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Re: st: New version of -descsave- on SSC

From   Roger Newson <>
Subject   Re: st: New version of -descsave- on SSC
Date   Wed, 27 Apr 2005 14:53:47 +0100

For my packages, I get around this problem by having multiple folders on my website, named -stata5-, -stata6-, -stata7- and -stata8-, each of which contains the appropriate versions of my packages, under their original names. This is done to make life a little less difficult for impoverished Stata 6 users, who should be able to upgrade to Stata 9 (as we want them to do) as soon as they can get the money together, without rewriting any old do-files. Unfortunately, they do have to actively re-install the packages after upgrading, if they want the new versions. Fortunately, thanks to Kit Baum, the up-to-the-minute version of any of my packages is normally the one on SSC. This is the best solution I can think of. (Maybe StataCorp will someday think of a better one?)


At 14:09 27/04/2005, Richard Williams wrote:

Thanks to Kit Baum, a new version of the -descsave- package is now available for download on SSC. In Stata, use the -ssc- command to do this.
Thanks Roger. Incidentally, this brings up an issue that I wish there was a more elegant way to deal with. When Stata does an update, the old programs just sort of disappear, e.g. version 9 users won't be using the Stata 8 version of -mlogit-, they'll just automatically have the new one. User-written routines don't have such a luxury, and so as a result, you see things like old programs being re-released with new names, e.g. prog becomes prog7 or whatever. So, you might have a bunch of different programs called -prog- floating around, one for V. 6, another for V. 7, etc, along with otherwise identical programs called prog6, prog7, etc. I don't know of any convenient way around this but it would be nice if updating user programs behaved more like updating Stata is, i.e. you get the version of the program that is appropriate for your version of Stata without having to re-release old programs under new names.

I'm also working on a user-written Stata 8 program, which, in a few months, I imagine I will rewrite for Stata 9. I'm trying to write this program so it can be easily supported by Long and Freese's -spost- routines, but if the program has different names depending on the version of Stata you are using then support will be harder (e.g. there might be a -prog-, which gets renamed -prog8- and is replaced by another -prog- written for Stata 9, which eventually gets renamed -prog9- and is replaced by a -prog- written for Stata 10, etc.) Maybe I need to tell them to reserve a string of names for me for future compatibility! (e.g. prog, prog7 prog8, prog9, prog10, whatever.)

Roger Newson
Lecturer in Medical Statistics
Department of Public Health Sciences
Division of Asthma, Allergy and Lung Biology
King's College London

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