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RE: st: Another manual idea

From   "Nick Cox" <>
To   <>
Subject   RE: st: Another manual idea
Date   Tue, 18 Nov 2003 15:49:10 -0000

I don't think anyone needs any persuasion
that many students, people in developing countries,
and others on low incomes (e.g. academics
in Britain), etc. would have some considerable interest
in (much) cheaper versions of even out-of-date Stata
documentation or software. In other words,
the potential _demand_ is not at issue.
(Nor of course is anyone, I hope, against
Stata being spread as widely as possible, other
things being equal.)

But, whether or not Stata Corp answer this,
there is one ineluctable fact. They are not
a charity. They are a business. They operate
conservatively to maintain income flow and
to finance further development. It is the _supplier's_
benefits and costs that are crucial here,
especially given that printing, storage and distribution
costs per page are approximately constant between newer
and older versions. A pile of Stata 7 manuals
sitting in the warehouse is just as expensive
to store as a pile of Stata 8 manuals.

Of course, there are other models, notably
R, but equally the documentation and support
are different.


.pdf = piracy distribution feature,
I fear.

Leonelo Bautista

> cost PDF edition of Stata 7 Manuals. Also, Stata
> Corporation may want to
> consider making previous releases of Stata available at low cost, at
> least to academic programs in developing countries. Most
> students and
> many faculty in these programs can not afford Stata 8. This
> could make
> sense because the marked value of older versions of Stata
> must be low,
> and the use of Stata would disseminate. Besides, people who are
> satisfied with a good product, such as Stata, are likely to remain a
> costumer and, given the opportunity will move to more
> recent releases of
> Stata, instead of trying new software. Many academic programs in
> developing countries could benefit from such a program.

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