FW Editor: What are your plans or objectives in the near future?
Bao Lei: Hopefully there is just one year left for me to finish grad school, in the very near future the most important part of my plans is to figure out the best career path for myself. With a degree in materials science expected, I will try to find a way to get a job where I can put a lot of efforts in software designing, something that I really have a most passion for.
FW Editor: How and when did you start writing the code for Data Transformer? What inspired you the most? Do you plan to develop new software, or are you more focused on optimizing the current ones?
Bao Lei: At a time when I feel that many data conversion works that I need to do are still not very convenient with currently existing applications. I started this program initially for my own needs. I am both developing new software and optimizing this one.
FW Editor: It was hard to develop a software like Data Transformer?
Bao Lei: No. I do it partially for fun and so I won't feel it is difficult.
FW Editor: What do you love the most at Data Transformer? What is its
Bao Lei: The ease of recording a script. In scientific researches, we got a lot of data and always need to look at them from different ways. This requires us to convert and display the data in different ways. Compared to writing a new computer program for each new study or using general purpose tools like Excel, Data Transformer makes this faster and more convenient.
FW Editor: Can you tell us more about this core feature? How does it work? What are the advantages of having it?
Bao Lei: Imagine that you have some data files, which all consist of three columns, say, the input, output A, and output B. Then you want to see the correlation between the input and A+B, you can first click the "record" button, and then add up column A and B, and list the input column and the new column. Then you can save this calculation process as a script file. For you next data file, you just need to click the "Run" button, and Data Transformer can repeat the data conversion process. And if next month you need to do the same calculation again, you can the script you recorded again and do the same thing.
FW Editor: What are the advantages of using Data Transformer over other similar products?
Bao Lei: Many data processing products support scripts for repeated processes, like Excel, Origin, etc. But I noticed that few people around me are using that. Because they need to learn how to write a script. In Data Transformer, you don't need to learn any new language. Just by hitting a record button, an automation script can be created. It's just very easy. Another advantage is that Data Transformer outputs the result in a pure text format that is easy to copy and widely compatible, so you can plot the data in almost any plotting software that you think will give the best quality.
FW Editor: Besides Data Transformer, is there any application that had a positive impact over you? Why?
Bao Lei: Yes, there are many great applications that make a positive impact over me. I think many good apps are inspired by other good apps.
FW Editor: How do you plan to improve Data Transformer in the future? What shall we expect new in the next version of Data Transformer?
Bao Lei: A batch file processing mode. With that function you can convert a lot of data files without opening them and repeating copies and pastes.
FW Editor: Are you planning to release a Windows based version of Data Transformer? If yes, when?
Bao Lei: It is already compatible with Windows. It is a Java app, and I have included an exe file in the package which works in Windows.
FW Editor: Do you have any message or anything you would like to share with Data Transformer users?
Bao Lei: Thanks for using Data Transformer. Please feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any suggestions.
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