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RE: st: Stata resolution

From   "Nick Cox" <>
To   <>
Subject   RE: st: Stata resolution
Date   Mon, 23 Nov 2009 18:23:45 -0000

I suspect that more people use the Viewer window for looking at help
than use the Results window. Perhaps Roy meant that. 

If anyone's counting, I am not complaining about SMCL. In fact since
this thread started I note precisely two user-programmers doing so with
any energy, not that this is some kind of ongoing election. 

To me SMCL does a good job at what it was designed for. Anyone who
judges SMCL as it were a lousy approximation to PDF is my view missing
the point. 

A quite different point is that this thread is lacking some historical
perspective. The novelty is the emphasis on the possibility of help
files provided as .pdf. 

Roger Newson has provided the most crucial bit of information -- which I
had forgotten -- namely that StataCorp have already promised to provide
some help for users moving in that direction. That's a welcome reminder.
It takes away some real worries about an anarchy of individually-set

But some users have been providing extra documentation in .pdf and .html
for some years without making any fuss. The -gllamm- manual is a
longstanding example. Roger's website contains several others. Ben
Jann's site documenting -estout- is yet another's. I doubt that is an
exhaustive list. 

And, in a very strong sense, the Stata Journal and its predecessor the
Stata Technical Bulletin exist to provide users with a medium for
documenting their work properly, together with graphs, equations, etc.,
as appropriate, and have been doing so since 1991. 

Why go to enormous lengths, as some seem inclined to do, producing an
all-singing, all-dancing documentation for your programs when the same
effort would get you a submission and, subject to peer review, a
publication to the Stata Journal? 


Roy Wada

> likely have to send it to an upgraded version of a view window capable
> of much higher resolution.

It seems to me a majority of complaints regarding the smcl help file
(difficult to read and even more difficult to achieve an acceptable
appearance) would go away if the results window for displaying the
help file could accomodate higher resolutions and much better looking

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