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RE: st: Making saveold a permanent option

From   Richard Williams <>
To, <>
Subject   RE: st: Making saveold a permanent option
Date   Tue, 02 Mar 2004 18:16:04 -0500

At 10:30 PM 3/2/2004 +0000, Nick Cox wrote:
Essentially, 7.0 is history. The only obligation
it exerts over StataCorp is providing tech-support
to registered users.

I've no quarrel with felt needs, but I want StataCorp
to look ahead, not backwards.

From a marketing standpoint though, I think it is a good idea when a company makes it as easy as possible for users of different versions to exchange files. It used to be incredibly annoying when Microsoft would make changes in Word's .doc format to add features that 90% of the population did not want anyway, making it a big hassle to exchange files. It was smart of MS to minimize incompatibilities and to offer freebie routines for conversion. I'm sure Stata would prefer that everybody just immediately upgrade to V. 8, but an alternative possibility is that people will stick with 7 if it is too much hassle to upgrade everyone and if it is a hassle to exchange files between versions.

Stata obviously already has the code for switching back and forth between 7 and 8, so it presumably wouldn't be too hard to come up with a separate utility for this purpose.

In the present case, Karen can admittedly solve her problem just by being a little more careful! But if you are in a situation where you exchange files a lot (with students, colleagues; or perhaps if you place things on the web) it would be nice not to have to worry about compatibility issues or always being sure to use the lowest common denominator when saving things. I occasionally work on a machine that has Stata 7, so it is a nuisance when I can't open a file and have to convert it with Stat/Transfer or switch to a Stata 8 machine.

Richard Williams, Notre Dame Dept of Sociology
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