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st: RE: Clickable examples in ado help files


From   "Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: RE: Clickable examples in ado help files
Date   Thu, 18 Sep 2003 23:10:51 +0100

Mark Schaffer

> In this particular case I have a programming difficulty, as follows.
>
> After the user types -help mycommand-, s/he faces a screen
> with a list of
> of clickable examples, the first of which will load the
> data.  After the
> click, the data are loaded and the user is ready to click
> on one or more other examples, as s/he choses.
>
> The alternative is to put a
> preserve/load-example-data/restore-user-data
> cycle into each clickable example.  This seems to me to be
> likely to be
> painfully slow, mostly because the data would have to be
> downloaded off
> the net each time (the added loss of time via preserve and
> restore is
> probably just icing on the cake).  I haven't been able to
> check how Stata
> developers handle this, but my guess is that the dataset
> that a clickable
> example uses comes built-in with Stata and doesn't have to
> be downloaded
> with each click.  I don't see any way I can emulate this
> approach and at
> the same time avoid the cost in speed, short of requiring users to
> download the clickable example dataset at the same time
> that the rest of
> the package is installed.  Am I missing something?

I guess not; although if you are, it is something
for Stata developers to comment on.

I think you're right that Stata's own clickable
examples mostly, if not entirely, are based on
bundled data sets accessible via -sysuse-.

If the speed of downloading is too slow, there
is a practical possibility: base your examples
likewise on such datasets. If they are too narrow
for your purposes, lobby Stata Corp to add further
datasets to the menagerie.

Nick
n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk

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