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RE: st: Making saveold a permanent option

From   "Mark Schaffer" <>
Subject   RE: st: Making saveold a permanent option
Date   Wed, 3 Mar 2004 14:36:42 -0000


Subject:        	RE: st: Making saveold a permanent option
Date sent:      	Wed, 3 Mar 2004 10:27:18 -0000
From:           	"Nick Cox" <>
To:             	<>
Send reply to:

> Mark Schaffer
> > I agree with Richard here.  Don't forget that the takeup of a new
> > version of Stata sometimes isn't even synchronised within a single
> > institution (say, a network version for students vs. the staff
> > version vs. the standalone version on a laptop), let alone
> > synchronised around the world.  The incompatibilities of the .dta
> > formats are a nusiance while coauthors, colleagues and students are
> > using different versions.
> Sure they are. But -saveold- is the StataCorp solution, 
> which is where we came in. 
> Stata 7 datasets -> Stata 8: no problem 
> Stata 8 datasets -> Stata 7: use -saveold-. 

Of course, -saveold- is a help, but it can't help the Stata 7 user 
presented with a Stata 8 dataset.  This happens, and it's a nusiance 
when it does, albeit not usually a huge one.  But it would be nice if 
there was an easy way to deal with it.  Maybe the last .exe update 
for Stata X could be to add readbility of Stata X+1 data files?  Live 
in hope...


> I'm not denying here that, depending on set-up, people 
> can have local or personal problems, and they're not 
> at all interesting, just frustrating. I'm just guessing 
> that there are very good reasons why StataCorp will do 
> nothing extra to help you. Emphasise "guess". 
> Nick 
> > I don't think making it easier for Stata 7 users to read Stata 8
> > data is going to provide much of an incentive for them to stay with
> > Stata 7.  Roughly speaking, if they have the budget and want the new
> > features of Stata 8 (including the user community's ados), they'll
> > upgrade, otherwise they won't.
> Yes, both you and Roger Newson raise the extra questions of
> user-written programs, directly or indirectly. The user-programmer
> community tends to follow a release of Stata with a time lag of just a
> few months, so that very quickly most substantial user-written ados
> are written for the current release. How much difference that makes to
> anybody's upgrade decision I don't know; it's probably marginal. But
> notice that the user-programmers in this case are not, so far as I
> know, following any agenda of helping Stata's sales effort, and indeed
> some (like Roger) continue to make earlier versions of their programs
> accessible so that people still using earlier releases can use them.
> It's just that user-programmers tend to upgrade very quickly and just
> can't resist using the extra features of a new release. Graphics is
> only the most obvious current example.
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Prof. Mark E. Schaffer
Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation
Department of Economics
School of Management & Languages
Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS  UK
44-131-451-3494 direct
44-131-451-3008 fax
44-131-451-3485 CERT administrator
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