New Projects - Fresh from the Labs
If statistics is your game, and you're chasing an easy-to-use and comprehensive package that outputs great-looking charts, look no further. According to the Web site: “SOFA is a user-friendly statistics, analysis and reporting program. It is free, with an emphasis on ease of use, learn as you go and beautiful output. SOFA lets you display results in an attractive format ready to share.”
Binary packages are available for Linux, Windows and Mac (with Linux at the top of the list). Sadly, the Linux binary is only for Ubuntu, but the obligatory source also is available. Ubuntu users can grab the .deb and work things out for themselves, but the source is a bit trickier. At the time of this writing, the installation process was in a state of flux, so project maintainer Grant Paton-Simpson will have some special instructions up at the Web site for LJ readers when this article is printed.
As far as library requirements, here's what Grant told me you need:
python (>= 2.6.2).
wx-common (>= 126.96.36.199).
python-wxversion (>= 188.8.131.52).
python-wxgtk2.8 (>= 184.108.40.206).
python-numpy (>= 1:1.2.1).
python-pysqlite2 (>= 1.0.1).
python-mysqldb (>= 1.2.2).
python-pygresql (>= 1:4.0).
python-matplotlib (>= 0.98.5.2).
python-webkit (>= 1.0.0).
Once the program is installed, you should be able to find SOFA Statistics in your menu; otherwise, you'll need to run it from a terminal. If you need to use the command line, enter:
$ python /usr/share/pyshared/sofa/start.py
This path may be different on some distributions, and Grant may have made a link to a bin directory by the time this article is published (meaning you could start SOFA Statistics with a simple one-word command).
Grant has gone to a lot of effort making some excellent video tutorials, and there's no way I can improve upon them, so instead, I concentrate on highlighting cool features here. Again, Grant appears to be one step ahead of me in that he's provided a default set of preloaded values you can use to explore the project with ease, rather than going through the laborious process of first having to learn how to enter data and then making it display something meaningful. For now, let's look at the three main sections: Report Tables, Charts and Statistics.
Under Report Tables, choose some random settings under Table Type, provide names for Title and Subtitle, and choose some of the available data fields with the Add button. Now click Run, and a swank new table is presented to you. Don't like the aesthetics? No problem. The Style output using... drop-down box lets you change the border to something more pleasing—a nice touch.
The pièce de résistance is probably the Charts section. This is where you can play around with the charts you see here in the screenshots, and more and more chart types are being added over time. Whether you want a bar graph, pie chart, line graph or something like a Scatterplot configuration, chances are it's doable. Play with some values in the Variables section, choose a Chart Type, click Run and a beautiful chart appears.
The Statistics section is where the elegance of design and data flow really come into play. This section is a bit beyond me, but here you can run statistical tests on your data, with a focus on the kind of tests most users need, most of the time. You can choose from common tests, such as ANOVA or Chi Square, or run through a check list of choices to choose what's right for you. Click Configure Test on the right, and you'll be presented with the final screen.
From here, you can choose which variables and groupings you want to test against. And finally, click Run. This section gives you the most impressive of the readouts and provides a comprehensive bundle of tables and graphs of analyzed statistics.
However, one of the most impressive and practical features under all three of these main sections is the Send output to... feature, with its View button. Here you actually can view each page of output in any Web browser in HTML format. This gives the project some instant credibility and practicality in that any work you do in SOFA can be opened instantly by anyone (like your coworkers) on their own computers, without needing to install SOFA Statistics. Plus, the information they see will be presented professionally with some impressive graphics to boot.
Although SOFA Statistics is still in its slightly buggy developmental stage, project maintainer Grant Paton-Simpson has shown an impressive grasp of what needs to be included in SOFA, from the small touches to the big. My hope is that this program becomes an adopted industry standard of sorts, mentioned in everyday conversation by organization workers the world over. And, given its free and multiplatform nature, combined with a very canny coder and designer, this hope of mine may not be an unrealistic one.
John Knight is the New Projects columnist for Linux Journal.
|Jarvis, Please Lock the Front Door||Aug 31, 2016|
|Contrast Security's Contrast Enterprise||Aug 30, 2016|
|illusive networks' Deceptions Everywhere||Aug 29, 2016|
|Happy Birthday Linux||Aug 25, 2016|
|ContainerCon Vendors Offer Flexible Solutions for Managing All Your New Micro-VMs||Aug 24, 2016|
|Updates from LinuxCon and ContainerCon, Toronto, August 2016||Aug 23, 2016|
- Jarvis, Please Lock the Front Door
- Download "Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI"
- Contrast Security's Contrast Enterprise
- illusive networks' Deceptions Everywhere
- Happy Birthday Linux
- All about printf
- New Version of GParted
- What I Wish I’d Known When I Was an Embedded Linux Newbie
- Tech Tip: Really Simple HTTP Server with Python
- Blender for Visual Effects
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide