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Re: st: A Thought

From   Richard Williams <>
Subject   Re: st: A Thought
Date   Mon, 05 May 2008 01:03:44 -0500

At 10:53 PM 5/4/2008, Raphael Fraser wrote:
Message to Stata

What I am about to say may sound a bit out of the ordinary but here goes.

Along with each release of Stata comes Stata Manuals. These manuals
are essential for Stata programmers and others but can prove costly
for some. In addtion to selling print versions of the manuals, why not
make its contents freely available online? Why would Stata want to do
this? I think there is a large group of non-Stata programmers and
other users that would benefit from this. For example. there are SAS
and R programmers who would consider adding Stata to their programming
tool kit. Making the manuals available on-line would indeed reduce
"learning frustration" and make it much easier for those who
contemplate switching. Or for those wanting to switch.

What are YOUR thoughts?
It would also be nice if the software was free too. :) I'd love to have free e-manuals, but at least with me, Stata makes more money off the manuals than it does with the software, so I don't anticipate any major changes soon. Luckily, Stata's free documentation is easily as good or better as the free documentation you get with SPSS, and there are a lot of very useful online sites run by both Stata and individual users that are very helpful. Making 3 year old issues of Stata Journal free online is a nice recent move by StataCorp.

Anyway, I would be delighted if StataCorp found Raphael's argument compelling, but until it does I find the current level of free support to be pretty decent.

Richard Williams, Notre Dame Dept of Sociology
OFFICE: (574)631-6668, (574)631-6463
HOME: (574)289-5227
EMAIL: Richard.A.Williams.5@ND.Edu

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