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st: RE: Syntax colouring (was Multiple Condition Statement)


From   "Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: RE: Syntax colouring (was Multiple Condition Statement)
Date   Thu, 12 Aug 2004 13:03:30 +0100

There is a much simpler upstream solution, 
reading the manual at [U] 21.3.1 and 
appreciating that the two quote characters
differ. 

In principle, I too would like syntax colouring 
in -doedit-. In practice, the issue is much more complicated. 

Arguably, the roles of -doedit- are (a) to be a 
minimal text editor in case users need it 
and (b) to work smoothly with the rest of Stata. 
I'd maintain that (b) is even more important than
(a). On every platform Stata supports there 
are "free" editors either bundled with the OS 
or downloadable for nothing, which users often 
prefer, or at least are familiar with, but there 
isn't a guarantee that those editors will e.g. 
have facilities to run Stata code. That's 
certainly true of Notepad, the only editor 
available automatically under Windows. (Wordpad 
is better described as a minimal word processor, 
I think.) 

Looking at -doedit- it is easy to agree that 
it is not especially feature-rich, but it does not 
claim to be -- just as -edit- does not claim 
to be a spreadsheet. 

More practically, I gather from comments at 
user meetings that programming syntax colouring would 
be a much bigger project than might be guessed; 
possibly some of the code would need to be 
platform-dependent, thus complicating the task. 
If it were trivial, there would certainly be a good case 
for saying it should be added. 

So this boils down to the usual question of 
priorities: even if StataCorp agreed, this would 
push other projects into the future, and there 
are many other things I would rather see first, 
such as an integrated graph editor. 
 
Nick 
n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk 

Ronán Conroy
 
> > Be certain you are using the LEFT single quote as the 
> leading character
> > delimiting the local macro name.  That is to say:
> > 
> > ... date`i'  should work.  Fonts don't always translate 
> well on plain text
> > email, so let me spell it out, as it were:
> 
> This is where a text editor that understands Stata syntax is 
> invaluable.
> Correctly quoted text will be coloured, but not incorrectly 
> quoted text.
> 
> I do think that syntax colouring should be high on the list 
> of improvements
> to be considered for Stata 9.
> 

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