The Current State of Social Science Research on Fedora

Article Summary:

Analyze the current viability of social science research and the availability of its industry standard tools on Fedora.

Article Description:

There are many areas where switching from another operating system over to Fedora has its challenges, social science research is one that doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it’s one that is slowly getting closer to becoming a thing.

The article would focus on a brief summary of what social science does, how it is currently done, and how is the availability of the tools necessary to work with it in Fedora, be it the industry standard tools or alternatives to them.

I’m not personally an expert on the subject, but I got the idea from this Reddit comment section (thanks to u/DueAnalysis2 for it) and it’s a topic that might be interesting to explore.

Related research material:

Stata doesn’t appear to be open source. But I think the rest of it would be OK.

+1 if you can write the article without Stata.


The problem with excluding Strata from the article is that it is currently the industry standard tool. Would there be a way to talk about it as in “there are an alternative for it in R Lang?”, and talking about its availability in the repos?

I guess mentioning that it exists is OK. But we really shouldn’t promote it. We shouldn’t give any details on how to install or operate it. I’d rather there weren’t even a link to where to get it.

It also looks like it requires the user to run it under X Windows. But Fedora Linux switched to Wayland by default several releases ago. If at all possible, you should emphasize the open source tools that can be used.

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Hi! I was DueAnalysis2 on Reddit! I’m rather new to this, so I’d love to know how I could go about contributing to this thread, and if there’s any way I could support this effort (installation instructions, benchmarks on my machine, how well things work, etc)

Regarding Stata - in my field of quantitative microeconometrics, I’m afraid it’s basically a must have :frowning:. It’s also, unfortunately, not a technical capabilities issue. R has almost all, if not all, the capabilities of Stata. But the job market basically demands Stata from most Research Associates (the entry point into this career), so not knowing Stata makes your career very difficult.

I don’t follow Reddit, so I don’t know what views those threads expressed. But Fedora’s mission really is to promote free/libre and open-source software (FOSS). Fedora is itself “free” and allows proprietary software to run on its Fedora Linux platform. But the open-source movement is also a competing ideology. Whenever there is a choice, Fedora will always side with open-source; even if it is more difficult or non-standard. Fedora is trying to lead and persuade people to adopt open-source.

If, as you say, everything that one needs to do can be done with the open-source R framework, then Fedora Magazine is more than happy to publish an article or a series of articles showing how to do things with R that are typically done with Stata. :slightly_smiling_face: I’d expect that someone who can do everything with just R would be seen as more talented than someone who is restricted by the capabilities of Stata.

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I get it and the post would definitely sway towards pointing users to using R, but we shouldn’t completely ignore the existence of the industry standard tool when analyzing the viability of using Fedora to work in a certain industry. Specially considering Stata does have a .rpm file available from them. We could at least mention that without necessarily providing links and focusing on R as an alternative.

For example, organizing it in a rough manner, we could:

  • mention that Stata is the current industry standard and that it can be used natively on Fedora if it is required by the reader’s workplace;
  • follow it up mentioning that there is a competitor with feature parity in R;
  • proceed to talk about what can be done with R.

Got it @glb ! And that flow makes sense, @steiner!

Personally, I’d prefer it if we could move the needle on R adoption since it is the more capable language (+the savings on the frankly atrocious Stata licencing fees)

In terms of contributing to the content itself, is there a standard approach/format I’d need to follow? Should I open a collaborative Gdoc with an outline, and then elaborate on it?

I just created a HackMD file we can use for creating a rough draft before having an initial draft on Wordpress up for review, you could help with as much input as you can provide. All of that is welcome.

You can read more about how to contribute directly to Fedora Magazine here in the Fedora Docs page.

Personally, I’d rather see Stata only mentioned at the very end of the article as an afterthought. So basically:

  • talk about what can be done with R (95+% of the content).
  • mention briefly that Stata is the current industry standard and it works on Fedora Linux (a sentence or two).

My sincere apologies all for going AWOL - I had to leave the country I was working in for a bit to get my work visa renewed, and that process took way longer than I’d initially anticipated.
@steiner , thanks for the links! I’ll get cracking on this sometime this week!

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Glad you are back. Looking forward to your article.