IDSS is an open-source application designed for authoring and parsing HTML electronic questionnaires.

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GPL v3 
3.7/5 10
Fab Nicol
ROOT \ Communications \ Email
IDSS (Interface for the development of statistical surveys) is an open-source application designed for authoring and parsing HTML electronic questionnaires. The IDSS project is released under version 3 of the General Public Licence (GPLv3).

Developed as an alternative to web-based surveys, IDSS implements a de-centralised approach to survey management, thus running against the grain of common statistical lore and PHP-centered programming.
Using e-mail attachments to get in touch with people surveyed rather than asking them to connect to some site has many advantages. Experience shows that many respondents are put off by the technical aspects of website surveys while they would be ready to click on the "reply" button with a filled-in attachment.

IDSS uses HTML questionnaires as input files. These can be authored using common commercial sotfware, like Microsoft Word (with .doc files converted to .htm). However, it is advised to create questionnaires with 'native' HTML code, using a webpage designer like GNU Gedit, Open Office Write or KOMPOZER (

The resulting HTML code will be much shorter and so will computing times as a result.

No coding experience is assumed to put IDSS to good use and no knowledge of network programming is involved to set up a survey. IDSS should be particularly useful for surveys with high pressure on deadlines, as a medium-sized questionnaire can be designed and distributed within a day's work.


IDSS has three verbosity levels:


displays all error warnings, error or information messages, correspondence tables being displayed in addition.

Errors are identified by an [ERR] tag, and warnings by a [WARN] tag.
Information (on process status or the value of internal variables) is displayed with an [INFO] tag.
Information on command-line parameters (external variables) is tagged with [PAR].

standard level: no command-line specification. This verbosity level corresponds to -v I/O yet without the extra correspondence tables.

-W triggers silent mode (no on-screen display).

Log generation is ensured by -J either in the current folder as "Log.txt" (default behaviour) or with the filepath specified as an argument of -J.

Final pauses are suppressed by option -p.

Last updated on May 20th, 2008

#HTML questionnaires #HTML parser #HTML authoring #HTML #questionnaires #parser #authoring

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