As Marcello Pagano pointed out recently,
Statalist celebrated its tenth anniversary
last month, just before the Boston users'
At that meeting's dinner, in lieu of a cake, Marcello
introduced some ice cream with some candles
and made a nice speech. We hope that others
who could not be there felt that ten years of
Statalist was least something worth regarding
as an achievement.
Some photos of this meeting, including the dinner,
are up at http://www.stata.com/meeting/3nasug/photos.html
(For some reason, most of those photos in
which Bill Gould, StataCorp President, is prominent
are labelled "Dinner". I can assure you that he was very
Marcello's quiet diplomacy, his firm "Now stop this
please" postings (sometimes to me), his puckish
sense of humour, and his endless nitty-gritty emails
behind the scenes have been crucial over most
of that decade in keeping Statalist going, and
in keeping Statalist well.
Let me now lower the tone a lot by reminding
people of various "rules" quite frequently
forgotten on the list.
Please don't send HTML/MIME/mailjunk
Statalist software tries to stop HTML, MIME
and other stuff that just bloats postings
as far as many listers are concerned. (In
extreme cases, it makes them unreadable.)
It does not always succeed. (Don't ask
"Why not?" as I don't know.) But we
want ASCII text, and ASCII text, alone.
It is easy to forget this, or to do it
accidentally. It is also easy to try to
Experience shows that many people have no
idea that they are doing this, as their
email just looks normal to them.
Consider this list:
1. If you are using some word processor
to edit your mail, it is probably not
being sent as ASCII text.
2. If you are using some proportional
font (non-typewriter, letters vary in
width), same story.
3. If you look in the archives at
a recent message of yours, in several
cases the HTML/MIME is all too obvious.
Please say where programs come from
In many recent cases, people have said
"I am using -foobar-", irrespective of whether
-foobar- is an official command, something published
in the STB/SJ, something from SSC or something
from some other source.
Part of the courtesy to be extended to other
users is to _explain_ to others where a program
comes from whenever it is not part of official
The reasoning is at least twofold:
1. You increase the chance that some expert will
have a look at your question. If that expert
glances at your posting, shrugs "Never even heard
of it", and deletes, you just lost your chance of getting that
person's brain to think about your problem. If
you say "I am using -foobar- from STB-33", you increase
the chance that said expert will pull it over, and have
a quick look, and perhaps even solve the problem.
2. You do your bit at spreading some good news. If
you are finding -foobar- useful, perhaps somebody
else would gain by knowing about it.
Please give references in proper style
This isn't a rule, but it can irritate.
Another fashion is to give a reference as just
names and date, without a title, journal title, etc.
It is likely that the reference will be a familiar one
to anyone who answers your question, but the full
reference can help others who are not familiar with it.
In addition, any sense that you don't care two hoots
about the people who won't understand your question
because you don't explain it fully won't help your
case very much.
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