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Re: st: Submitting a command in a couples of pieces


From   wgould@stata.com (William Gould, StataCorp LP)
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: Submitting a command in a couples of pieces
Date   Mon, 02 Nov 2009 08:24:37 -0600

Martin Weiss <martin.weiss1@gmx.de> writes, 

>   "-_request()- will store the result in a local macro if you prefix its
>   name with an underscore"
>
> [...] Is it not highly unusual that the user has to supply the underscore
> for the -local-?  (I cannot think of another command that requires this
> treatment). This fact could be given more prominence in the manual entry, as
> normally Stata would prepend the underscore for you, as is obvious from:

Martin is right, I don't think there's another place in Stata where the 
prepending the underscore is required to create or access a local macro.
Rather than fix the manual to emphasize it, however, I think it would be 
better to improve the syntax of -_request()-.

Doing that now appears on a to-do list, but rather low on it.

The _ in front of local macros is a remnant of Stata's history.  At one 
time, _macros were local macros, and macros without underscores were 
global.  In the internal code, Stata still works to make that statement 
true, but the internal logic is not organized like that anymore.  The 
statement is kept in force, however, to ensure that programs written 
for Stata 1.0, 2.0, etc., continue to work.

-- Bill
wgould@stata.com
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