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Re: st: scientific notation turn off


From   Phil Schumm <pschumm@uchicago.edu>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: scientific notation turn off
Date   Wed, 25 Jan 2012 17:57:16 -0600

On Jan 25, 2012, at 3:16 PM, Doug Hess wrote:
> Thank you, Nick. Does getting into programming mean learning Mata or something else? I doubt I will do it anytime soon, but it might help to understand what is going on in the background eventually .


The answer to your question is that it depends on what you're trying to do.  Some tasks can be done most easily in Stata (i.e., by using Stata's programming constructs), some tasks can be done adequately in Stata but might be done more easily and/or efficiently in Mata, and some tasks really must be done in Mata.  Moreover, once you begin doing some programming in Stata/Mata, you'll see that it's common to combine Stata and Mata code in the same program, using each according to its strengths.  The problem is, if you haven't programmed in Stata/Mata before, figuring out what to do in Stata and what to do in Mata can be a difficult call to make.  So, it's perfectly reasonable when you're ready to start your first programming project to ask more experienced folks which parts to use Stata for, and which parts (if any) to use Mata for.

In the case of tweaking an existing program to suit your needs, you'll be constrained (or helped) by the choices made by the original author(s).  In this case, the place to start is with

    viewsource <command.ado>

which will show you the source code for the corresponding command (note that this will only work with commands that are implemented via ado-files, which is the lion's share).


-- Phil


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