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Re: st: To STATA experts - BOOK


From   "Joe McCrary" <joe.mccrary@gmail.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: To STATA experts - BOOK
Date   Thu, 13 Sep 2007 12:13:22 -0400

I find the Quick Reference and Index manual to be indispensable for
addressing the points about making the remaining manuals easier to go
through.

Granted, I still would like to have the entire documentation set
electronically (both for ease of searching and to reduce the space
taken up by books in my smallish office), but that's a discussion that
has been held on this list in the past.

On 9/13/07, Joseph Trubisz <jtrubisz@mac.com> wrote:
> As a computer scientist with 39-years experience, the last 5 finishing a PhD, I
> have quite a bit of exposure to 'technical manuals'.
>
> I was not exposed to Stata prior to my PhD experience. Hence, I was at the mercy
> of either the lecturer or the books. In all my years, I have never seen a set of books
> without an index or page numbers. And, I mean an index like "<topic> on page X",
> not just point to a book. I find this quite annoying, especially if you are a newbie.
>
> Secondly, having worked for a number of software firms over the years, one of the
> 'proofs' that the documentation is in fact working is the questions that are being asked
> on the customer or helpdesk sites. While many on the stata site are truly statistical
> in nature, many of them are quite easily answered if you either have had the problem
> before or are so experienced in the product that you just 'know' the answer. In short,
> while it is true that people do NOT read manuals, perhaps it's the fault of the docs
> which cause many of the problems (see above comment).
>
> I do like Beginning Stata Programming For Dummies and a Gentle Introduction to
> Stata, but like most books like that, they are too simplistic for actual use, outside of
> the ability to provide exposure to the most rudimentary operations using a product.
> If you need to do something more 'real', then they do fall short. That being said, I
> still find both quite informative, especially in showing the 'how-to' do something. Some
> people, like myself, do learn better 'by-example'.
>
> A "For Dummies" book might be good, but I think that just a general improvement in
> Stata documentation would be significantly better. Perhaps Stata writers should look
> at any set of IBM technical docs to see what I mean.
>
> Only my 2-cents (prior to inflation).
>
> Joe
>
>
> On Thursday, September 13, 2007, at 02:29AM, "Ulrich Kohler" <kohler@wzb.eu> wrote:
> >> Dear Stata experts,
> >>
> >> Why donīt you write down a book "Stata for dummies"?
> >>
> >> Current available books on Stata are insufficient for non-statisticians
> >> researchers. Most examples on Stata programming are ridiculous.
> >> Furthermore, there is no book commenting on common errors and problems
> >> when running analyses with Stata. You could use the Statalist to summarize
> >> the 100 most common problems/errors in Stata, put them together,
> >> illustrate with nice examples and drawings, add things you think are
> >> important and, finnaly, a "Stata for dummies" shows up.
> >>
> >> Then, you could come out with "Beginning Stata Programming For Dummies"
> >> and, eventually, "Stata - All-in-One Desk Reference for Dummies" or
> >> something like that.
> >
> >As author of the book "Data Analysis Using Stata" I would be interested
> >in which sense you think that the book is insufficient (or even
> >ridiculous) for non-statisticans researchers. "Data Analysis Using
> >Stata" is written for students without statistical knowledge, and
> >without knowledge of a statistical software package. It tries to teach
> >data analysis by showing how to analyze data with Stata. If there are
> >serious shortcomings in the approach of the book I would be curious to
> >hear about them, so that the book can be improved in future releases.
> >Many regards
> >
> >Uli
> >
> >
> >--
> >kohler@wzb.eu
> >030 25491-361
> >
> >
> >*
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> >
> >
>
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>



-- 
Joe McCrary
**********************

"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it."
--Albert Einstein

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