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st: RE: Reading Statalist efficiently

From   "Nick Cox" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: RE: Reading Statalist efficiently
Date   Wed, 3 May 2006 20:55:33 +0100

I vastly sympathise with the spirit of this, but 
can only sound a negative on addition of advice
in the FAQ. I have three reasons for saying this. 

1. The FAQ is already rather long. There is plenty
of evidence that many people do not read it, or do 
not read it carefully enough, and I guess
the length does not help here. So, I am biased
against extras. (When we can, we do cut stuff,
as the RSS feed is about to be zapped.) 

2. The indications so far are that in many cases 
people have identified useful tricks with the mailers
they use. However, I really don't want to bloat 
the FAQ with lots of detail about individual mailers, 
nor do I want to give myself (and also StataCorp 
personnel) the extra responsibility of collating 
and updating detail on those mailers, especially
in a fast-changing area and when I have no means
of checking most of the information. 

3. The Statalist FAQ is hosted by StataCorp, as you 
will have noticed. Over the years this has been
true, I have had precisely one complaint over it 
from someone who insisted that it was quite wrong
in principle, as Statalist is, and should be
seen to be, independent of StataCorp. That 
person was exactly right, but in practice we 
benefit enormously from the placement and it 
surely beats the possible alternatives. Nevertheless, 
there is one small price to pay. On the whole,
the Stata website is not the place for material
about other people's software. You can find exceptions
to this rule, and it's a grey area, but I don't 
think we should expect StataCorp to host a list
of suggestions about how to optimise the use
of particular mailers. (For much the same reason
an FAQ on text editors is offsite.) 


> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of Campbell,
> Richard T.
> Sent: 03 May 2006 14:28
> To:
> Subject: st: Reading Statalist efficiently
> Like many readers, I get Statalist in digest form. This
> morning's list contains more than 50 messages. Some of those
> messages are of more interest to me than others and it would
> be nice if I could simply jump to those I want to read and
> ignore the rest. Even better, I would like to be able to read
> those threads that I want to read. I can do this, I know,
> by going to the archives, but I am, frankly, lazy. I thought
> that the RSS system might solve this problem but, like other
> readers, I have been mystified by it and after a couple
> encounters in which I found the RSS feed incomplete I gave up
> on it.
> I have learned an enormous amount from Statalist and read it
> with morning coffee almost every day. I would continue to do so
> even if it stayed as it is. But Phil Schumm's message this AM
> refers to an email cliet "with a good interface." I have used
> Eudora for years, and I suspect that it doesn't meet Phil's
> requirements. But what does? Could there be an FAQ entry that
> tells us more about how to use Statalist more efficiently? I
> have read the current good advice posted there and find little
> on this issue. More directly, although learning new email clients
> attacts me about as much as undergoing a colonoscopy,
> I would be willing to do so if someone could point me
> in the right direction.
> -- 
> Richrd T. Campbell
> Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
> School of Public Health
> University of Illinois at Chicago
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