[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date index][Thread index]
Re: st: RE: Taking averages, etc.
At 06:34 AM 12/17/2003 -0600, Fred Wolfe wrote:
However, as Nick will probably tell you soon, there is much to said for
simplicity and clarity. I prefer to define the if condition into
individual variables together with textual notes or labels to state what
the variables mean. Complicated code is all well and good when you are
writing it, but when you come back to the program 6 months later the code
is very difficult to understand.
Thanks Fred. To me, an if-then-else structure is simpler, clearer and less
error prone. Not only is it used by SPSS, it is used by most programming
languages I have worked with. And, it is easy enough to add comments
explaining what the code does, which I think should be done with anything
you might go back to 6 months later.
Part of this bias no doubt reflects familiarity though. One of the things
I like about Stata is that even if I have never used a statistical
procedure before, I can pretty much guess what its basic syntax will be
like and how to use post-estimation commands for it. This is certainly not
true of SPSS! But, when it comes to data base manipulation, the learning
curve is much greater. There are a lot of commands, functions, etc. It
may be that Stata is better at data base manipulation than SPSS -- I really
don't know -- but my practice right now is to often get the data ready in
SPSS and then convert it into Stata format.
Richard Williams, Associate Professor
OFFICE: (574)631-6668, (574)631-6463
WWW (personal): http://www.nd.edu/~rwilliam
WWW (department): http://www.nd.edu/~soc
* For searches and help try: