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st: RE: RE: Potential bugs in user-written commands

Subject   st: RE: RE: Potential bugs in user-written commands
Date   Wed, 19 Feb 2003 16:35:49 -0500

Lee Sieswerda
> [...]
> Are you suggesting that we also should 
> first send all
> of our problems with offcial Stata to Bill Gould et al before 
> sending them
> to Statalist, because it would be more respectful to let 
> StataCorp have a
> crack at it first?

No I am not. I was referring to user-written commands exclusively.  Bill et
al. receive monetary compensation for their labour and are thus subject to a
different level of accountability.  There is no point of comparison between
user-written and Official Stata material.

> This seems to me to miss the point of Statalist. It is true 
> that there is
> the occasional posting by a user whose tone would suggest 
> that he apparently
> doesn't understand that user-written commands are provided 
> purely out of the
> author's sense of community. But we can sanction those users 
> in other ways
> without having to change the way the Stata community works. 
> As Nick Cox
> says, we can exert "list discipline". In almost all cases, 
> the intent is not
> to somehow *disrespect* the authors of user-written commands 
> by identifying
> problems and potential bugs publicly, but rather to work together to
> understand and make the best software possible. I would 
> submit that this is
> best done in an open environment. See, for example, most Open Source
> projects. The lists of bug reports are usually publicly available.

I really don't see how giving authors a shot at correcting their routine
would make statalist any less open, or circumvent our
"working-togetherness".  People who share their programs should be willing
to stand by their code and be ready to accept criticism (as much as praise)
for it, but the act of sharing should entitle them to proper heads-up, at

I have often reported bugs directly to the authors of a package and within a
day or two (sometimes hours), an SSC update was announced.  If an author
doesn't respond then, fair game.

Patrick Joly

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