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st: Funny macro behaviour inside a programme


From   Mark Schaffer <M.E.Schaffer@hw.ac.uk>
To   Statalist <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: Funny macro behaviour inside a programme
Date   Fri, 05 Nov 2004 08:02:36 +0000 (GMT)

Hi everybody.  I've run into some funny behaviour by Stata when dealing 
with macros inside a programme.

Here's a snippet of a -trace-.  The programme calls -test-, then displays 
the results, then uses -tempname- to allocate some more local names for 
scalars.  It assigns a value to the new local `hpvalue', which has been 
given the local variable __00000O.  Not shown are two earlier lines that 
assigns values to previously-defined locals `hpvalue1' and `hpvalue2'.  
The last command asks Stata (8.2, btw) to display the values of both of 
these locals.

scalars:
              r(drop) =  0
              r(chi2) =  7.778333995775768
                r(df) =  1
                 r(p) =  .0052876538356317
  - tempname htest hpvalue hdf hsigma
  - scalar `htest'=r(chi2)
  = scalar __00000N=r(chi2)
  - scalar `hpvalue'=r(p)
  = scalar __00000O=r(p)
  - di "hpvalue1=" `hpvalue' "  hpvalue2=" `hpvalue2'
  = di "hpvalue1=" __00000O "  hpvalue2=" __00000O
hpvalue1=.00528765  hpvalue2=.00528765

What is curious is that both `hpvalue1' and `hpvalue2' are expanded to the 
local variable that was assigned to `hpvalue', namely __00000O.

Eventually I got rid of the bug by using shorter local macro names.  But 
`hpvalue1', for example, has only 8 characters. Did I miss a bit in the 
manual that says that local macros have to have names with fewer than 8 
(!) characters?

Cheers,
Mark

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