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From |
SamL <saml@demog.berkeley.edu> |

To |
statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu |

Subject |
Re: st: PDF Stata 8 manuals |

Date |
Tue, 15 Jul 2003 10:49:30 -0700 (PDT) |

Some stations on a train of thought (not, by any means, the only train): -adding pdf files *may* reduce the number of people buying manuals -this *may* lead the manuals to increase in price -this price increase *may* lead fewer people still to buy the manuals (me among them) -this *may* force the software to go up in price for everyone -this *may* lead many to switch to other packages (e.g., R) -after a decade or so, the argument will continue with the designers of R, as people ask for "better" access to the manual Why start this process at all? If it ain't broke . . . Another set of thoughts -searchable manuals are best for knowledgeable users (who will know what to search for) -many of the best most promising students learn a lot by the very effort of hunting through a manual, reading matters they do not (at the moment) need--this advantage of paper will be less widely experienced in the change (already affected by the tech support search engine) A final comment for this note --I prefer the paper non-searchable manuals. I only use the tech support pages when I have left the manuals at the office--a nice feature, but if I have access to both, paper wins. I would be very sad (and would re-think my software use) if it became prohibitively expensive to acquire the paper manuals alone. If, on the other hand, the cost of the software goes up (so even those with pdf files are paying to use the commands), or if those who pay for pdf files have to pay a lot more to get them and the price of paper manuals remains as is, then I'd be fine with it, just as long as the paper manuals were no more expensive than the pdf files. But, I may be in the minority in that desire for a more expensive software package--which would seem necessary anyway, if more is being bundled with it. But, I guess we should never underestimate the seductive illusion of obtaining something for nothing. :-) Respectfully, Sam On Tue, 15 Jul 2003, Ulrich Kohler wrote: > But SAS is somewhat more expensive than Stata, isn't it? > > kohler@wz-berlin.de > > Richard Herrell wrote: > > I recall we discussed the problem before about the ease of distributing > > pdfs. I don't think it differs greatly from the free sharing of > > photocopies of chapters from SAS manuals I saw as a student and teacher > > "Say, can I make a copy of the logistic chapter?" I now have a CD with > > the complete SAS manuals which is not expensive, takes up virtually no > > room on the shelf, and is wonderful to use since I can search it. > > > > Richard Herrell > > NIMH > > NIH > > > > On Tue, 15 Jul 2003, Nick Cox wrote: > > > William Dupont > > > > > > > I think I would still prefer a hyperlinked pdf version of the paper > > > > documentation, but a hyperlinked SMCL version would be a > > > > big advance. > > > > Would creating hyperlinked pdf documentation be much more > > > > difficult or > > > > expensive than doing this in SMCL? > > > > > > The difficulty or the expense of doing this are not > > > the issue at all, or so I suspect. It's what would be > > > done with the resulting product. > > > > > > Let me put one key facet a little more bluntly than > > > Stata Corp might. > > > > > > If your colleagues and students could print out .pdf willy-nilly, > > > how much would it affect their willingness to buy the manuals? > > > > > > How many people, world-wide, would buy cheap pirated > > > versions of (subsets of) the documentation if they existed? > > > > > > Individually, of course, no one wants to pay any more than > > > one can avoid, modulo ethical scruples. > > > Collectively, however, the viability of > > > Stata Corp must depend on its financial success, itself > > > dependent on at least some people paying substantially > > > for what they get. > > > > > > Nick > > > n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk > > > > > > * > > > * For searches and help try: > > > * http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/res/findit.html > > > * http://www.stata.com/support/statalist/faq > > > * http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/ > > > > * > > * For searches and help try: > > * http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/res/findit.html > > * http://www.stata.com/support/statalist/faq > > * http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/ > > > > * > * For searches and help try: > * http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/res/findit.html > * http://www.stata.com/support/statalist/faq > * http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/ > * * For searches and help try: * http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/res/findit.html * http://www.stata.com/support/statalist/faq * http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/

**References**:**Re: st: PDF Stata 8 manuals***From:*Ulrich Kohler <kohler@wz-berlin.de>

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