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4 Processing Data

Developer's Guide

Proposed outline:

     * Introduction
     * Basic concepts
     ** Data sets
     ** Variables
     ** Dictionaries
     ** Coding conventions
     ** Pools
     * Syntax parsing
     * Data processing
     ** Reading data
     *** Casereaders generalities
     *** Casereaders from data files
     *** Casereaders from the active file
     *** Other casereaders
     ** Writing data
     *** Casewriters generally
     *** Casewriters to data files
     *** Modifying the active file
     **** Modifying cases obtained from active file casereaders has no real effect
     **** Transformations; procedures that transform
     ** Transforming data
     *** Sorting and merging
     *** Filtering
     *** Grouping
     **** Ordering and interaction of filtering and grouping
     *** Multiple passes over data
     *** Counting cases and case weights
     ** Best practices
     *** Multiple passes with filters versus single pass with loops
     *** Sequential versus random access
     *** Managing memory
     *** Passing cases around
     *** Renaming casereaders
     *** Avoiding excessive buffering
     *** Propagating errors
     *** Avoid static/global data
     *** Don't worry about null filters, groups, etc.
     *** Be aware of reference counting semantics for cases