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Re: st: RE: Dialog Programming

From   Phil Schumm <>
Subject   Re: st: RE: Dialog Programming
Date   Wed, 30 Jul 2008 15:01:17 -0500

On Jul 30, 2008, at 2:11 PM, Martin Weiss wrote:
So, to summarize and steer this thread back to where I wanted it to go: "StataCorp, we do not like the way we have to write help files, LET ALONE dialog boxes." :-)

There were two threads here, one started by yourself having to do with programming dialog boxes and another started underneath it by Rich Williams having to do with writing help files (see http:// if your mailer doesn't thread). My response (and Nick's 2nd email) were both part of the latter. I would summarize the latter this way:

1) writing help files can be painful, but
2) there are some simple things you can do to make it easier (e.g., use
an existing file as a template, add a few helper functions to your
text editor), and
3) although one could imagine writing help files in another format and
then translating them to SMCL, the extra work required to construct
such a utility may not be worth it

StataCorp does not dictate how we write help files -- only that we use SMCL for formatting them. In fact, if anything, perhaps the problem is that they give us too much freedom in how we write them (i.e., if they forced us to use a rigid template, then this would make things easier in one respect). Since help files are merely text files following a well-documented format (SMCL), we are free to construct and/or edit them however we want.

Note that this subthread had nothing to do with dialog boxes...

-- Phil

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