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Re: st: MS Office and Stata: a general suggestion

From   SamL <>
Subject   Re: st: MS Office and Stata: a general suggestion
Date   Thu, 10 Jun 2004 11:32:13 -0700 (PDT)

Excellent idea!

I have one additional proposal.  Maybe someone can organize an
MS-Statalist or a GUI-Statalist, for all those questions concerning "Can
-blah-blah- be done via the -da-da-da-da-da- menu?" and such.  These kinds
of questions are becoming a larger and larger part of the statalist, and
my concern is their rising incidence is going to drive users who can
answer more . . ., ahem, statistical/programming/technical questions off
the list.

Maybe an alternative would be for users to voluntary use a short acronym
at the start of the "Subject" field to clue users in to the area of the

STAT -- A statistical question
MACR -- A question about a macro or macro programming
GUI -- Graphical User Interface questions
MS -- Microsoft/Stata compatability questions
EDIT -- Editor questions
UNIX -- Unix questions
UPDA -- Questions about updating one's stata

I imagine one could come up with more, but I also figure the list should
be short and need not reference every command that might be discussed in
the query.  A set of large categories to help people immediately know if
the question is one that concerns them, and whether they could answer it,
is what I was shooting for.

This is not meant to disparage any type of question.  It is, however, to
recognize that the content on the list is changing, and those changes may
lead some of the more experienced members of the list to de-subscribe.
We all have an interest in having a large and knowledge list to
maximize the chance our as yet unknown query will be answered.  Thus, I
hope this proposal will be received in the spirit of maintaining that

Responses appreciated.


On Thu, 10 Jun 2004, Nick Cox wrote:

> 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!
> Nick
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