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st: Re: Documentation (was: Object oriented help files (and Tabling: an agenda))

From   "Steichen" <[email protected]>
To   <[email protected]>
Subject   st: Re: Documentation (was: Object oriented help files (and Tabling: an agenda))
Date   Wed, 8 Oct 2003 09:02:33 -0400

Fred Wolfe writes (in part):

> I think that while additional documentation is on the mark (particularly
> for documentation mavens [an OK word according to the OED], of which I am
> one, what is required is practical and usable documentation. As I have
> grown to love Stata 8's graphics, I have generated unbridled animosity to
> the graphics help system and manual, having spent (wasted) hours trying to
> find things to make the graph I needed.

I agree strongly with Fred concerning graph's documentation.  More than once
I've run out of fingers trying to hold all the pages needed to follow a
trail through graph's linked documentation down to the element I was looking
for... and (sadly) sometimes I've forgotten why I wanted that element when I
finally found it!

> I think what is needed is a help system that displays all sorts of graphs
> so that one can go to it and say, "That's the graph I want."

My approach has been to keep a Word file holding both an image of a
complicated graph that I've created and the commands I used to create it.
Whether I need a completely new graph type or just a variation on an old
one, I often first peruse this file for ideas before attempting to fight my
way through the documentation.

Tom Steichen

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