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st: RE: Bug in comment - and comment on comment

From   "Allan Reese (Cefas)" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: RE: Bug in comment - and comment on comment
Date   Thu, 23 Sep 2010 11:02:19 +0100

Martin Weiss" <> and Ulrich Kohler <>
don't see the bug:

> I do not get your complaint! You opened two of those comments, and
> only one. The output you get matches your input...

This *is* clearly a bug:
- a bug is when the software gives the wrong answer and contradicts the
documentation (or implied documentation)
- a feature is when the software gives an unexpected answer but the
documentation says it will
- a documentation error is when the computer gives the correct or
logical answer when the documentation implies it will not.

Stata documentation is explicit as quoted: "What appears inside /* */ is
ignored." (help comment).

Computing logic on all languages I know is consistent: code is parsed
either as to be executed or as comment.  I can see no logic justifying
nested levels of comment, even if the comment text might include nested
parentheses.  Having a work-round does not justify leaving a bug in a
program as a pratfall.

On reading the documentation, I can't find a warning that end-of-file of
a DO file does not act as end-of-line.  Hence it's a *feature* if you
use the DO-file editor and do not put the end-of-line on the last line
that it will not execute.
di "1"
di "2"
di "3"<cursor here>

and save as  Then -do demo- gives
. do demo

. di "1"

. di "2"

end of do-file

Remember to put some blank lines at the end of all DO files!


R Allan Reese
Senior statistician, Cefas
The Nothe, Weymouth DT4 8UB 

Tel: +44 (0)1305 206614 -direct
Fax: +44 (0)1305 206601 

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