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st: Re: o.s. yet again

From   Christopher F Baum <>
Subject   st: Re: o.s. yet again
Date   Tue, 7 Sep 2004 17:25:05 +0100

On Sep 7, 2004, at 7:33 AM, Alfonso wrote:

First it allows people to do the tailoring of the program to their specific needs, provided that some suitable training in Stata programing has been undertaken. This Stata "feature" encorange in turn people in the scientific community to exchange problems, ideas, and potential solutions via this list and the sharing of their user-written code. I would not be surprised to hear that at least one interesting collaboration project started by a posting to this list or by the exchange of Stata code between two otherwise non-related authors. Hence, the of “openness” of Stata ado files creates a sort of positive spillover that encourages research and facilitates the formation of research networks.

Second, since advanced users are producing tailored code for their specific applications, this implies that Stata is permanently developing beyond the main development efforts and business strategy of StataCorp. This feature is capable of attracting people that otherwise would not consider Stata as their preferred package – so, there are some “network effects here”. It also provides, I believe, a sort of feedback to StataCorp that is valuable to evaluate the needs of its users and plan its future development. So there is here another positive feedback that the “open ado” feature creates.

To finish just let me say that I think that the existence of this “open ado” feature and the existence of this Statalist is one of the major Stata competitive advantages of Stata over other commercial statistics packages. I would be willing to say it is the reason I chose Stata over other potential competitors.
I couldn't agree more. Just don't call it "Open Source" (TM), or you will attract those who will denigrate these advantages because the entire platform is not open to all. The stance of StataCorp toward the user community is highly laudable and would be emulated by other software companies if they were smart enough to do so.


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