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st: RE: RE: open source

From   "Nick Cox" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: RE: RE: open source
Date   Mon, 6 Sep 2004 15:39:53 +0100

In this connection, I once came across a user 
who had written some Stata ados and was selling 
copies of them. I regret that I have never met this 
person or otherwise found out how many purchasers 
there were. As far as I can see, there could be no 
real objection to this if it was all original work, 
but it didn't ever catch on as a way of interacting 
with other users. 


Nick Cox
> Well, I doubt that StataCorp would want 
> to make claims that just aren't true, 
> or that could be seen as seriously misleading. 
> The executable, and the underlying 
> C code, of Stata are emphatically not open 
> source, and they are likely to remain 
> proprietary for the foreseeable future, 
> and the unforeseeable future too. 
> It is of course correct that user-written 
> ado files are in a fairly strong sense 
> open source, although fairly useless 
> without the executable. Also, StataCorp-written ado 
> files are in a very weak sense also open source, 
> but only because they are visible. 
> If someone were to write a new open source 
> executable that ran Stata programs, then there would 
> be an interesting situation! I know this 
> was done once in the case of S-Plus and R, 
> but my own guess is that this is unlikely 
> to be repeated. 
> R is a wonderful thing, no doubt about 
> it, but the differences are every bit as 
> important as the similarities. 
David Airey
> > I was at a talk given by a Stata user the other week, and he 
> > mentioned 
> > the open source stance of Stata to an audience member, since that 
> > audience member is the new chair of biostatistics, and he's 
> an ardent 
> > fan of R. I'm not sure the audience member blinked at all.
> > 
> > R gets a lot of attention from potential users by being on the open 
> > source bandwagon. Why does the Stata Web site not include 
> > this phrase, 
> > "open source", prominently, or make the comparison with 
> what Stata is 
> > and is not in terms of open source more explicit? I did not do an 
> > exhaustive search. In many ways, much of Stata is open source, or 
> > provides the same utility/flexibility.
> > 
> > For the record, I try to learn both Stata and R. I don't know other 
> > packages, and I barely have enough time for a little more than a 
> > superficial grasp of either.

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