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Re: st: Stata 6 vs. 7

From   Weihua Guan <>
Subject   Re: st: Stata 6 vs. 7
Date   Mon, 09 Sep 2002 12:30:16 -0500

--Hung-Jen Wang <> wrote:                    

> Simply put, my problem is this: A (empty or non-empty) varlist needs to be
> specified by an -option-, and so the -option- should be able to
> accommodate both empty and non-empty varlist (for Stata 6).

Hung-Jen met the problem when he defined the syntax of a program as:

	program define myexpl
		version 6.0
		syntax ...., ..... [myopt(varlist) .... ]

Stata 6 does not allow an empty varlist, so when the user tries

. myexpl, myopt()

Stata will complain that "myopt() invalid" because the option -myopt()- does
not contain a valid varlist.  

To work around the problem, Hung-Jen may try -myopt(passthru)-.  See the
following example:

	program define myexpl
		version 6
		syntax [, myopt(passthru)]
		if "`myopt'" != "" {
			di "myopt is: `myopt'"
			tokenize `myopt', parse("()")
			local myopt `3'
			summ `myopt'
		else {
			di "myopt() is empty"

-passthru- tells Stata to pass anything specified in the option into the
program, including nothing.  Then the empty varlist will be allowed 

. myexpl, myopt()
myopt() is empty

Here the local macro `myopt' is empty when we specify nothing in the
corresponding option.  However, when -myopt()- is not empty, the local macro
`myopt' will contain the full name of the option, i.e,. "myopt(varlist)".  We
then need to use -tokenize- to extract the real variable list out from this
string.  For example,

. myexpl, myopt(price mpg)
myopt is: myopt(price mpg)	<----- note what `myopt' contains 

Variable |     Obs        Mean   Std. Dev.       Min        Max
   price |      74    6165.257   2949.496       3291      15906  
     mpg |      74     21.2973   5.785503         12         41  

In fact, specifying a empty varlist within -myopt()- is equivalent to not
specifying this option at all:

. myexpl
myopt() is empty

Weihua Guan <>
Stata Corp.

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