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RE: st: logarithmic scales


From   "R. Allan Reese" <R.A.Reese@hull.ac.uk>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   RE: st: logarithmic scales
Date   Fri, 28 Nov 2003 10:04:02 +0000

On Thu, 27 Nov 2003 18:12:57 -0000 Nick Cox <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk> 
wrote:

> ... I formulated my question in terms
> of Stata's defaults given -xscale(log)-
> and how to improve on them in a way that
> can be automated ...  but it would be easy enough to provide
> one's own default, and the logic would
> be broadly similar to that outlined [by Allan Reese].

> > Eg yla(0 1(2)7 8.02 "8.02", format(%4.0f) angle(0) labsize(*.8))

I'll briefly reinforce this view, because one of the outstanding
features of Stata for me is the way you can build and revise
graphics by explicitly altering features.  This is in stark contrast 
with the attitude of providing a galaxy of styles and expecting the 
user simply to click'n'choose.  It is also in contrast with 
point'n'click editing, which is too often based on "pull it about til 
it looks summ't loike", as we say in't north.  I want to be able to 
articulate the process of drawing, so that I can (a) communicate with 
students or clients (b) have an audit trail to document a graph, and 
(c) set up a production line so that all graphs are consistent where 
required to be.  My attitude has been reinforced by trying another 
program which boasts "templates", but the templates copy only a 
limited, and undocumented, set of features to another graph.  It was 
most recently reinforced yesterday when writing slides in PowerPoint 
and finding the font size constantly changing as I typed or when slides
were saved and restored; that is NOT f***ing intelligent software, it's
just an irritatingly poor tool.

Having worked myself up, there seems an odd lack in the grid option of 
Stata8 scatterplot.  I wanted fewer grid lines than labelled values, 
but grid provides only grid/nogrid, and x|ylines are a different style 
from gridlines.  That makes it a lot of work when the obvious 
("well it's obvious to me, sir" Benny Hill) would be label(values...)
grid(values...).

Briefly?
--------------------------------------------------------------
R Allan Reese                      Email: R.A.Reese@hull.ac.uk
Graduate School
University of Hull
Tel +44 1482 466845                       Fax: +44 1482 466436

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