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st: Re: RE: Problem areas

From   Manuel Chávez <>
To   <>
Subject   st: Re: RE: Problem areas
Date   Fri, 26 Aug 2005 14:23:42 -0500

I agree that STATA is the leader on statistical packages. Also I understand
that it has to find a way to support itself. Nevertheless, for some of us in
developing countries often is a burden not to be able to get the upgrades
and last versions. The truth is, I believe, that STATA will make much
greater benefit that what it does if it were open source. I'm sure that some
financial mechanism could be found to support the infraestructure and I
almost sure that it's development is not due to copy rights, and maybe a
faster and broader development could be reach in an open source format. Just
think on STATA as a vaccine, it is in some way a need.


----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, August 26, 2005 2:05 PM
Subject: st: RE: Problem areas

> I apologize to any Statalist reader who may have  thought that I plan to
> any "dirt" I hear about to Stata's competitors.  Quite to the contrary, I
> suppose that I am one of the most vocal advocates of  Stata to the general
> statistical community. I use Stata almost exclusively to  demonstrate
> topics that I write about in books, articles, and  courses. I also
> refer to its many capabilities in my Section Editor's  Notes column for
> American Statistician (TAS).
> During the 8 years  that I have been software reviews editor for TAS, we
> not published a  separate review of Stata. We've had many reviews in which
> Stata has been  compared with other packages on some type of capability;
> GLM, GEE, survey  stats, exact statistics, and so forth. But Stata has
> been reviewed as a  standalone package. So I'm taking on the task of
writing such
> a review. I know  the good points - and they are many. But I do not
> intend for the review to  simply be an advertisement for Stata - it would
> have little worth, and would  undermmine my credibility.
> I know of some capabilities that I'd like to  see added to Stata, and I'm
> aware of a few little problem areas. But I may have  missed something. If
> are some statistical issues that may need to be  addressed, I'd like to
> them out. As it is, I so far have some 19  typewritten pages listing
> capabilities -- with examples of its power,  comprehensiveness, and
excellent support. I
> have two paragraphs discussing of a  couple of items that are not part of
> "official" Stata, but that are nevertheless  available through user
> programs. There are also two other statistical  capabilities that are not
yet in
> Stata that I mention. As it is, few packages  have either of them.
> There may be other points that I discuss, but the  end result is that
> is a superb package that is continually providing users  with better
> statistical, programming, graphic, and data management tools. It's
support system is
> second to none.
> ==========
> As I mentioned, no  one package can do everything. If it could, it would
> likely be too unwieldy to  use. But Stata Corp is making the attempt to
> its users with the tools  required to address their specific needs. There
> absolutely no question about  its desire to respond to the desires of its
> -- and has continually made  new versions and incremental
> enhancements available to its user base. Just  think about some of the
> positive features of being a Stata user:
> 1. Free  tech support
> 2. Ability to correspond to other users and to Stata staff via  the
> 3. Can take very reasonably priced web-based courses on  programming, etc
> 4. Can now read full fledged textbooks specifically devoted  to explaining
> some aspect of statistics, including  graphics, data management, and
> ML programming.  Stata Press books provide Stata users with excellent
> support. Take a look at Sophia Rabe-Hesketh's newly  released book on
> "Multilevel and Longitudinal  Modeling Using Stata". It is one of the
> best texts  I've ever read on the topic. Truly excellent. A host of  other
> books are being prepared.
> 5. Annual Stata  Users conferences in North America, Europe, and
> Australia/NZ.
> 6. A  relatively easy-to-learn programming language which can be used to
> program nearly any statistical procedure conceivable. Stata's  ML and
> (Mata) capabilities are superior. I know of no  other higher level
> statistical
> progamming language easier to  use, or with the comprehensiveness of
> 7. A refereed  professional journal (Stata Journal) that provides
> support
> on using Stata. Previously, beginning in 1991, Stata sponsored  the STB
> provided users with a number of useful programs,  and provided overall
> support.
> Like the STB, users are encouraged  to contribute articles and programs to
> the SJ.
> 8. Web-based access and links  to other sites --  excellent web support.
> example,
> the  UCLA support site provides programs and tutorials on using Stata -
> free.
> 9. And many other features...
> Well, enough for now. I encourage  you to read the review if interested.
> is to
> be published in the November  issue of The American Statistician.
> =========
> As a side comment:  there were several comments that I received about
> capabilities that
> were  lacking. Well, in some cases Stata did have the procedures. I
> them out.
> I was also able to show another reader how to program in Stata in order to
> obtain their
> desired statistical tool. And I also intend to send the  (short) list of
> desired enhancements to Bill Gould for his consideration.
> Joe Hilbe
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