Contents - Index

Data Interchange

WinBasp is a programme for archaeological statistics that is the fifth descendant of a series of programmes dating back to the early 1970's.  

It has a number of specialised features which are not normally found in commercial statistical packages, and it has a unique user interface. 
See: Winbasp Features

For historical reasons, it uses a streamed binary file format which can not be read by other programmes.  It has very limited file import and export capability based on the state of the art at the time it was programmed for Windows 3.1 between 1992 and 1994.   The database export/import functions are quite obsolete in WinBasp, so that data interchange with other more modern programmes is often difficult or impossible. 

See: History of WinBasp

PAST is a recent programme for paleontological statistics which contains many features that are not available in WinBasp, but WinBasp has a few features which are not in PAST.

See: PAST(PAleontological STatistics)

PAST uses an editable ascii text file format and a gridded spread-sheet like interface with column data delimited with tab characters and a new line for each row of data..  

Excel & Calc:

Spreadsheets like Microsoft's Excel and Open Office/Sun Calc have proprietary data formats.  However both can import and export ascii row-column tables delimited with commas (Comma Separated Variables, CSV), and  Excel can also use the tab delimited files from PAST.  PAST can read native Excel files directly.  WinBasp can only export CSV files.

Basp_Past is a utility programme for use with WinBasp, PAST or data from a spreadsheet.  It can read and write three formats, and it's spreadsheet interface may be used for raw data entry and editing if desired.  It checks for conformity with the input and output requirements of all three types of data and makes automatic changes where necessary. It can also spawn PAST and WinBasp so that it serves as a control center for both programmes.  It does no other processing.


Open an existing file from one of the three supported formats or enter new data directly into the Basp_Past spreadsheet.  Make any desired modifications in the spreadsheet and save the result in any of the three supported formats.  Spawn WinBasp or PAST directly from Basp_Past for further processing. Basp_Past itself can be spawned from any other programme which is capable of this along with the file name of a data file on the command line.  It will then open that file directly.