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st: TeX template for PDF help files

From   Sergiy Radyakin <[email protected]>
To   [email protected]
Subject   st: TeX template for PDF help files
Date   Sat, 21 Nov 2009 21:33:49 -0500

Dear All,

I wonder what does the community think about having help files for
custom ados being in PDF format (in light of the recent availability
of the Stata manuals in the said format)? Has anyone prepared a
template for this already? What are the pros and cons of the PDF
documentation (which is a de-facto standard for the rest of the
software) versus SMCL documentation?

In my opinion, the unpleasant task of preparing documentation in SMCL
is a major barrier to release user-written ados to the public (and
there was a complaint recently regarding "no fresh original
programs"). In my vision, the simplier this template is, the more
likely the next generation of ado files will be more completely
described. Perhaps the Stata gurus could take the initiative and
collectively make this template for the rest of us? Now could be the
right moment to standardize this (similar to the SJ template), before
custom versions start to appear.

2Kit: since PDF files are not installed with the package by default,
what are the recommendations if I want to deploy my package with a PDF
documentation only?
2Stata developers: Would it be possible to make -help mycommand- also
check for the presense of mycommand.pdf in case mycommand.sthlp and
mycommand.hlp are not found?

Thank you, Sergiy Radyakin
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