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Re: st: combining tables


From   Daniel Feenberg <feenberg@nber.org>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: combining tables
Date   Tue, 30 Oct 2012 19:49:05 -0400 (EDT)


On Tue, 30 Oct 2012, Nick Cox wrote:

The short answer seems to me to be that most of the activity over the
last decade has come from users.

I think many Stata users would agree that we need "Better tables", but
once you start to talk about details, disagreement about what that
means becomes more prominent.

Surely the fact that SAS humbled itself to adopt the syntax and semantics of the Table Production Language is a strong indication that TPL is appropriate way to implement tables in a statistical package. Other packages are difficult and won't create the tables that are typically seen in publications. TPL can produce those tables. TPL may be difficult, but that only because the SAS documentation emphasizes fancy formatting issues to the near exclusion of explanatory material on the basic issue of what numbers are being calculated. If Bill Gould wrote 10 pages of explanation, it would be easy for users to create what they need. To create publication ready photo-perfect pages would take a lot more explanation, of course.

dan feenberg
NBER


(I'm oddly reminded of Quine's quirky quip about the ontological
problem, for which see (e.g.)

<http://sfcmadrid.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/quine-on-what-there-is.pdf>

I want to admit that I don't understand anything much after the first
paragraph, but the first paragraph is what applies here.)

It appears to be an argument against the legitimacy of the concept of zero. I think most Stata users would be hard to convince.

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