[Ifeffit] Bug in Athena merge preferences?

Scott Calvin dr.scott.calvin at gmail.com
Thu Apr 28 17:05:22 CDT 2011

Hi Bruce (and Ifeffiteers),

I'm not positive this is a bug--maybe I'm just misunderstanding how  
the features are supposed to work. (It wouldn't be the first time!)

In Athena 0.8.061 on a Mac running OS 10.5.8, I tried the following (I  
tried it in more than one project, to make sure it's not an  
intermittent bug):

--Under Edit Preferences/Merge/Merge_Weight, choose "n" and apply to  
future sessions
--Close Athena and reopen
--Open a project
--Mark two data sets.
--Change the "importance" of one of them.
--Under the merge menu, choose "weight by importance."
--Under the merge menu, "merge marked data in chi(k)"

The result for me is that the merged file ignores the importance I've  
assigned. I've also tried it in mu(E), with the same result.

It seems that perhaps the "n" value in the preferences overrides the  
"weight by importance" option in the menu? If so, that's not the way I  
expect preferences and menu options to interact.

Trying it with applying the "n" only to the current session also has  
an interesting behavior, although not necessarily the "wrong" one: it  
seems to just change the radio button in the menu. Also, if I change  
the radio button in the menu directly, the option under Preferences  
changes to match. For the current session, I can understand the  
argument that this is a reasonable behavior. But it is likely to cause  
confusion if a user changes it in the menu and then tries to use the  
preferences to check what the future sessions value is set to--if they  
haven't previously changed the preferences directly during the  
session, they might naturally assume that the value there is the value  
for future sessions, but in reality it just represents the most recent  
menu choice they made, and could be different in a future session.

My suggested fix to both issues: the preferences should control what  
value the radio button takes on when Athena is first opened, and  
changes to the preferences should cause an immediate change to the  
status of the radio button. Subsequent changes to the radio button  
should not change the value under the preferences. And the behavior of  
the merge function should always reflect the current value of the  
radio button.

--Scott Calvin
Sarah Lawrence College
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