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RE: st: RE: Graphing limitations / questions


From   "Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   RE: st: RE: Graphing limitations / questions
Date   Mon, 22 Nov 2004 18:28:23 -0000

Fredrik Wallenberg replied to me 
 
FW > Use a 3 dimensional histogram (with the two variables 
FW > and the x and
FW > z axis and the join distribution on the y axis). This can 
FW > easily be done in Excel, why not in Stata?

NJC > Why not? Partly because most people who want to do this can 
NJC > do it easily
NJC > in Excel, I imagine... But it's clearly a reasonable thing to want.
 
FW > That is a rather bad argument since you can easily to barcharts,
FW > scatterplots etc in Excel :-)

The original question was why not in Stata? Strictly, only the 
developers can answer that and they didn't break 
silence to give a conVincing answer, or indeed any 
answer, to this. Wigging aside, 

* 3 dimensional histograms can indeed be useful, more so than 
some of the other horrors available in other software. 

* Many of us await a push into 3-D graphics from StataCorp. 

* The developers are only human, like the rest of us, in 
a few cases even more so. If you talk to them at users' 
meetings they often say very simple things like "Not got 
round to it yet, sorry", "I don't like that kind of graph, so 
I'd not inclined to write the program myself", 
"I've never even heard of that", and so forth. If 
user-programmers say that sort of thing, it would be 
regarded as understandable caprice. On the other hand, 
if StataCorp developers say this, and don't match 
users' ideas on what is interesting or important, this 
is sometimes regarded as stubbornness on their part... 
 
FW > use -histogram, by-, BUT get ONE graph, treating the 
FW > -by- options
FW > as separate variables in the same graph. Once again this 
FW > seems like a
FW > reasonable thing to do but Stata doesn't have any support 
FW > for it (that
FW > I can tell).
 
NJC > You mean you want them superimposed?
 
FW > yes, similar to a set of bar charts. Once again I guess I could do
FW > someting about collapsing the data and actually use bar charts.

Sounds doable as a -contract- and a bar chart. 

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

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