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Re: st: itsp package

From   Alan Riley <>
Subject   Re: st: itsp package
Date   Mon, 14 Dec 2009 14:39:04 -0600

Carl Nelson ( reported receiving an error when
he tried to install the Introduction to Stata Programming materials
from the Stata Press web site:

> I encountered the following behavior when trying to install the itsp package described in "An Introduction to Stata Programming"
> . net from
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Files associated with An Introduction to Stata Programming by Christopher F
> > . Baum
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> PACKAGES you could -net describe-:
>     itsp-data         Datasets used in An Introduction to Stata Programming
>     itsp-do           Do-files used in An Introduction to Stata Programming
>     itsp-ado          User-written commands used in An Introduction to Stat
> > a Programming
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> . net install itsp
> package file too long
> could not load itsp.pkg from
> r(640);

Notice that Carl typed -net install itsp-, but the packages listed as
being available in the output from Carl's -net from- command are
'itsp-data', 'itsp-do', and 'itsp-ado'.  That is, there is no 'itsp'
package listed.

Carl made a (reasonable) typo, so he should have received an error.
However, the error message he received was very misleading, which is our
(StataCorp's) fault.  I'll explain that below.

Carl should instead type

   net from

followed by

   net describe itsp-data
          (followed by -net install itsp-data- and/or -net get itsp-data-)
   net describe itsp-do
          (followed by -net install itsp-do- and/or -net get itsp-do-)
   net describe itsp-ado
          (followed by -net install itsp-ado- and/or -net get itsp-ado-)

Here is what happened:  We at StataCorp/Stata Press created an initial
package file for the ITSP book which contained all files associated
with it.  We named that package file 'itsp.pkg' and placed it along
with all of the associated files on the Stata Press web site.  We then
tested it by trying to -net install- and -net get- from it.  It didn't
work, because there were more files in it than are allowed in a single

We then decided to work around the file limit by distributing the
materials from the ITSP book in three packages, which are shown in the
output of -net from- above:  itsp-data, itsp-do, and itsp-ado.  Those
packages work fine.

However, we left behind the itsp.pkg file, even though it was never
linked to from anywhere.  When Carl typed -net install itsp-, Stata
accessed the old, unlinked package, and returned a 'package file too
long' error.  We have now removed the itsp.pkg file to avoid any
confusion.  If Carl tries to -net install itsp- now, he will receive
the appropriate error message:  "could not load itsp.pkg".


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