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Re: st: Why was -index()- dropped?

From   Richard Williams <[email protected]>
To   [email protected], [email protected]
Subject   Re: st: Why was -index()- dropped?
Date   Fri, 25 Jan 2008 11:37:19 -0500

At 10:06 AM 1/25/2008, William Gould, StataCorp LP wrote:
Richard commented that he wished that old names continued to work because one
gets used to doing things certain ways.

Richard's right.  We usually, with a lag, turn off off old names a matter of
policy.  We do that to keep our code (a little) cleaner and to get back names
for future development.  It was done unthinkingly in this case, however,
because we have no desire to get the name -index()- back.  Beyond that,
because -index()- is the name of a C function, there is a good argument for
Stata continuing to recognize -index()- along with the new name -strpos()-.

So we will quietly put -index()- back and make it work again.
Great. I would think recycling names could get a little confusing too, e.g. a program might use the new "index" and then under version control use the old "index" and they would be totally different things.

Incidentally, one of my wishlist items would be some web pages that documented antiquated commands. Version control is great, but it can be tough to figure out what an old program is doing when it uses commands that are no longer documented. I would include in that wishlist things like documentation for the old -ml- command, which got major rewrites starting around version 5 or 6 I believe. I tried the following,

version 7: help index

but alas, it doesn't work. You can find a lot by digging through -help version- (e.g. it tells you that index got renamed), but a lot of times it just says the command reverted to its earlier syntax and you don't know what that syntax was.

Richard Williams, Notre Dame Dept of Sociology
OFFICE: (574)631-6668, (574)631-6463
HOME: (574)289-5227
EMAIL: [email protected]

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