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Re: st: Re: outreg, outreg2, and the thread-jacking


From   "Ben Jann" <ben.jann@gmail.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: Re: outreg, outreg2, and the thread-jacking
Date   Thu, 9 Oct 2008 13:19:23 +0200

Roy wrote:

> If I wanted to "compete" with a program, I would not have done
> it the way I did. The logical thing would have been to hijack as many
> threads about -outreg- as possible, establish a website for it, present
> it at Stata conferences on the both sides of the Atlantic, put it into the
> Stata Journal (twice), write complementary programs that increase
> the demand for the first one, and duplicate other people's ideas and
> efforts and present them as one's own, because, by golly, the need
> to get on the top of the ranking is overwhelming.

This clearly seems to be a personal attack against me as the author of
the "competing" program.

I hesitated to respond at all but I wonder why Roy is so upset. It
appears to me that there are some misunderstandings on Roy's side so
let me explain myself.

> ... hijack as many threads about -outreg- as possible ...

It may be that I 'hijacked' some -outreg- (or -outreg2-) threads and I
agree that it usually makes no sense to ask new questions under
existing threads. However, as others pointed out, describing
alternative solutions to a problem is a (potentially) helpful advice.
I believe most of my replies were constructive. (I only remember one
counterexample when someone asked about the advantages of using
-outreg- over -estout- and I gave an ironical "none". Furthermore, it
is my impression that in most cases it is others, not me, who 'hijack'
-outreg- threads.)

I started writing -estout- because -outreg- could not do what I
wanted. (I first thought about tweaking -outreg-, as Roy later did,
but then -estimates table- came out and it seemed like a good starting
point to me.) I inferred that -estout- might be useful to others, too,
if it is useful to me.

> ... establish a website for it ...

The existance of the -estout- website has two main reasons: First, it
was suggested by a SJ reviewer to provide a website with examples so
that the length of the article could be kept at a minimum. Second, the
hope was that such a website would reduce the number of requests from
users sent to me privately, which I think it really did.

> ... present it at Stata conferences on the both sides of the Atlantic ...

What are Stata meetings good for if not to present and discuss new
pieces of software (or major revisions of existing software)? (I
observe that also Roy made use of this opportunity.) Furthermore, I'd
like to point out that my talk on the 'other side of the Atlantic' was
an invited talk. It is surprising to see this used against me now.

> ... put it into the Stata Journal (twice) ...

Similarly, what is the Stata Journal good for if not to present new
pieces of software (or major revisions of existing software)? Note
that -outreg- was in the Stata Technical Bulletin (the precedent of
the SJ) three times, I believe. Also others presented their tabulation
tools in STB or SJ, most recently Lokshin and Sajaia on -xml_tab- (SJ
8-3). Moreover, if anything, authors publishing in SJ probably have
their publication record in mind and not the SSC score.

> ... write complementary programs that increase the demand for the first one ...

It is not clear to me what Roy is aiming at here.

> ... duplicate other people's ideas and efforts and present them as one's own ...

This is harsh. Roy is acusing me of stealing other people's ideas
without giving credit for it. Naturally, -estout- has a lot in common
with -outreg- and -estimates table-. Furthermore, the idea of an
automatic display format was inspired by -outreg2-. However, I think I
have been transparent about this. Example: "esttab and estout owe much
to John Luke Gallup's outreg (Gallup 1998) and official Stata's
estimates table (see [R] estimates). Furthermore, Roy Wada's outreg2
command motivated the idea to provide the adaptive display format"
(Stata Journal 7, p. 243).

If Roy feels that there are other duplicated "ideas and efforts" I
should declare, I'd be happy if he'll let me know.

Best,
ben

On Tue, Oct 7, 2008 at 8:27 PM, Roy Wada <roywada@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>>If the avenue to the solution involved the number 2 on
>>-ssc hot- and not the clear number one, that is because
>>a user of the number two (me, that is) bothered to reply.
>>But hey, a little competition keeps everybody on their toes,
>>right?
>
> This explains many things. Martin apparently thinks there is
> some kind of competition going on.
>
> I sometimes wish Kit Baum did not publicize the SSC ranking.
> While I understand the need for it, it attracts people who care
> such things. This is one of the funny things about social interactions
> that makes you constantly affected by things you don't care about
> because of the people who do.
>
> If I wanted to "compete" with a program, I would not have done
> it the way I did. The logical thing would have been to hijack as many
> threads about -outreg- as possible, establish a website for it, present
> it at Stata conferences on the both sides of the Atlantic, put it into the
> Stata Journal (twice), write complementary programs that increase
> the demand for the first one, and duplicate other people's ideas and
> efforts and present them as one's own, because, by golly, the need
> to get on the top of the ranking is overwhelming.
>
> I wrote -outreg2- as a public service and an experiment in
> programming. I don't think John cared about the ranking,
> either (since there wasn't one). Some people don't understand
> this, and this makes me sad.
>
> Roy
>
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