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Re: st: Again-Unique Case ID in Large Panel
On Aug 4, 2004, at 2:32 PM, Nick Cox wrote:
This is a question largely for StataCorp,
OK, I see why that might be -- but surely the preferred behavior of
-xtdes- is not to _falsely_ claim that i*t do not identify all
observations just because the subsequent table might be too wide!
but one mundane answer is the need to list these
patterns horizontally on the monitor and in log files.
If -xtdes- were to use 100 as the default width, and not print the
table if width > 100, I would have no problem with that. Even better,
if the user specified a width(#) option with # > 100, then -xtdes-
could interpret that as an indication that the user really does want to
see several hundred columns. But regardless, I respectfully suggest
that the information passed to the user regarding the "unique
identification" of the panel should be independent of the width option,
and accurate for any size panel.
Also, I doubt that anyone is going to eyeball tables
with several hundred columns even if their monitor or
printer paper is really big.
I understand from the FAQ that one should be reticent from claiming
any behavior in Stata reflects a bug -- so I shall not, but this sure
seems to be leaning in that direction.
Which brings me to the question: why even bother
setting a default width, let alone setting it so low?
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