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Re: st: Re: choosing between sj and more thing

From   Richard Williams <[email protected]>
To   [email protected]
Subject   Re: st: Re: choosing between sj and more thing
Date   Fri, 01 Sep 2006 09:07:11 -0500

HOWEVER Stata's "net install" facility was designed to specifically prohibit that action. Files referenced in a Stata package file must live on the same machine. That restriction is not technical, but security-driven; in a world where many authors can no longer email me a 'foo.hlp' file, even in zipped format, Stata's security constraints are surely appropriate. Thus the necessity for anything "SSC-able" to live on the SSC server here at BC. But I should remind authors of SSC packages that while setting up a package entails some work on my part (less for a second, third... package from the same author), updating the files within it (and the package's distribution date) takes a few seconds, with drag-n-drop.
A few comments I will add:

* If you are going to maintain your own site, please try to match the quality of SSC's documentation in your pkg file. In particular, include the distribution date, so that adoupdate knows when you have a new version available.

* Try to avoid having multiple versions of your files on separate sites. It gets confusing when you see the same program name at different locations and you don't know which is the most current or even if they are the same program. If you ever submit your program to SSC, make a point of making sure it always has the latest and greatest version of your program, since (I suspect) many people are going to go with SSC if there is doubt as to which version to use.

* SSC will not let you submit a program whose name is already in use at SSC. So, if you maintain your own site, first use findit to make sure that your program's name is unique. Keep in mind, however, that people submitting to SSC are not obligated to avoid your program names if your program isn't on SSC.

* I do sometimes make beta versions of my programs available from my own site. When I do that i give the programs slightly different names to avoid confusion with the officially released versions. I've found that using net install is a far more reliable way of getting programs correctly installed than just emailing your program to somebody; even smart people will find ways to make mistakes!

* Rightly or wrongly, I tend to trust programs from SSC more than I do programs from individual user sites, at least when I don't know the authors. I figure Kit maintains the site well and insists on some minimal standards with regards to documentation. You also get usage statistics from SSC which can build (or bruise) your ego.

* Nonetheless, there are some great individual sites. For example, I've always admired the way Roger Newson keeps old versions of his programs around for those who are not fortunate enough to have the latest and greatest version of Stata.

Richard Williams, Notre Dame Dept of Sociology
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