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Re: st: Copying Stata code with line numbers


From   Nick Cox <njcoxstata@gmail.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: Copying Stata code with line numbers
Date   Fri, 9 Mar 2012 09:27:35 +0000

Vim is not for everyone. A very famous Stata user was curious about it
given my enthusiasm but reported back after trying it that it was just
too bizarre to be attractive.

In particular, if you are a Windows user who has never used any of the
classic Unix text editors it is likely to seem very strange. Vim mixes
modes and has at least three quite different ways of doing things
other than inserting text.

I'd say Vim needs to be used for about a day before it starts becoming
familiar. If you don't use it constantly, it won't stick.

Nick

On Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 8:58 PM, Jeph Herrin <stata@spandrel.net> wrote:
> As a longtime Vim user, I have to add to Nick's list
>
>  4. Efficient navigation and editing without recourse to a pointer
>    device.
>
> Vim will let you reach for the mouse if you want to, but just think of all
> the wasted time and energy....
>
>
> cheers,
> Jeph
>
>
>
>
>
> On 3/8/2012 1:35 PM, Nick Cox wrote:
>>
>> There are many more than three; that's the key point.
>>
>> I use Vim for most editing, including what many would do in a word
>> processor.
>>
>> Off the top of my head, the following are especially helpful:
>>
>> 1. Support for multiple windows (same file or different).
>>
>> 2. Versatile find and change features with regular expression support.
>>
>> 3. A command language that allows very fast operations once you know
>> it. (Sound familiar?)
>>
>> Nick
>>
>> On Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 4:34 PM, Airey, David C
>> <david.airey@vanderbilt.edu>  wrote:
>>>
>>> .
>>>
>>> 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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>>
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