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Re: st: Dependencies in Stata ado-packages


From   Richard Williams <richardwilliams.ndu@gmail.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu, statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: Dependencies in Stata ado-packages
Date   Mon, 18 Jun 2012 23:01:19 -0500

At 08:20 PM 6/18/2012, Nick Cox wrote:

P.S. I would not recommend copying the borrowed files to your own
package files, even with the authors' permission. This can lead to
more problems than it solves as and when the borrowed package is later
modified.

I think that is debatable. You can't count on authors of other routines to be careful not to break your program (especially since they may not even know your program requires their program). They might decide to change the syntax, update their program to require Stata 13, rename the program or function, or do various other things that might zap your program. Therefore, if the author doesn't object, it may be desirable to copy parts of their code into your program, with proper attribution.

To deal with Nick's concern I would rename the copied section so as not to conflict with the package you are copying from, e.g. you don't want somebody calling your copied routine rather than the original.

Of course, it may also depend on how much code you have to copy. I would guess that a function in moremata wouldn't require that much copying, whereas a major estimation routine might be a very different matter.

Letting the author know that your program calls theirs might reduce the likelihood that they will inadvertently zap your program when they make changes to theirs.


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Richard Williams, Notre Dame Dept of Sociology
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