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Re: st: some code that doesn't do what I expect

From   "Neil Shephard" <>
Subject   Re: st: some code that doesn't do what I expect
Date   Tue, 08 Mar 2005 13:15:04 +0000

> I ran a do file that did something that I did not expect it do.
> Perhaps someone would like to try to reproduce this behaviour, or
> point out my mistake. I'm running Stata 8.2 on WinXP. Here's the log:
> *--snip--
> . do "test01"
> . version 8
> . use "data\sndata.dta"
> . local foo "a_great_big_fish"
> . save "data\`foo'.dta"
> file data`foo'.dta saved
> .
> end of do-file
> *--snip--
> I expected `foo' to evaluate to "a_great_big_fish" in the save
> command. Using a double slash fixes the problem ( i.e. -save
> "data\\`foo'.dta"- ).
I believe this is a platform specific problem and is related to the fact that \ are used to 
negate the normal interpretation of special characters in Stata as well as many other 
languages (in this case the reference to the local macro).

The problem does not occur under linux systems as the division between directory 
levels is represented by /

You can avoid this in Stata under windows by using / which are prefectly acceptable.


sysuse auto
local foo "a_great_big_fish"
save "data/`foo'"



Neil Shephard
Genetics Statistician
ARC Epidemiology Unit, University of Manchester

"If your result needs a statistician then you should design a better experiment" - 
Ernest Rutherford

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