So, it seems to me that there is no way to see which
formulas Stata uses unless I buy the manuals?
Well, the manuals are indeed necessary but from one
hand they are expensive and as a student there are
tradeoffs between buying stata manuals and other
books. I could use the ones from my department but
again there are many people using them as well.
I think that basic things such as formulas should be
available on the stata website...there is no reason
why not. Manuals are for the indepth use of stata and
I dont think that publishing formulas will lower the
demand for stata manuals. Besides, formulas are
formulas and cannot be just invented.
Gaby
--- Nick Cox <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk> wrote:
> These discussions are interesting and enjoyable.
> Exchanging
> impressions and prejudices is a lot of fun.
>
> One thing that strikes me is that almost no-one has
> any pertinent
> data, even on number of users (however defined).
> This is,
> or should be, a statistically-minded list, but where
> are the
> data? The key factual question here seems to be how
> many people
> didn't buy Stata because they could get and use R.
> Who knows?
> In any case, they are not on this list, presumably,
> to come forward
> with their testimony (although you might know
> someone else who
> fits the description). Conversely, there may well be
> people who
> don't use R because Stata does what they want who
> are also on
> this list.
>
> R is a wonderful thing and many people can quite
> happily use R and
> Stata and appreciate their different strengths. I
> have R on my
> computer. I don't use it much, but the reasons for
> that are nothing
> to do with any of its limitations. As an outside
> observer wishing
> R well, I have been wrong repeatedly about R. I
> thought it would
> struggle if its founders became too busy or too
> bored to keep
> up the momentum. I thought it would struggle because
> it did not pay
> much attention to its interface, and remained
> command-oriented.
> I thought it would struggle because it was not well
> documented,
> but then academic values took over and the number of
> books on
> R is exploding. My incorrect guesses matter to
> no-one, but they
> may exemplify how Stata people have been mis-reading
> R. More
> seriously, I suspect that even some R people have
> been happily
> surprised at its impact. (Some of that has to do
> with the way
> that the people behind S-PLUS treated their academic
> market,
> I guess.)
>
> I have no data, but R shows the qualitative signs of
> being
> on an exponential. (So does Stata, but I couldn't
> guess at
> the relative growth rates.) Ecology teaches us that
> exponential
> phases are followed by crashes or levelling off,
> however.
>
> However, another wild guess is that most Stata users
> don't
> think much about R because to them it does not
> appear a
> real alternative. Naturally, "appear" is a key word.
> The
> reasons are many and different, including the
> attractions
> of many of Stata's specialised modelling commands,
> Stata's
> uses for data management and the existence of tech
> support.
>
> R's core market appears to be academic statistics.
> In that
> field there is still some snobbery about people who
> use
> statistics, even if they are biostatisticians,
> econometricians, etc., who are in many cases also
> developing new methodology. One leading light in the
>
> R community has a roadshow in which he describes
> Stata
> as a "niche product". I wrote to correct him, and
> not
> surprisingly never got a reply. Relatively few
> statisticians in Depts of Statistics use Stata.
> However,
> academic statistics is in many ways the niche
> market!
> In almost any institution, the number of people
> using
> statistics is much greater than that of the
> statisticians
> (strong sense). There are plenty of places in which
> the
> Dept of Biostatistics (or whatever it is called) is
> much
> bigger than the Dept of Statistics (ditto).
>
> However, it is hazardous to generalise. There are
> several
> application fields in which R is making a big impact
> too. Ecology is one.
>
> But it strikes me that apart from a very big
> difference
> that R is free and Stata is not, the similarities
> are
> striking. R and Stata are both pretty unfriendly to
> casual users, but repay those who work at mastering
> syntax
> and come to appreciate the power and consistency of
> each
> language. Both appeal to user-programmers, much of
> whose
> work becomes publicly available. In each case the
> people at the top are driven by high standards and
> "getting it right".
>
> For all that it is based on
> a commercial product, the Stata community is
> strongly
> affected by "open source" ideals: you need look no
> further
> than packages available through the Stata Journal,
> SSC or
> individuals' websites. A long time ago one or two
> people
> tried to sell their Stata programs to other
> users, but they were just ignored and users became
> inspired
> by the idea of sharing their code with each other.
> (It
> is not unique in this: there are communities based
> on MATLAB
> use.) (There are plenty of consultants on this list
> who
> use Stata intensively; I am not clear on whether any
> of them
> sells Stata programming.)
>
> To summarise, my impression is that R and Stata
> have some impact on each other, but that is plenty
> of room for both. The R community and the Stata
> community
> should be friendly to each other. Not many people
> are
> prominent in both, but there are plenty of people
> well
> disposed to the other in each.
>
> The real enemy is
>
> Gosh, I have to go.
>
> Nick
> n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk
>
>
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