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st: -1 observations deleted


From   "Lee Chuntao" <chtl@econ.hku.hk>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: -1 observations deleted
Date   Wed, 14 Aug 2002 21:33:24 +0800

Dear Listers,

      I need to connect a lot of files together by using the command "append
using". Those files all contain the same six variables, but different
numbers of observations. Some contain 0 observations. I also need to delete
some observations in some conditions. For the zero-observation files, surely
i deleted zero observation by using "drop if condition", but stata replied
"-1 observations deleted". This is something easily be misunderstood. My
question is, why stata not report "0 observation deleted".
      another question is also related to zero-observation files. there is a
variable named date, and i need to sort obs. decendingly. If i use
"gsort -date", there is an error, but if i use the following commands, it
works well:

                gen n_date = -date
                gsort n_date
                drop n_date

this seems rather  stupid since we have a command "gsort -varname"
can stata co. upgrade the gsort command?


Thanks a lot


Lee Chuntao



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