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Re: st: Why is the -plot()- option now the -addplot()- option?

From (Vince Wiggins, StataCorp)
Subject   Re: st: Why is the -plot()- option now the -addplot()- option?
Date   Wed, 18 Jun 2008 13:02:25 -0500

Roger Newson <> asks,

> A minor query re Stata 9 and 10 graphics. Is there any special
> reason why the -plot()- option of Stata 8 was renamed to the
> -addplot()- option in Stata 9? 

I admit that I don't recall.  A few possibilities are:

    o We thought the name -plot- was too ambiguous given
      that the documentation for -twoway- relies so heavily
      on the concept of plots.

    o We thought that the option name -plot- might be extremely
      useful for a different purpose in the future.  (And I don't
      know what that would be.)

    o We wanted to emphasize that you were adding a plot, and not 
      designating what was plotted.

I will also admit that none of those reasons sounds right.  Given that we try
very hard not to change existing names without truly good cause, I am pretty
sure the real reason was more compelling than those listed above.  The
intervening years have not been kind to that particular memory.

Roger goes on to ask,

> And is the name now stable? (It seems to have persisted in Stata
> 10.) I ask because I am planning the Stata 10 version of the SSC
> package -eclplot-, which currently is Stata 9, and has a -plot()-
> option inherited from Stata 8, which I would like to harmonize with
> the rest of Stata.

Roger need not worry.  It is highly unlikely we will decide to rename this
option yet again.  Any perusal of the historical stability of Stata command
syntax and option names will support that conclusion.  Even if, against all my
assurances, we did decide to rename the option in the future, the name
-addplot- is not very interesting for other uses, and so while it might go
undocumented, it would continue to work.

-- Vince

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