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st: Re: value labels for strings: last comments

From   baum <>
Subject   st: Re: value labels for strings: last comments
Date   Mon, 28 Oct 2002 09:10:52 -0500

--On Monday, October 28, 2002 2:33 -0500 Richard wrote:

Subject: st: RE: Re: value labels for string variables

It requires several extra steps. And encoding one database results in
different encodes for another. But most generally,  suppose I had several
variables with the same code set?  - as is the case.
These issues display a fundamental misunderstanding of the underlying concepts.
There is only one set of definitions linking short and long forms of the string variable, thus only one data set containing those definitions, which may be merged onto any number of other 'real' datasets, which will then contain the long forms of the strings.

The fact that '111' may refer to the 111th disease in integer variable 'diseasecodes' and the 111th zip code in 'zipcodes' is immaterial. They will still display the appropriate contents.

Erik S. said he didn't want to modify a number of huge data sets, which are used by others. If Stata did have a command to crwate long labels as aliases for short labels, how would one attach the long labels without modifying the data sets on disk? The point is, Stata does have commands that will enable this feature, and they are just about as succinct as they can imaginably be. You do only need set up the definitions of short and long labels once, and merge them--once--onto a dataset in which you want the long labels. You can also apply that definition to any variable(s) you choose--e.g. if you have the patient's zip code and the physician's zip code, and want them each displayed as city|state, just merge 'zipcodes' (containing zip+4 and city,state) with each string-encoded zip code variable.

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