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FW: st: RE: Stata Journal 3:2/simultaneous equatons

From   "Nick Cox" <>
To   <>
Subject   FW: st: RE: Stata Journal 3:2/simultaneous equatons
Date   Mon, 1 Sep 2003 08:58:58 +0100

Mark Schaffer asked me to forward this to the list.

From:           	"Nick Cox" <>
To:             	<>
Subject:        	RE: st: RE: Stata Journal 3:2/simultaneous equatons
Date sent:      	Sat, 30 Aug 2003 17:55:54 +0100
Send reply to:

> Mark Schaffer
> >
> > My preferred behaviour for net-based searches would be to find
> > everything that is compatible with my version of Stata,
> > of whether another version has been released.  I would
> > prefer this as
> > a user (so that I would find -cdsimeq- even though don't -
> > yet - have
> > Stata 8), and as a .do-writer (I don't want to freeze out Stata 7
> > users unnecessarily, even after I upgrade to Stata 8).
> >
> > Of course, it's too late to change Stata 7's behaviour in this
> > regard, but perhaps Stata 8 could be made to behave this way.
> This desire is understandable, but I don't think it is
> going to be supported directly.
> Let me emphasise again that the only thing you are missing
> out on, as a continuing user of Stata 7, is the ability to find
> SJ material published from 2003 via -findit-, but
> you can find it directly via -net search-.

I am still unhappy with the idea that one command to search the net
will yield different results from another command.  I can't see any
good reason for this to be the case, and the reasons against are
pretty clear.

> Now, once you have identified any material, you can find out
> very quickly whether it requires Stata 8 or not. You install
> it, and you look at it and see whether it requires Stata 7.
> Or you try it out. The second is the definitive test, as it
> is possible that a programmer started with a -version 7-
> statement but in fact made use of version 8 features in
> their program, so that the program really does require version
> 8.
> Now what you are asking for? Some option on -net search-
> that says, in effect, ignore stuff that requires
> a version higher than mine?

That would be very nice.  And, of course, for -findit- too.

Alternatively, the Stata version required to run each package could
be displayed.

> In programming terms, I guess that this would require
> -net search- to look inside each .ado file and check.
> I imagine that's feasible.
> In marketing terms, this would be adding a feature
> of real benefit _only_ to those who have yet not upgraded.
> (If you have the current version, not being able to run an
> add-on is not an issue.) Now, as an economist, Mark, what
> is the marketing logic to that, providing a feature only for
> users who haven't upgraded?

Economists don't know much about marketing, but I've picked up a bit
from my colleagues who are marketing specialists.  I think a good
case can be made for not freezing out those customers who haven't
(yet) upgraded.  Maintains customer loyalty and keeps them part of
the Stata community.  For many of us who are still using Stata 7
(only 6 months after the release of Sata 8), the question is not
whether to upgrade, but when.

BTW, if -findit- and -net search- were to display everything relevant
and include which version of Stata is required to run each program,
it could work as a good marketing tool.  "See what you're missing
because you haven't upgraded yet?"

Just my .02.


> In any case, what is the size of the problem? As a snapshot
> of what the user-programmer community is doing, I just did
> . ssc whatsnew
> and found 17 items produced and revised in the last month.
> Of these,
> 	3 require Stata 8.1
>      10 require Stata 8
> 	4 require Stata 7
> This quantifies my impression that user-programmers
> follow the switch to a new version very quickly.
> Incidentally, as an SJ editor, I'll say that we don't have an
> unqualified policy that software _must_ be written in the current
> version of Stata. That's a matter for the review process in each
> case. But it is, for example, difficult to imagine a graphics
> contribution not making use of the new graphics which would be worth
> publication.
> Nick
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Prof. Mark E. Schaffer
Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation
Department of Economics
School of Management & Languages
Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS  UK
44-131-451-3494 direct
44-131-451-3008 fax
44-131-451-3485 CERT administrator

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