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Re: st: Copying Stata code with line numbers


From   "Airey, David C" <david.airey@vanderbilt.edu>
To   "statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu" <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   Re: st: Copying Stata code with line numbers
Date   Thu, 8 Mar 2012 10:34:46 -0600

.

I find the Stata do file editor just fine for complex data analysis.

However, I also find the RStudio IDE enough for me.

Maybe at some point I will depend more on an external editor. However,
all my programs are built from smaller programs, and I never have
had a program that needs more than a screen. What am I missing?

I know some do spend 99% of their time in a text editor, and spend 
considerable effort linking (sometimes failing) the editor to other programs.

Nick, what 3 aspects of Vim (or whatever) make it so useful in your 
personal Stata programming?

-Dave

> I don't know where Partho gets the impression that "very few regular
> Stata programmers use the built-in editor".
> 
> More seriously, I am happy to agree that good text editors are
> immensely helpful, but I'd place the emphasis elsewhere.
> 
> Let's not get sidetracked by distinguishing "regular programmers",
> however defined, from other users, or by focusing on what they use,
> not least because the do-file editor is not primarily designed as a
> programmers' editor. It is for do-file editing, primarily. So, it is
> aimed very much at all users who are not satisfied by interactive
> sessions in which each command is typed one at a time. That should be
> most users. (A do-file is not a program as such. Whether it defines a
> program is a different issue.)
> 
> A little history here: When the do-file editor was introduced into
> Stata there were already very well-developed text editors in existence
> and Stata's developers were very well aware that many users were using
> them intensively: after all, that was precisely what the developers
> were doing themselves. Also, there was not, and is not, any kind of
> consensus on the leading text editor, even within users of a single
> operating system. Even among Unix users, there was much friendly and
> some angry disagreement between users of vi, emacs and other editors.
> So, there was no real mileage in announcing to Stata users that the
> standard would be to use a particular external editor, even one that
> was free. (It remains true, I think, that many Windows users make
> little or no use of text editors any way; most of the students I ask
> (age ~ 20) don't seem to know about Notepad, not that they are missing
> much.)
> 
> In essence, the Stata do-file editor was originally _designed_ to be a
> very simple editor, one that could be learned very quickly and had
> just about the minimum needed. Criticising it as unsophisticated is
> like criticising a bicycle for not being a plane.
> 
> Over the years  StataCorp have subverted that original aim to some
> extent by adding some features in most if not all subsequent releases,
> but there is no intention to try to match the better-developed editors
> in functionality.
> 
> I program in Stata and when that gets a little serious I always switch
> to my favourite text editor, which happens to be Vim. But I use
> Stata's do-file editor daily too. It's fine, indeed very helpful, for
> little editing jobs, not least in fiddling with code or data fragments
> from Statalist questions. I suspect that's a common mix of styles.
> 
> Nick


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