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st: RE: Making saveold a permanent option


From   Roger Newson <roger.newson@kcl.ac.uk>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   st: RE: Making saveold a permanent option
Date   Wed, 03 Mar 2004 09:26:41 +0000

2. The next equally understandable requests are that someone
wants to be able to read Stata/SE files on their Stata,
or Stata 8 files in Stata 6, etc., etc. (And I can sympathise
with those whose domestic budgets don't stretch to getting fresh
personal licenses for home.) But where is the line drawn?
More generally, the marketing case seems dubious here. Stata gives
freebies when it suits -- not least updates between releases --
but we're a long way into Stata 8 now. Why should
StataCorp divert attention on behalf of people who won't upgrade?
The cost here is diversion of developer resources from worthwhile
projects that favour loyal customers, and people who won't pay
have no leverage on StataCorp -- especially if the freebie makes
it even less likely that they will upgrade!

3. Sharing data files is often best done using some ASCII
file, as may be essential if the other people are not Stata users.
That can make the issue of versions irrelevant.
I would agree with (3), and know a few people still using Stata 6. That is one reason why I wrote the -descsave- utility, which is downloadable from SSC, is currently written in Stata 7, and can be used together with -insheet- and -outsheet- to port between Stata versions 7 and 8, and from both of these to Stata 6, without losing variable labels, value labels, types and formats. In Stata 7 or 8, the user can type

outsheet foobar.txt, nolabel replace
descsave, do(foobar.do, replace)

and generate an ASCII data file -foobar.txt- and a Stata do-file -foobar.do-. In Stata 8, 7 or 6, the user can type

insheet foobar.txt, clear
run foobar
desc

and Stata will read in the data from -foobar.txt- and re-create the variable attributes by running -foobar.do-.

The -descsave- package may be updated to Stata 8 in the not too distant future. However, if I do this, then the Stata 7 version will continue to be available on my website.

Roger


--
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
Email: roger.newson@kcl.ac.uk
Website: http://www.kcl-phs.org.uk/rogernewson

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

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