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st: Top ten tricks [was: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Using postfile]
Thanks very much. Being a bit smart with this stuff
depends on smarter people having written it.
The deeper lesson is the extraordinary leverage
afforded by -by:-.
That leads to me to ask a question: which would
we nominate as (say) the top ten tricks which
are the deepest and most Stataish features
in what we use? What is _both_ simple _and_ deep?
What leads to great results with at most a few
lines of code?
Let me explain what I mean.
-generate- is something utterly fundamental
and extraordinarily useful and Stata could
not be imagined without such a commnand. But the main
idea is a standard one. The same could be
said about say -if-.
Commands like -regress- or -stcox- (no
relation) are very well done, and key tools
in the toolkit: but the greatness
of the commands matches the greatness of
the statistical idea and the associated machinery.
On the other hand, -by:- still gives many
pleasant surprises once you see how to use it.
The more you use, the more you admire it.
I'd nominate straight away
2. -foreach- or -forval- with varlists or numlists.
3. -merge-. I rarely use it but -merge-masters
have real leverage in file manipulations.
4. -assert-. My candidate for the most
underestimated command in Stata (second
Any other nominations?
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