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st: Setting a missing value in a generic context


From   David Kantor <dkantor@jhu.edu>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   st: Setting a missing value in a generic context
Date   Fri, 04 Mar 2005 17:20:24 -0500

Hi everyone,

Is there a concise way to set a variable to a missing value if you don't know its type (string vs. numeric)? This would be the reverse of the mi() function -- reverse in that you are setting rather than testing the value.

Suppose I have a local v that contains a variable name, and I want to replace the variable to missing.

Is there a way to do it in one easy command? Presently, I have been doing something like...

local typ: type `v'
if substr("`typ'", 1, 3) == "str" {
replace `v' = ""
}
else {
replace `v' = .
}

(or other similar things involving macros). (And in another setting, I am -post-ing a missing value, rather than replacing it in a variable.)

What I'd like is something like
replace `v' = universal_missing_symbol_that_works_regardless_of_data_type

I don't suppose it exists, but please let me know if I've overlooked something.
If it doesn't exist, it's on my wish list.

-- David

David Kantor
Institute for Policy Studies
Johns Hopkins University
dkantor@jhu.edu
410-516-5404
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