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st: Bug?

From   "Dupont, William" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: Bug?
Date   Thu, 29 May 2003 17:11:12 -0500

Jean Marie

Thanks for your response.  I guess it makes sense from a programmer's
perspective, but it is very unintuitive from the point of view of a
user.  The pull down menus in the -Area- box are under the subheading
-Outline:-  If I select -Thick- from the -Width:- pull down box I get a
wide outline.  If I select -Yellow- from the -Color:- box I get a yellow
outline.  It is hence only natural that if I select -None- I should
expect no outline on my shaded area.  If this is hard to do from a
programming point of view you would be better off if you deleted the
-None- option from this pull down box.  Allowing users to "do something
that no one in her right mind would want to do" does not enhance the
quality of your software. This is particularly true when the most
logical expectation of the effect of a command is radically different
from the one that is actually invoked.  It is also worth bearing in mind
that many of the users of your point and click interface will be the
least sophisticated of Stata users who often have a low frustration
tolerance for software that behaves in unexpected ways.

I hope that these comments are helpful.

Bill Dupont

"Dupont, William" <> asked:

> I believe there is a bug in the blcolor option of the twoway rarea
> command.  The following do file and comments illustrates the bug and
> explains why this might confuse point and click users.  Please let
> me know if I am misinterpreting the intent of this option.
> *********************
> *
> *  Evidence of a bug in the blcolor option of the twoway rarea command
> *
> set scheme s2color
> set more on
> set obs 5
> gen x = _n
> generate high = 3 + x
> generate low = x
> twoway rarea low hi x, bcolor(gs14)                       //Comment 1
> more
> twoway (rarea high low x)                                 //Comment 2
> more
> twoway (rarea high low x, bfcolor(gs14))                  //Comment 3
> more
> twoway (rarea high low x, blcolor(none) bfcolor(gs14))    //Comment 4
> (bug)
> more
> twoway (rarea high low x, blcolor(gs14) bfcolor(gs14))    //Comment 5
> ************************
<stuff snipped>
> 4.  The Color pull down box controls the color of the outline.  This
> command results from choosing Color = none.  I believe that this
> should have the same effect as the command on the //Comment 1 line.
> Instead it gives a blank graph.  I assume that this is a bug.

This is a feature, of the sort where Stata lets you do something that
no one in her right mind would want to do.

When you specify the outline color as -none-, you are saying there is
no outline.  When there is no outline, there is no interior because
the interior is defined as the stuff within the outline.  It's like
trying to have a glass of milk without the glass.  In this case the
interior color leaks out and just disappears.  You don't have to mop
it up off the floor, but it is the same idea.

What is more useful is to specify the fill color as none and to just
get the outline, but the capability exists for both.

To get the same outline and fill color, specify them both as gs14 as
in the Comment 5 graph.

Hope that helps.

--Jean Marie

William D. Dupont          phone: 615-322-2001          URL

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