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st: RE: editor does not allow the use of command line


From   "Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: RE: editor does not allow the use of command line
Date   Wed, 14 May 2008 17:29:46 +0100

I disagree. Strongly! 

People who want this would usually be smart about what they are doing and just exploit such a facility as multitasking. But the problem is that nobody can be smart all the time and that many others could just get confused. Meaning: very confused. 

What do you think Stata should do if, putatively, you could change the data outside the Editor and also change the data inside the Editor at the same time? There would be endless scope for small confusions (and large) if that is possible. For example, people might open the Editor, and forget about that while they went through a long series of commands. Then at the end of a session you would get a message saying that you need to close the Editor before leaving Stata! Stata's rule is that changes are confirmed when you leave the editor. That would, I guess, be totally at odds with many spreadsheet users' sense that you once you've changed the data in the Editor, that's it.  

Of course, I recognise the strong principle many users have that you should not change data you care about through the Editor, but I see that as a distinct issue. The point is that given that you can change data through the Editor, then that should always be something done quite unequivocally after all that goes before, and before all that goes after. 

Notice that even insisting that commands changing the data were prohibited while you are in the Editor would not be enough. It would not be much help to have (say) modelling results if you were not completely clear which version of the data were being used. 

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

josemaria

Why it is not allowed to use the  command line when the editor is on? 
Besides the curiosity, I think it would be useful.

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