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Re: st: 64 bit Stata for the Mac /feature request


From   Phil Schumm <pschumm@uchicago.edu>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: 64 bit Stata for the Mac /feature request
Date   Sun, 15 Jun 2008 08:36:07 -0500

On Jun 14, 2008, at 11:18 AM, Christopher Intemann wrote:
For instance, I'm writing my scripts using emacs in stata mode. However, there is no way to run them (or parts from them) directly from emacs. It would be nice if the upcomming stata release would offer an interface for external editors.

If all you want to do is to run the file you're editing (or selected portions of it) in Stata, then you can use an "Open" Apple Event to do this. For more information, see the section on Macintosh editors in http://fmwww.bc.edu/repec/bocode/t/textEditors.html. I'm not an emacs user, but IIRC, it has a "do-applescript" command that you can use for this; I thought it had been incorporated into Bill Rising's Stata mode for emacs, but perhaps not. I have used this approach with AlphaX (and now TextMate) and it works quite well.

In fact, with the OS X executable update dated 25feb2008, this approach now works even better. Prior to that, when Stata had finished processing a file it would notify you via OS X's notification system (i.e., bouncing icon in the dock), and wouldn't accept any further requests until you had responded to the notification by switching focus to Stata. After the update, Stata no longer waits to accept new requests, and there is a preference item so that you can disable notification all together. These changes make working with external editors on OS X much nicer.

The question of whether StataCorp should add features to its do-file editor has been addressed several times before on the list. As several have noted, many of the users who find it inadequate would also find inadequate any editor except their preferred one. These users want to be able to use the same text editor for everything (e.g., data-analytic work, coding, writing, etc.), and have invested considerable effort in learning how to use their text editor efficiently and/or customizing it to suit their needs. StataCorp may decide to add features to their do-file editor in the future (since, clearly, there are a lot of users who use it), however my suggestion would be to take your preferred editor and figure out how to use it well with Stata; that way, you'll be happy whatever StataCorp does.


-- Phil

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