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Re: st: A gentler introduction to Statalist and Seven Deadly Sins

From   "roy wada" <>
Subject   Re: st: A gentler introduction to Statalist and Seven Deadly Sins
Date   Tue, 31 Jul 2007 15:03:58 -0700

Since Nick appears to solciting advice about the future revisions to
FAQ, if I may add the following suggestions:

Sections 2 and 3 of FAQ contain the useful information for not
behaving badly on Statalist. I believe these are the two sections
Nick frequently refers to when pointing out other people's mistakes
for not following them carefully.

I would like to point out that, unlike the rest of FAQ, these two
sections alone lack sub-headings. The existing structure already
suggests to me that these two sections may have been given a
short shrift within FAQ. This is what the "structure" that Nick
refers to is appearing to suggest.

3. How to use Statalist: advice

4. What to do if you do not get an answer
If people's inattention to these two sections are the source of
much dissatisfaction as Nick has repeatedly suggested elsehwere,
perhaps these two section could be given more prominence in
the next revision of FAQ.

As it currently stands, these two sections do appear "buried" in the
middle of FAQ.

Good stuffs shoudl be placed at the top where people are more likely
to notice them. This is not about making assumptions people's reading
prowess; this is a basic writing technique they teach in journalism schools.
Put the good stuff at the top; hide the bad stuff in the middle.

I have already suggested that these information about how to ask
questions on Statalist are not FAQ materials. The information contained
in these two sections are not about frequently asked questions.
They are about the standards and protocols that Nick seems to be
inordinately interested in of lately. Since they appear to be the source
of much discussion, they might be given a separate treatment from

You could call it "A Gentler Introduction to Statalist."

I would again urge Nick to consider making a short checklist that
Statalist users could go by. Anyone from a rank beginner to an
expereinced veterans benefits from a well-made checklist.

I was not going to mention this earlier, but the multiple authorship of
the current version shows. Too many cooks spoils the broth, they say,
and the current FAQ does look like many people have had their hands in it.
I know Nick is a careful writer; perhaps he could fix it in its next revision.

I know it takes Nick "at most a few minutes" to read the whole thing
FAQ. Let me reassure Nick that this is not the case with people who are
not its current maintainer.

Finally, I would respectly suggest that the next revision of FAQ or the
"Introduction to Statalist" contain a gentle yet firm warning about the
perils and pitfalls of making assumpitions about other people's character.

Certain words such as "proud" is generally considered not polite when
describing other people's intentions. I was merely identifying myself
with the accused when I recounted my own experience.

I believe enough people have expressed their sentiment against harsh
words to warrant the inclusion of such a warning in the future revisions
of FAQ.

Let me be the first to thank Nick beforehand for taking on such responsibility
as the currently maintainer of FAQ.

I do appreciate Nick's expertise on many things and his hard work in
maintaining standards here at Statalist and elsewhere even if his work
may appear to go unappreciated at times.


0. Introduction
0.1 What is Statalist for?
0.2 How does a list work?
0.3 How does Statalist work?
0.4 Who is responsible for Statalist?

1. Before you post

2. How to use Statalist: mechanics
2.1 I want to join Statalist. What do I do?
2.2 How do I send questions to Statalist?
2.3 I want to stop getting Statalist messages. What do I do?
2.4 I stopped getting Statalist messages. What happened?
2.5 I want FEWER Statalist messages. What do I do?
2.6 I want MORE frequent Statalist messages. What do I do?
2.7 An easy way to handle 2.1 and 2.3 - 2.6
2.8 I missed some messages. Or, I want to look at past messages.
2.9 When you go on vacation
2.10 How do I contact the list maintainer?

3. How to use Statalist: advice

4. What to do if you do not get an answer

5. FAQs on Stata
5.1 Where to find this FAQ
5.2 Where to find other FAQs on Stata
5.3 Updates to Stata
5.4 Ways to learn how to use Stata

6. Ado-files FAQ
6.1 Where to find Stata-released ado (STB/SJ) files
6.2 User-contributed ado-files: the SSC Archive
6.3 Are there other sources of user-written ado-files?
6.4 What is the relationship between ado-files from the SSC Archive, other user-written ados, >ados published in the Stata Journal, and ados that are part of official Stata?
6.5 Does downloading an upgraded or augmented STB/SJ contribution automatically replace an >earlier one, and does it inherit all functionality of the previous version?
6.6 What happens if an STB/SJ contribution upgrades, corrects or expands an official ado-file or >built-in command?
6.7 How do I know if official ado upgrades (and executable upgrades) incorporate the functionality >of previous STB/SJ contributions (so that the STB/SJ contributions become "obsolete")?

7. Miscellaneous
7.1 What is the correct way to pronounce 'Stata'?
7.2 What is the correct way to write 'Stata'?

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