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

From   Richard Williams <[email protected]>
To   [email protected]
Subject   Re: st: Object oriented help files (and Tabling: an agenda)
Date   Wed, 08 Oct 2003 08:22:10 -0500

At 07:21 AM 10/8/2003 -0500, Fred Wolfe wrote:

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 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."
I think this is one area where Stata could borrow a page or two from (horrors!) SPSS's book. Spss makes its whole manual available as a pdf file, and also has quicker ways of just viewing the syntax for a command. Spss, of course, needs good documentation because the program is so internally inconsistent in its syntax and features, but when you need help it does a good job of providing it.

I also like the way Excel will let you get a rough preview of what a graph will look like and gives you a wizard-like approach for modifying the appearance of the graph.

Richard Williams, Associate Professor
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