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RE: st: Welcome STATA 9
I am not surprised at all. Here degree of surprise
depends on how many releases you have experienced.
In particular, as Bill Gould clearly pointed out
some months ago, Stata has an approximate 2 year cycle.
As in mathematics, suppose the contrary, that StataCorp were
in the habit of telling people the release
date well in advance. This would be problematic
for several reasons.
1. People would start to plan for that date and
build it into their budgeting and research plans
and then (understandably) blame StataCorp if
there were slippage. In extreme cases, this
could lead to unpleasantness or even litigation.
No promises broken, no hearts broken.
2. Even though StataCorp allows upgrade to recent
purchasers at zero or little cost, there would
be a habit among many people of postponing purchases
until a new release. This is understandable, but
historically needed to be adjusted to, as new
development depends intimately on a steady income
generated by sales.
3. As a commercial product, Stata competes
with other products. StataCorp's strategy
is to keep relatively quiet about dates
and contents of new releases, at least
in public forums. Statalist as a internet
forum is of course easily scanned by
competitors. You tend to learn much more
at users' meetings.
Naturally, one can imagine, justify
and even identify companies with different
styles, but this is StataCorp's style
and has been so consistently through its history.
> Ironic that I was just about a month or two ago asking this list
> about the probability of a v9 release in the coming months, and the
> consensus seemed to be that it was very unlikely! Psychics we're
> not. Although I'm surprised that none of the Stata folks on the list
> made any hints to the contrary.
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