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RE: st: AW: New -panels- package available from SSC

From   "Nick Cox" <>
To   <>
Subject   RE: st: AW: New -panels- package available from SSC
Date   Mon, 26 Oct 2009 18:07:49 -0000


We can have the discussion, and usually helpfully, and sometimes people
change their minds. My posting was written in the knowledge that Ben had
already stood by his syntax and disagreed with you, so I generalised the
point that we can amiably differ and go back to our text editors and
have what we want, at least privately. 


Martin Weiss

The discussion does not hurt, though, does it? In fact, I think it
awareness of such "fine points" -like the abbreviation of an option- for
both future authors of ssc -program-s and users of the -program- in
question. In addition, my initial complaint that started this thread
values not being constant within panels was well received by Ben. The
update of -panels- seems to have incorporated a solution into the

BTW: I love Ben`s packages, my "complaints" are intended as pointers to
possible improvements of his brilliant contributions...

Nick Cox

While we can discuss, and even argue about, Stata conventions, one of
the key points about user-written programs is that users are in charge
in a double sense:

1. User-programmers get to choose their own syntax, subject to Stata's
own rules. 

2. Other user-programmers can change what they don't like, subject to
constraints of etiquette and intellectual property. 

Or -- in short, if you don't like it, clone it and change it but don't
claim it. 

Martin Weiss

"Yes, it's hazardous. -panels- expects users know what they're doing."

Another hazard could be the fact that a mere "r" is sufficient to allow
Stata to overwrite existing variables which is not quite in keeping with
spirit of [U], section 11.2.2.: "To allow Stata to overwrite the
you would type save mydata, replace. replace may not be abbreviated." In
this case we are talking about a variable, not a dataset, but still...

webuse nlswork, clear
panels idcode, gen(mycount)
//overwrite w/o prompt to user...
panels idcode, gen(mycount) r

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