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Re: st: Stata 10 behavior different from Stata 9 behavior for dialog controls

From   James Hassell <>
Subject   Re: st: Stata 10 behavior different from Stata 9 behavior for dialog controls
Date   Tue, 14 Aug 2007 16:14:10 -0500

Sergiy R. <> wrote:
> While testing compatibility of a program written in Stata 9 with Stata
> 10 the following issue was uncovered: dialog controls (EDITs) are not
> updated (refreshed, redrawn) while Stata is busy. The following
> example code illustrates the problem:

Sergiy is using the advanced -stata hidden- command from his dialog, and in
Stata 10 some loopholes were plugged in -stata hidden- that could lead to
indeterminate results.  We viewed this as a bug fix, so the old behavior was
not retained, even under version control.

The short answer for Sergiy is to use

      stata hidden queue ...

instead of
      stata hidden ...

Unfortunately, there is no way to code a single dialog box so that Sergiy 
can get the old behavior under both Stata 9 and Stata 10.  For that reason,
we will make the old behavior work under version control in Stata 10.  
That will happen in the next executable update.

Here is a longer explanation for those interested in the details.

Sergiy's problem occurred when running Stata commands from his dialog.
There are two ways to do this.

The first uses the -stata- command from the dialog box. This is the 
normal/default way commands are submitted and the behavior is just as
if you had typed the command in the Command window. This is done by
placing the command in a queue to be consumed when Stata is idle or
finished with the previous command. This method allows dialog boxes
to remain responsive and have the ability to submit commands at any
time, even if Stata is busy working on a problem.

The second method, and the one that Sergiy is using, is the -stata hidden- 
command, which submits a command without showing it in the Review window.
Under Stata 9, -stata hidden- also never queued the command, but submitted 
it directly into the command buffer to be executed immediately.
The disadvantage to this method is that Stata must be idle to accept
the command.  What's more, if the dialog launches other immediate commands
before the first is complete, the outcome can become indeterminate.

In Stata 10 the -stata hidden- dialog command was extended by 
giving it two more optional arguments that are mutually exclusive;
-immediate- and -queue-. -stata hidden queue- submits commands
by queuing them the same way commands are queued with the -stata-
dialog command, except with -stata hidden queue- the command is
not echoed to the Results window.  -stata hidden immediate- is 
a synonym for -stata hidden-. The behavior of -stata hidden-
is the same as it was in Stata 9 with one exception.  In Stata 10,
we do not allow dialog polling to occur during execution of ado code
called by -stata hidden- or -stata hidden immediate-. This prevents
unpredictable results. It is this new safety measure that Sergiy 
has noticed.  Because polling no longer occurs with -stata hidden- 
Sergiy's dialog box does not update as the ado program changes its

As noted above we will reinstate the old behavior under version control, 
but if Sergiy is coding for Stata 10 he should just use -stata hidden queue-.

Sergiy has asked several other questions off list. Sergiy I will reply to
those questions privately.

-- James Hassell
   StataCorp LP
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