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st: MS Office and Stata: a general suggestion
The current thread on MS Word and graphs prompts
me to revive a suggestion I made some time ago.
This email boils down to asking others to do some
work, which may seem impertinent or inappropriate,
but in view of other Stata-linked commitments that
I have I hope I can be forgiven for making
the suggestion without volunteering myself.
I trust that Statalist members are aware of
the FAQs hosted by StataCorp
and by the very productive UCLA team
Among other FAQs is a collective one on
text editors and Stata
which is the result (as is public now) of
the work of 29 people (a revision in
the wings will raise that to 30). This
is _not_ hosted by StataCorp because
too much of it includes stuff linked
to proprietary software: simply, it would not
be appropriate for one software company
to carry a document making comments
about other products.
For the same kinds of reasons, I doubt
very much that StataCorp want to host
substantial documentation on
how to interface MS Office and Stata,
especially if it touched on problems,
limitations, work-arounds, etc., as
seems likely. Yet it is clear that many -- indeed
probably most -- members of Statalist
are also work with one or more of Word,
Excel, Access, etc. -- so much so that some of us,
sometimes seriously, sometimes mischievously,
want to keep adding reminders of other
worlds out there. (FWIW, I use Windows, but
I make very little use of MS Office.)
My suggestion is simple. I made it some
time ago, and there was an immediate
willing public volunteer, but nothing has
happened. No criticism implied: we
are all busy people, and some promises
cannot be kept, especially on extras
outside the day job.
The suggestion is that someone organise
a collective FAQ on MS Office and Stata.
There is no shortage of raw material:
a trawl through the Statalist archives
would yield all sorts of bits and pieces.
Also, once such a FAQ were set up,
lots of people would find that some of
the little tricks they have found --
usually things that are obvious
once understood, but long in the
finding -- were not documented,
and they would be able to add their own
stone to the cairn.
So, my question is someone able and
willing to do this? Or, if,
exceptionally, several people do,
can you sort out among yourselves who
is going to do it?
I'll add just one more thing.
I think, from the experience of
the text editors FAQ, that it does
need one coordinator to impose,
a little arbitrarily, some overall
strucure and style and editorial
control. No nucleation of material
without a nucleus!
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