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st: RE: learning macros

Subject   st: RE: learning macros
Date   Fri, 13 Jun 2003 10:28:47 -0400

Ada Ma
> I am thinking about learning how to write macros (purely 
> becoz it sounds
> like fun and I just want to learn it for the sake of it).  
> Please advice on
> me where to start and whether there are any (hopefully free) online
> materials that I can use to learn the ropes?

In addition to the excellent advice provided by Nick and Scott, I might add
that it is probably best to start by reading Chapter 21 of the User's Guide,
[U] 21 Programming Stata.  It is very well written and provides all the
essentials for beginning to write your own ado's, all in 50 pages or less.
This chapter alone could make you a programmer in a flash.

You could then graduate to the NetCourses (NC151 and NC152).  (I took NC152
'Advanced Stata programming' and it is fantastic, I highly recommend it to
both novice and seasoned programmers.)  My second recommendation would be to
enrol in NC152 only after you have written a half-dozen ados.  You will get
more out of it that way.  You might have to undo some of the bad habits you
picked-up as a newbie, but putting the cart before the horse often pays-off
in the area of programming.  It allows you to visualise what it is you're
trying to do:  you first try to solve a problem by intuition, then learn the
theory on how it might best be tackled.

That's just the way it worked for me.  Obviously, different people learn
different ways.

Patrick Joly
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