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st: RE: RE: Stata Wish List


From   "Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: RE: RE: Stata Wish List
Date   Thu, 21 Oct 2004 14:52:23 +0100

First, I've changed the name from STATA to 
Stata in the running thread title. There are 
pedantic, aesthetic, and synaesthetic objections
to the form "STATA", namely, it's wrong; it's 
ugly; and to many people it sounds like SHOUTING. 

please whisper... 

I'd turn the discussion about output aesthetics 
around. I'm interested in learning if anyone 
thought that anyone else was claiming that 
statistical program output _was_ typically 
suitable for straight reproduction in reports. 

Statistical output, almost always, gives you 

* more results than you really want or need 
(because somebody might want some of them) 

* more decimal places than you really want or need 
(because somebody might want some of them) 

* identifiers (e.g. variable names) that you 
and the software contract to use together, because
no language can support the natural language you 
might well rather use instead

* a layout you don't want (because how can 
the program know what you format you want, unless
you specify that in total detail). 

Of course, none of this stops users or 
StataCorp giving us tools for the report
generation stage. 

On a different note, I did a quick hack 
at firing up a window holding your 
variable names, storage types, variable 
labels and value labels. All it involves
is creating some variables to hold the 
information temporarily and then opening 
a -browse- window on those variables. Some 
people might want to play. I doubt I can 
push the idea any further. 

program dbrowse
	version 8 
	syntax [varlist] 

	local nvars : word count `varlist' 
	preserve 
	
	if `nvars' > _N { 
		set obs `nvars' 
	} 

	foreach v in _varname _storage _format _vallabel _varlabel { 
		capture gen `v' = "" 
		if _rc { 
			di as err "`v' already exists" 
			exit 498 
		}
	} 

	tokenize `varlist' 
	qui forval i = 1/`nvars' { 
		replace _varname = "``i''" in `i' 
		replace _storage = "`: type ``i'''" in `i' 
		replace _format = "`: format ``i'''" in `i' 
		replace _vallabel = "`: value label ``i'''" in `i' 
		replace _varlabel = "`: variable label ``i'''" in `i' 
	} 

	browse _varname _storage _format _vallabel _varlabel in 1/`nvars' 
end 	



Nick 
n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk 


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