The other day I wrote a program that needed to call a file as an argument -- with the full file path. My first pass at it was to capture the argument as usual, with say args input_file. But that would not have worked with file paths that have spaces in them. What might have worked, I guessed, was to use something like this:
 

syntax namelist
local input_file namelist'

 

That, however, choked on a Windows-style file path, because the colon in C:\ is an illegal name. Trial and error (and the [I] book) led me to syntax anything. Here's my scratchpad:
 

capture prog drop myHello
program myHello

syntax namelist
local names namelist'
di "Hello names'"

end

myHello Eenie: Meenie

 

OK, so "illegal name" it is. Now let's see if "anything" might work better than "namelist":
 

capture prog drop myHello
program myHello

syntax anything
local names anything'
di "Hello names'"

end

myHello c:\my file path here\my file name here.txt

 `

Success. This may look trivial, but everything is after the fact. We have a long-standing policy at the Eno River Analytics worldwide headquarters that we should write toy programs for sketching things out before we go ahead and actually break something.