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RE: st: RE: file wrote single opening quote


From   "Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   RE: st: RE: file wrote single opening quote
Date   Mon, 18 Nov 2002 21:40:11 -0000

Ulrich Kohler
> 
> Nick Winter wrote:
> > In general, my basic reaction to the recent threads on 
> this sort of
> > thing is that Stata is not perl, and so is not really the 
> greatest tool
> > for this sort of thing. 
> 
> I aggree. The advantage of Stata is that everybody who 
> works with Stata has 
> Stata, but not everybody who works with Stata has perl or awk. 
> 

True, but I will point out, as others 
will even more vociferously, that Perl 
(for example) is (a) totally free and 
(b) available for every platform on which Stata runs, 
and indeed many more. So this is true 
only to the extent that people have 
not downloaded readily available software. 

The real limit is not what is to hand
in practice, or in principle: 
it is how far people have the time and 
inclination to put in the effort to learn 
extra software. 

Yet another approach, not yet mentioned
in this thread, is the use of good text 
editors. For example, I write far fewer 
scripts in Awk or Perl than I used to partly 
because my favourite text editor vim 
lets me do so many things on the fly, 
especially with regular expressions. 
But not everything, of course... 

All this doesn't stop me wanting, like 
I guess all others in this thread, to 
be able to specify within Stata that I 
want to read a line of text from a 
file and/or to write a line of text to a
file absolutely as is with no interpretation 
of macros. That is, the desire is for something 
like 

file lread  handle [specs]

file lwrite handle [specs]

where -lread- and -lwrite- indicate something 
like a _l_iteral read and write. 

I don't know exactly how easy that is to 
do, but it is easy to ask for. 

Nick 
n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk 

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