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Re: st: RE: Dialog Programming

From   Martin Weiss <>
Subject   Re: st: RE: Dialog Programming
Date   Wed, 30 Jul 2008 22:55:25 +0200

Maybe I misuderstand the notion of a "thread" but it still carried my original subject line. Indeed, when I click the; via the "thread next" button, it takes me all the way through your and Nick`s and Richard`s and my replies...

smcl is indeed a useful language, though. In Chicago, M. Buis built his presentation around smcl files which I found really neat...


Quoting Phil Schumm <>:

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 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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