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st: RE: Re: RE: Utility for Changing Directories

From   "Nick Cox" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: RE: Re: RE: Utility for Changing Directories
Date   Tue, 29 Oct 2002 09:45:26 -0000

Don Spady tried to install Nick Winter's -c-:
> I tried to install this and got the message that c.ado and
> c.hlp already
> existed and were different.
> Trying them out brings up a calculator command.  This is in
> stbplus.  I didn't write it.
> Perhaps I downloaded it at some time in the past.
> The comment I have is: "is there some convention for not
> using the same names for programs"

Yes, there is. Naturally, you can use whatever names you like for
your own programs so long as they don't conflict with Stata's official
commands or whatever user-written commands you use. But I imagine that
Don's question is really about programs put in the public domain.

First, there is a strong rule that SSC can only contain one program of
a given
name. So here we have one more reason for supporting SSC, although
could be all sorts of reasons why user-programmers prefer to put up
own stuff elsewhere, e.g. on their own websites.

Second, Stata Corp introduced -cmdname- registration. (Type -findit
In many ways this was an excellent idea, although my impression is
that it has
not worked. One problem is that known in various circles as the
tragedy of
the commons, that only if everybody takes care to do this will it work
well. Also, and I'll speak for myself only, although the same may be
for others, Stata Corp's rule -- or at least request -- that
not use proper English words for program names is
sometimes irksome. The natural name for a program is, very often,
a word straight out of the dictionary, and Stata Corp's claim to the
of the English language seems a trifle large, especially when they are
Thus I would not be allowed to register -spell- or -split-, which
are currently on SSC. (I have often followed the rules; -contract-
was born as -collfreq-; -separate- was born as -sepvars-.) There is
a clear downside to this. Suppose I name a program with some English
word, say -scan-. Then later Stata Corp introduces -scan- as an
command. Depending on details, it will be essential or desirable
for me to change the name of my -scan- (unless, of course,
Stata's -scan-
does what my -scan- does, but better, all too likely), and the same
applies to any users of -scan-. This seems only fair.

Also, and this is directly pertinent here, -cmdname- will not allow
names with "less than 4 characters" to be registered.

I have never heard of c.ado. -findit c- just finds too many
false positives to cast light on this.

Don has various alternatives, including

1. erasing these files

2. copying them to files with
different names

3. writing a wrapper for Nick
Winter's command, along these lines

========================== begin myc.ado
program def myc
	C `0'

program def C
	<insert Nick's program file>
========================= end myc.ado

========================= begin myc.hlp
<insert Nick's help file,
changing references to -c-
to -myc->
======================== end myc.hlp


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