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st: RE: RE: problems with version control using graph command


From   "Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: RE: RE: problems with version control using graph command
Date   Mon, 14 Nov 2005 11:45:54 -0000

This isn't quite true, probably in several respects, 
but the one that springs to mind is the statement 

Admittedly, StataCorp is doing all the judging on (a) 
and (b). 

In general, not just StataCorp but all program 
writers have _some_ scope for arranging different behaviour
depending on how a program is called. In this case, -graph, 
box- is an official command, so it is all down to StataCorp. 

Nick 
n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
> [mailto:owner-statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu]On Behalf Of Nick Cox
> Sent: 14 November 2005 11:29
> To: statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
> Subject: st: RE: problems with version control using graph command
> 
> 
> This is a frequent misunderstanding about -version-
> and arises often on this list. I think it is a very 
> understandable misunderstanding, as explaining with complete
> clarity and complete correctness exactly what -version- implies 
> appears to be quite difficult even for developers. 
> 
> Concretely, in your example, issuing within Stata 9
> -version 8.2:- doesn't necessarily set 
> the clock back to Stata 8.2 in all respects -- even just 
> in respect of those you have specified in your command. 
> 
> It just sets the clock back in certain respects when 
> reproducing Stata's previous behaviour (a) is sensible 
> and (b) might be desired. Admittedly, StataCorp is doing 
> all the judging on (a) and (b). 
> 
> The converse would bloat Stata extraordinarily by 
> obliging Stata to hold within its code all sorts of branches
> to allow old code to be re-used -- even if we are severe 
> and say (1) no reproduction of bugs allowed and (2) no reproduction
> of totally obsolete commands allowed. (But what's obsolete? 
> Only the other day Allan Reese was using -fit-, a blast from 
> the past if ever there was one. But it still works as he 
> remembers it.) 
> 
> In this case, Stata is set up so that your request to 
> use -version 8.2- is ignored. You are in Stata 9, really,
> and -fcolor()- is allowed, and Stata knows that, so that 
> Stata presumes that you do not mean what you say. More 
> often than not, this is really a feature. 
> 
> The issue is more general. Suppose you write 
> 
> program myprog
> 	version 8.2
> 	... 
> end 
> 
> and include within it, say accidentally, Stata 9 features. 
> Will Stata complain 
> just because of that? Within Stata 9: No. Within Stata 8.2: Yes. 
> Confusing, at first sight, because you may think that the 
> -version 8.2- 
> fixes all and that your friend with 8.2 can use this program. 
> 
> In short: 
> 
> 1. -version- is only in very limited respects a time machine. 
> 
> 2. The only full and complete return to version # conditions is using 
> Stata version #.
> 
> Nick 
> n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk 
> 
> Spörri-Fahrni Adrian
>   
> > I wrote a do-file with Stata9 for someone using 8.2. No 
> > problem, I thought, and wrote "version 8.2" in one of the 
> first lines.
> > Nevertheless, the do-file did not run with Stata8.2.
> >  
> > Here's the command, which did not work (boxplot):
> >  
> > graph box aktmin, medtype(line) over(agegrp) box(1, fcolor(gs12)) 
> >  
> > This does not run, because the option fcolor doesn't exist in 
> > Stata8.2, it should be bfcolor.
> >  
> > So, when running
> >  
> > version 8.2: graph box aktmin, medtype(line) over(agegrp) 
> > box(1, fcolor(gs12)) 
> >  
> > with Stata9, I should receive a red error line telling me: 
> > option fcolor() not allowed! Anyway, Stata9 runs this line 
> > without problem.
> >  
> > Does anybody have an idea, why the command "version 8.2" does 
> > not work in my example?
> 
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