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st: RE: RE: thanks again, more Stata data manipulation tips,


From   "Nichols, Austin" <ANichols@ui.urban.org>
To   "'statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu'" <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: RE: RE: thanks again, more Stata data manipulation tips,
Date   Tue, 24 Aug 2004 13:20:31 -0400

Yes, you can write an ADO file and put in external commands by escaping out
to the shell, but given that Stata and other stats packages insist on
proprietary file formats for data, why not incorporate some advanced
functionality in the executable to manipulate that file format? Note in
particular this has nothing to do with platform dependence, as a
philosophical issue, since the executables differ in 1000 ways across
platforms. StataCorp does not send you Java code and then let you compile it
on your platform, right?

Stata should really allow you to copy variables (with labels, etc.) or
observations from a source dataset to a new dataset without loading the
whole thing in memory, or save data in different formats, or (yuck) use SQL
to query a database.  As it is, they are losing business to SAS and (in some
sense) DBMScopy, etc.

Don't get me wrong, I've been an avid user since Stata4.0, of both Windows
and Unix versions, but the developers at StataCorp are just wrongheaded when
it comes to playing well with others, including infiling, editing,
manipulating, and exporting data.  These are best done by some C code in the
Stata executable, not by a hodgepodge of add-on programs that some users may
not even be able to install on local systems (remember, the majority of
users of Stata may not have their own Linux boxes).

-----Original Message-----
From: Owens, Douglas Hamilton [mailto:dho@tamu.edu]
Sent: Monday, August 23, 2004 6:28 PM
To: statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject: st: RE: thanks again, more Stata data manipulation tips, or

--- "Nichols, Austin" <ANichols@ui.urban.org> wrote: 
> It's unclear to me why StataCorp has never integrated 
> better data management tools in the executable (e.g. 
> why not zip and unzip all data on the fly?)

One reason is possibly platform dependence.  Or a philosophical one: To do A
&
B do you want one program to do A and one to do B, or a more complicated
program to do A & B?  Because Stata is flexible you can integrate it with
other tools to do what you want. So if I wanted it to un-"zip" files for me
on
the fly I could write usezip.ado
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