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st: -beamplot- revised on SSC

From   "Nick Cox" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: -beamplot- revised on SSC
Date   Tue, 29 Nov 2005 01:39:56 -0000

Thanks to Kit Baum, a revised -beamplot- package 
is now available from SSC. Stata 9 is required. 

-beamplot- is based on a standard graphical 
metaphor, the idea that the mean is the centre
of gravity of a distribution. Thus one display
possible shows data points resting on a horizontal
beam with a fulcrum at the mean. 

What requires Stata 9 is use of cunning StataCorp 
code for drawing arrows, as the fulcrum is an arrow 
with only a big arrowhead visible. (Drawing a triangle 
symbol just doesn't work in the generality you want,  
as it appears impossible to _ensure_ that it 
is always where you want it: being slightly 
too high or too low is certainly disconcerting
to the user and not easy to overlook.) 

-beamplot- relaxes the metaphor to some extent
by allowing you to choose other summaries, 
such as the median or geometric mean, so long 
as you have access to an -egen- function that
will calculate them. But I've stuck with 
horizontal displays. (-stripplot- will do 
vertical displays, as indeed will -dotplot-.) 

In this version I've fixed a bug that only 
bit me, I hope, and added some minor handles
to the code and some interesting references 
to the help. Users of -beamplot- are kindly 
requested to glance at the references and send 
me extra references that spring to mind. 


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