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st: Reminder time

From   "Nick Cox" <[email protected]>
To   <[email protected]>
Subject   st: Reminder time
Date   Wed, 22 Oct 2003 14:50:38 +0100

"easycalcs" wrote

> Come on you Stata coders, someone can surely help. Thanks.

I couldn't answer his, her or its question, but in a similar
spirit I would say

"Come on you Statalisters, surely you are smart enough
to read, learn and inwardly digest the FAQ. (Thanks.)"

Here is a not quite random decalogue selected from that
document, redolent of its "walk by alternating movement
of left and right legs" tone:

* Many questions do not get answered because they are too short, too
unfocused, or too obscure. If you hope that others will spend time
answering your question, be prepared to spend time writing as
clearly yet as crisply as you can. Messages to the effect that
some command did not work for you are often impossible to answer
without seeing precisely what you typed and what Stata returned in

* Edit mail so that readers see easily what the issue is and what
your contribution is. Please do not re-post the whole of a very
long message together with your one-sentence tidbit. Please do not
send a message by replying to, but not editing out, someone else's
message on a different topic. Your mailer may have a facility to
select a block of text and then reply quoting only that text.

* Choose an informative subject line for your message. Empty lines
or headings like "Query" do not attract attention: remember that
many people delete messages on the basis of uninteresting titles.
Majordomo does not seem to like the word "Help" as the first word
of your subject, so please do not start your subject line that

* The current version of Stata is 8.1. Please specify if you are using
an earlier version; otherwise, the answer to your question is
likely to refer to commands or features unavailable to you.
Moreover, as bug fixes and new features are issued frequently by
Stata Corporation, make sure that you -update- your Stata before
posting a query, as your problem may already have been solved. It
may help a lot if you give the results of typing -about- within
your Stata, specifically the first two lines of the form

	Stata/SE 8.1 for Windows
	Born 09 Sep 2003

* Say what command(s) you are using. If they are not part of
official Stata, say where they come from: the STB/SJ, SSC, or
other archives.

* Refer to Stata commands and other syntax within ordinary text
using - - to flag words that you would type when using Stata.
Example: You could try the -assert- command, which is very useful
for this kind of problem.

* Say exactly what you typed and exactly what Stata typed (or did)
in response. N.B. exactly! If you can, reproduce the error with
one of Stata's provided datasets or a simple concocted dataset
that you include in your posting.

* Don't send examples like this, which gives no information:

	The command -fiddle- worked yesterday, but it is not
	working today.

or like this, which gives very little information:

	I am using -frog-, but I just get the message "invalid

* Don't say "Is this a bug?". Almost all the time, it is not!

* Continuing or closing a thread you started is important,
especially by answering secondary questions and by reporting what
solved your problem. Offering "Thanks in advance" may save you
time and effort, but most people who offer advice do appreciate a
brief personal word of thanks afterwards: privately will do as
well as publicly.

[email protected]

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