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st: error message about Mata memory

From   Kit Baum <>
Subject   st: error message about Mata memory
Date   Mon, 23 Oct 2006 18:16:23 -0400

Nick said

Kit deleted the posting by Shihe Fan to which
my posting was the reply. Shihe's posting was clearly
about Stata. Despite the name of the thread, Shihe
made a comment picking up something Bobby Gutierrez
said (about -xtmixed-, a Stata command).

The story with Mata is indeed different and something
like tracing I presume to be a matter Mata masters
and mistresses will have on their amenda. In fact, it is
surely a priority for MataCorp.

Indeed, I did not repeat the posting by Mr Fan, but Mr Fan's concern was that the error reporting was 'not specific' -- that is, errors thrown by Mata (which generated the original posting) were not linked to a line in the Mata source code. That is indeed true, and the error trace provided by Stata for Mata errors is 'not specific', as I mentioned---unlike the specificity that would arise from a program written in C or Fortran, for instance. "set trace" is not very useful when ado-files invoke Mata functions. In Robby's response, xtmixed (a Stata command implemented as an ado-file) calls Mata functions, but if an error occurs within the Mata function, little information is available.

Kit Baum, Boston College Economics
An Introduction to Modern Econometrics Using Stata:

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