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st: RE: RE: recommendation for learning to write Stata ado-files


From   "Rodrigo Alfaro A." <ralfaro@bcentral.cl>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: RE: RE: recommendation for learning to write Stata ado-files
Date   Tue, 3 Jun 2008 13:20:38 -0400

Andrea

It will be more easy if you are familiar with local variables, loops and
if sentences in other language. I haven't look at Kit's book, but it
seems that it will be the new entry to Stata programming. 

In addition to look code from other people, you could check
http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/, there are good tricks there. My
favorite ado is spearman (type viewsource spearman.ado). At the very end
there is a rclass program called spearman2... in my opinion a
masterpiece.

Finally, I think that the manuals are important too. But you can survive
with an old version of them (versions 8 or 9 are fine for v10). Get them
as soon as possible.

As I was pointed by Nick: programming can be very frustrating. General
suggestions are: (1) put comments in your code, then you will be able to
read it in the future, and (2) use tabulations to describe internal
loops or if/for sentences.

Rodrigo.




-----Mensaje original-----
De: owner-statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
[mailto:owner-statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu] En nombre de Nick Cox
Enviado el: Martes, 03 de Junio de 2008 12:53 p.m.
Para: statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Asunto: st: RE: recommendation for learning to write Stata ado-files

The User's Guide [U] is invaluable. [P] is less important for initial
learning, important as you progress. 

At some point the question of whether to learn Mata as well as Stata
will arise. 

Looking at other programs and help files is invaluable. Often somebody
else's program is an excellent starting point. (Of course, you should
acknowledge what you borrow.) 

It's a bit invidious to pick from user-written books: nevertheless Kit
Baum's forthcoming book is very good. (Declaration of interest.) 

Getting to write do files before you write programs and getting used to
writing little programs before you write large ones are usually
advisable. 

People who haven't programmed before sometimes under-estimate how
difficult it can be. 
If you are not a detail-driven person accustomed to being very careful
about small points as well as large ones, programming can be very
frustrating. Even if you are, it can be very frustrating. 

On the other hand, programming can be a lot of fun as well as useful.
Being able to customise what you do is very rewarding. 

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
[mailto:owner-statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu] On Behalf Of Andrea
Bennett


Does anyone have a good starting point for learning how to write ado-
files (in case it is part of the Stata manuals, I don't have them!).  
Is there a book you would recommend? Or do you usually just learn by
looking at existing ado-files?

/

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