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RE: st: RE: Inputting arbitrary text files into Stata datasets

From   Roger Newson <>
Subject   RE: st: RE: Inputting arbitrary text files into Stata datasets
Date   Thu, 17 Oct 2002 17:39:30 +0100

At 16:28 17/10/02 +0100, Nick Cox wrote:

Stata at the lowest level reads in everything it receives
from anywhere, the user plus -- commands,
data, whatever -- byte by byte.

The Stata that we mortals interact with interprets our
commands, fine except for this one small fraction
(who knows? 0.001%?) of Stata usage.
The point I was making is that it is mathematically impossible to devise a pair of quote strings to go around arbitrary strings (because arbitrary strings may include an unmated right quote string). Statistically, a pair of quotes may go around most of the strings encountered, most of the time. However, if Stata is going to use use macros routinely to store arbitrary strings (as in the -file- command), then there should be some way of accessing their contents which does not require quote strings.

Best wishes


Roger Newson
Lecturer in Medical Statistics
Department of Public Health Sciences
King's College London
5th Floor, Capital House
42 Weston Street
London SE1 3QD
United Kingdom

Tel: 020 7848 6648 International +44 20 7848 6648
Fax: 020 7848 6620 International +44 20 7848 6620
or 020 7848 6605 International +44 20 7848 6605

Opinions expressed are those of the author, not the institution.

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