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RE: st: RE: -clemao_io- broken in Stata 9? - Addendum

From   Richard Williams <[email protected]>
To   [email protected], <[email protected]>
Subject   RE: st: RE: -clemao_io- broken in Stata 9? - Addendum
Date   Fri, 17 Jun 2005 09:27:58 -0500

At 11:00 AM 6/17/2005 +0100, Nick Cox wrote:
I want to comment generally on the idea
of version control. There seems to be a
folklore idea that version control is a
Stata variant on time travel, so that
saying (e.g.)

version 7

means that everything is exactly as it
was when Stata 7 was what you were dealing
with. This is not so. The only way to
experience the totality of Stata 7
is to use Stata 7.
Quite true, but it is a folklore idea spread by Stata itself. From the online help for version:

"version # allows old programs to run correctly under more recent versions of Stata and ensures that new programs will run correctly under future versions of Stata... Programs and do-files written as of earlier releases should include the appropriate version line at the top. All programs distributed by StataCorp have this. Thus old programs work even if Stata has changed... some changes in Stata will break old programs unless the version number is set back to the appropriate version number. The list below outlines these important changes. This list is likely of interest only to those trying to update an old program to a new version's syntax -- most people will just set the version number appropriately instead and not worry about any of this."

I'm amazed that version control works as well as it does, but it still doesn't work quite as well as the official documentation would have you believe. User-written programs are a great feature of Stata but trying to keep all of these working as new versions are released must be a great challenge for Stata.

Richard Williams, Notre Dame Dept of Sociology
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