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st: RE: Omission in -trace- visualization of -clear-

From   "Nick Cox" <[email protected]>
To   <[email protected]>
Subject   st: RE: Omission in -trace- visualization of -clear-
Date   Mon, 13 Oct 2003 10:52:13 +0100

Renzo Comolli
> I believe the following is an omission.
> As you can see from the second -about- command, -clear- 
> does reset the
> version to the most updated version downloaded, 
> but in the -trace- only the "main number" of the version is shown.
> Renzo Comolli
> . about
> Intercooled Stata 8.1 for Windows
> Born 09 Sep 2003
> . set trace on
> . clear
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> ------------
> begin clear ---
> - version 8
> * rest of trace omitted
> . about
> Intercooled Stata 8.1 for Windows
> Born 09 Sep 2003

The trace is telling you that 
-clear- is a version 8 program. 

Here it is: 

*! version 3.1.6  05jul2002
program clear
	version 8
	drop _all
	label drop _all
	matrix drop _all
	scalar drop _all
	constraint drop _all
	eq drop _all
	file close _all
	postutil clear
	_return drop _all

That -version 8- statement instructs Stata 
to interpret the syntax of the program following 
according to the syntax of version 8, although 
this in itself (a) does not absolutely rule out 
the program writer using later features; (b) 
does not set the clock back in respect of 
any bug fixes. Moreover, the -version- statement 
has no impact beyond the running of the program. 

The -version 8- within clear is not related to the version 
of the executable you are using, in 
your case Stata 8.1, except in so far 
as you could not run programs defined
for version x with any executable with 
version y < x. 8.0 < 8.1, so there is no

Lots of official Stata commands set the version 
to some version below the current executable, 
largely on the grounds of not fixing what's not 

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