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st: BUG FIX: -rfl- 2.1 a recent files list for Stata available on SSC

From   Dankwart Plattner <>
Subject   st: BUG FIX: -rfl- 2.1 a recent files list for Stata available on SSC
Date   Mon, 11 Oct 2004 08:55:00 +0200

Thanks to Kit Baum, version 2.1 of -rfl- is now available from
the SSC archives. Type -ssc describe rfl- for a package description or
-ssc install rfl- to install. To update, type -ssc install rfl.pkg,
replace-. See below for a detailed description.

Version 2.1 includes a fix for a potentially serious bug:
Stata has a bug (or call it an undocumented limitation). With very long
strings in window stopboxes (those are the message boxes -rfl- makes use
of e. g. to alert you when a file has been deleted), Stata crashes. When
I programmed -rfl-, I became aware of this and implemented a workaround.
However, one loophole remained open in version 2.0: If a description of
a deleted, renamed or moved file was selected in the descriptions list
and the associated file name was longer than 224 characters, or a file
with a file name of more than 235 characters was to be removed from the
lists, Stata would still crash. Fortunately, nobody seems to have
encountered this problem yet with unsaved data in memory. The bug is
fixed in Version 2.1. So please update!

Another less serious bug has also been fixed. If you wanted to load a
data file while there were changed data in memory, and you clicked not
to save the data in memory, an error occurred. I thank Hilde Schaeper
for pointing this out to me.

Some enhancements are provided too: You may now point a list entry
to a different file (i. e. rename a list entry), and thus preserve the
information associated with it. This may be useful in case you moved a
file to a different directory. If a data file is closed with rfl, the
Stata window title is now reset to the default. Several other minor
fixes and improvements are also included.

I've also been asked for a different treatment of the log files, namely
to allow one of them to be opened with the append option and the other
one with the replace option. I plan to treat the log file and the cmdlog
file indepentently in a future version, but I have the feeling that I
have to design this very carefully to suit everyones needs (any ideas?).
Second, I have no idea yet when I will have the time to do that.

Comments and suggestions welcome. Enjoy!
Dankwart Plattner

Below follows an updated description of -rfl-:

-rfl- maintains lists of recently accessed files in Stata by making use
of a Stata dialog.

Basically, -rfl- resembles a most recently used files list (called MRU
in other Windows programs), including some additional features useful
for Stata users.
It allows the user to open a data file by choosing one from a list of
files opened before. The list grows dynamically when opening new files.
The user may choose among different views of the list. In addition, the
user may set the memory allocated to Stata, attach a short description
to each file opened, and open an appropriate log file, if she likes to,
all from within rfl's dialog. If data are present in memory at the time
-rfl- is called, the user is prompted for action (save data, clear
memory). The user may also rename or remove an entry from the list (e.
g. if a file is deleted on disk).
-rfl- supports file names of up to 259 characters, even in Stata's
non-SE Intercooled. It is tested under Windows XP with Stata 8.2, both
SE and non-SE. It is supposed to work with other Windows versions, too.
I've been reported it has been run on a Unix system successfully, but
not on a Mac.

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