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RE: st: adoupdate question

From   Richard Williams <>
To   "" <>, "" <>
Subject   RE: st: adoupdate question
Date   Tue, 30 Jun 2009 14:37:39 -0500

At 12:25 PM 6/30/2009, Nick Cox wrote:

1. Help files have changed in suffix and within SMCL there have been numerous changes. None of this is fatal but it can prove challenging especially for naïve or inexperienced users.

That is my biggest concern with Alan's proposed strategy. I think you want separate help files for each version of the program unless the differences across versions are minor, e.g. maybe the syntax is the same but a later version is faster because it uses Mata.

Thus without disputing the value of the strategy which Alan identifies I find it usually easier to peal off old programs as say -foobar10- if -foobar- is much revised under 11 and I lack the time or the incentive to maintain support for users 10 within -foobar-. (Indeed I suspect that this particular convention that the number indicates Stata version required, rather than version of the program, was introduced by me.) -foobar10- is then announced as "frozen as was" and the implication is that people on Stata 11 should not download the new -foobar- as the old -foobar- is all they can use.

I don't think Alan's proposal is inconsistent with that though. You can still freeze the code for old versions. But, you can keep giving the command -foobar- instead of -foobar10-.

With Alan's approach, I suppose a wildly ambitious programmer could also support version control, although I am not aware of a single user-written program that does that.

Richard Williams, Notre Dame Dept of Sociology
OFFICE: (574)631-6668, (574)631-6463
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