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st: RE: Stata Wish List (variable info browser)

From   "Steichen, Thomas J." <[email protected]>
To   <[email protected]>
Subject   st: RE: Stata Wish List (variable info browser)
Date   Thu, 21 Oct 2004 10:39:47 -0400

Nick Cox wrote (in part):

> On a different note, I did a quick hack 
> at firing up a window holding your 
> variable names, storage types, variable 
> labels and value labels. All it involves
> is creating some variables to hold the 
> information temporarily and then opening 
> a -browse- window on those variables. Some 
> people might want to play. I doubt I can 
> push the idea any further. 

....then provided code that nicely presents in a browsable (but not editable) window the same information that -describe- provides in
the browsable (but not editable) window known as "Stata Results".  Both approaches take up about the same amount of space and both
seem equally browsable to me so not much is gained.

This comment is not intended as a slight to Nick's program, rather it is intended to stimulate more thought on the subject.  

Down that line, perhaps more fertile soil can be found in starting with -codebook-, which displays a wealth of information about the
variables (certainly displaying everything that was asked for in the original "wish").  As is, -codebook- dumps information to the
browsable (but not editable) window known as "Stata Results". The question is, could such info be captured and made editable?  But,
as others have noted, whatever code allowed editing should write an audit trail to the Results window, similarly to what the Data
Editor does for data.

I don't plan to push this idea into code but if some ambitious coder wants to take it on, please do.

Tom Steichen

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