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st: RE: Re: integration of Stata routines

From   "Nick Cox" <[email protected]>
To   <[email protected]>
Subject   st: RE: Re: integration of Stata routines
Date   Mon, 25 Oct 2004 14:54:12 +0100

I'd agree with Kit in broad terms, but invert that order. 

It can be pretty obvious to StataCorp and many others that 
(1) is true of a package, and apparent that (2) is true, 
but (3), expanded realistically, is the crunch. 

Any idea that (1) and (2) qualify a user-written program 
for adoption by StataCorp misses out what's involved: 

(a) scrutiny of code
(b) scrutiny of help file 
(c) writing dialog if not done 
(d) writing and running test scripts 
(e) writing manual entry 
(f) tech support 

At the same time, note that the often expressed views that 
Stata should adopt more user-written routines and that 
Stata stay "lean and mean" are contradictory. Of course, 
it is usually different people speaking! 

I estimate that there are of the order of 1000 user-written 
Stata packages in existence. Even supposing StataCorp to be 
very picky, as they are, we could imagine them cherry-picking 
say the best 100. Adopting those alone would probably add 
a couple of extra manual volumes and slow other development 
work considerably. 

No, as Kit says, the purpose of commands like -findit- 
is to make integration easy, in a different sense. 

[email protected] 

Kit Baum
> On Oct 25, 2004, at 2:33 AM, Daniel wrote:
> >  I am pretty ambivalent about
> > Stata being better on integrating user-written routines 
> into official
> > program. I realize that it's probably a pain to Stata Inc, but I do
> > notice that until I have a real need to have something be done, I
> > don't go looking for it in SSC or the Archives - I look in 
> the command
> > helps. So sometimes, because I am lazy, I miss out on some cool
> > routines.
> As far as I can see StataCorp developers 'adopt' routines 
> from the user 
> community when they think they (1) fit a ( more or less 
> widely-)expressed need,  (2) where the user code (or at least the 
> interface design) is decent enough to serve as a starting point for 
> professional development (jncluding the development of 
> dialogs, etc.), 
> and (3) where the company is willing to take on the added burden of 
> top-quality technical support. Therefore, you see something like the 
> peculiarity of [r] meta, explaining why there is no official support 
> for meta-analysis (for the third reason above: from what they have 
> said,  no one on staff at StataCorp feels that they could provide the 
> knowledgeable level of support that the company considers necessary).
> That said, there are many good user routines out there (including a 
> number of my own!) that have not been 'adopted' into official Stata, 
> for one or more of the reasons above. But findit will locate all of 
> them, whether they are in SSC, the STB, the SJ, or on other 
> user sites. 
> Laziness that does not permit typing 'findit' rather than 'help' does 
> not seem very compelling in terms of saved effort--especially since 
> 'help' only works if you know what the command is named in the first 
> place.

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