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st: Re: mata code

From   Kit Baum <[email protected]>
To   [email protected]
Subject   st: Re: mata code
Date   Thu, 7 Jul 2005 09:34:50 -0400

Don't hold your breath. At the London SUG meetings, StataCorp speakers presenting mata told us that they considered mata code for "official" Stata routines to be in the same category as the C code for "official" Stata built-in routines (e.g., the code underlying -regress-). Thus, they will distribute it in compiled form (in mata libraries), but not expose the source code.

We might hope that the Stata Journal's regular "from the help desk" feature will include some examples of how mata can be used to solve econometric programming problems. That feature often is accompanied by ado-file code, and one would hope that such articles -- which do not discuss official Stata features -- might also present the mata source code for the edification of user/programmers. It is a great advantage of Stata that much of the code is exposed, and the best practices embodied therein can be studied by user/programmers. It would be indeed unfortunate if a larger and larger fraction of Stata's commands are made inscrutable by means of mata (while giving efficiency and speed, removing the models by which many of us have written add-ons to do what official Stata does not).

Kit Baum, Boston College Economics

On Jul 7, 2005, at 2:33 AM, Rob wrote:

Also, in general, I'd like it if StataCorp would distribute both the
compiled libraries and the source code for routines such as these.
One of the nice things about implementing commands as .ado files is
that users can look at the code and see exactly how the commands
work.  Mata seems like it'll be a great tool, but it'll be a lot more
useful if users can see the source code than if we only get to see
compiled libraries.
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