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st: append and strange doings


From   baum <baum@bc.edu>
To   StataList <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: append and strange doings
Date   Thu, 18 Jul 2002 16:46:34 -0400

It seems like -append- ought to be smart enough to at least give a warning if you try to append a dataset with NO variables in common with the master dataset. I just run into this helping a colleague who has a dozen Census extract files, produced elsewhere and probably used by a number of researchers. He was appending them in a -for- loop. _One_ of those files, it turns out, has UPPER CASE FILENAMES. The rest have all the same variables with lower case filenames. Yes, once you figure that out, "renvars _all, lower" (STB) does a very nice job of cleaning up this mess, but the outcome of appending 85 variables, none of which are in common with the 85 variables in memory, is to double the memory requirements---so you get a r(901), and eonder why that should possibly be happening when the size of the data is not increasing by that much.

Might -append- reasonably give you a warning that appending without any common contents between the master and using datasets is surely likely to be a logical error?

Kit
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