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RE: st: Stata vs SPSS


From   "Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   RE: st: Stata vs SPSS
Date   Sun, 15 Oct 2006 17:12:53 +0100

Well, yes and no in my view. One general reason behind 
many of the more positive comments in this thread is 
that StataCorp (and its predecessors) have maintained
a very steady market focus on researchers and their
needs and desires. 

Conversely, many a statistical program has lost its
way to a greater or lesser extent -- as far as researchers
are concerned -- insofar as it has gone for a wider 
business market. I really am not clear that you 
can go for both without major loss. 

Similarly, various people have commented that for many
purposes they need to switch to other software (e.g. 
MS Excel) for other things. This really doesn't sound 
a source of surprise! I suppose it is flattering that
some Stata users seem to want to do everything in a 
project in Stata. 

I am often reminded in these discussions of Dennis 
Ritchie's semi-apocryphal comments when he was repeatedly 
asked why C -- famously lean and mean, like Stata in its
youth -- didn't include this feature or that feature: 
"If you want PL/1, you know where to find it." PL/1
was, by comparison, a relative behemoth, but where 
is it now? 

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

Clive Nicholas
> 
> Perhaps Stata isn't marketed as aggressively towards business 
> users as it
> ought to be? Should it be? Well, that's what SPSS has been 
> doing in recent
> years, and they've been very successful, but it's coming at 
> the cost of
> making SPSS _much_ less comprehensive in its suite of 
> commands than Stata,
> LIMDEP and one or two other packages that offer a much 
> broader range of
> commands at very competitive prices.

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