or do whatever SAS did to get people excited about the tool... or do whatever made the people on SPSS-L so active... or maybe just get the SPSSE business cleaned up first.)

* * *


  Textile Help
Please note that your email will be obfuscated via entities, so its ok to put a real one if you feel like it...

powered by Textpattern 4.0.4 (r1956)