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RE: st: Making saveold a permanent option
At 10:30 PM 3/2/2004 +0000, Nick Cox wrote:
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.
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.
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
OFFICE: (574)631-6668, (574)631-6463
WWW (personal): http://www.nd.edu/~rwilliam
WWW (department): http://www.nd.edu/~soc
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