[eDebate] Hanson-Cantrell STA-XL plus

Jim Hanson hansonjb
Tue Sep 11 21:10:50 CDT 2007


and on that point . . .

I'd like to thank gary for doing coding for several parts of sta-xl plus (eg 
doubleflighting ld) and for all of his incredible patience in answering my 
and danny's voluminous questions and help in making sta-xl plus come to 
fruition.

jim :)
hansonjb at whitman.edu

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From: "Gary Larson" <Gary.N.Larson at wheaton.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2007 6:47 PM
To: "Edebate" <edebate at ndtceda.com>
Subject: [eDebate] Hanson-Cantrell STA-XL plus

Since I've received a couple of back-channel inquiries, let me explain my 
relationship to Jim's project.  From the early days when STA was embedded in 
SmartWare, I've never aggressively marketed my program.  A few brave souls 
have used it with as much support as I've been able to offer.  As a result, 
when Jim Hanson and Danny Cantrell approached me regarding their desire to 
adapt STA into a package that they believe will be more user friendly and 
one that Danny will fully support, I offered my enthusiastic endorsement. 
While I continue to work on STA, particularly with respect to the judging 
algorithm, my role as an academic administrator prevents me from offering 
the ongoing support to a large cadre of end users who need troubleshooting, 
development of new features, and customization.  I anticipate that over 
time, Danny and Jim will gradually move away from the core STA code that 
still underlies the program.  This is entirely appropriate as I anticipate 
that a new generation of brighter programmers will advance the project.

In the meantime, it should be noted that I will continue to develop the 
algorithms on which STA has been based.  This summer, in response to the 
opportunity to test the ordinal data compiled at the NDT, I was able to 
develop a new MPJ algorithm that makes dramatic improvements over the best 
results I've previously obtained.  While Jim and Danny's program currently 
contains an older version of my algorithm, it is anticipated that as 
appropriate, they will incorporate newer versions of my algorithm into their 
project.  At the same time, I have discussed with Rich Edwards developing a 
collaboration that would permit my judge assignment algorithms to be 
incorporated into TRPC.

Finally, I will continue to use and support those others who currently use 
my own version of STA-XL.  While fully supportive of Jim and Danny's 
project, I have my own natural biases about user interfaces and programming 
strategies.  That said, since I don't have the time and resources to 
realistically support new users, evidenced by the fact that I don't have an 
up-to-date manual that keeps pace with the relatively rapid evolution of my 
program, I don't really recommend that folks use my version of the program 
at this time (as much as I personally like it).  To promote ongoing 
innovation, I want to endorse all efforts to move the state of the art 
forward - e.g. Jim and Danny's project, Rich's current TRPC as well his 
collaboration with Jon Bruschke to incorporate .NET programming.  I will 
continue to make my underlying code available to all projects that are 
willing to give rather than sell their software to the community.

GARY

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