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Re: st: Stata 9 announcement

From   Nick Winter <>
Subject   Re: st: Stata 9 announcement
Date   Wed, 06 Apr 2005 10:31:17 -0400

At 09:07 AM 4/6/2005 -0500, you wrote:
At 08:46 AM 4/6/2005 -0500, Alan Riley wrote:
In Stata 9, value labels have a maximum length of 32,000
characters.  When reading a Stata 9 dataset, Stata 8 is
"smart" enough to not read in any value labels that would
exceed the Stata 8 limit.
Thanks Alan. Just as a matter of curiosity, why would somebody even want a 32,000 character value label (or even 244 or 80?) I suppose you could put an entire questionnaire into your value label if you were so inclined! But for documentation purposes, I would think there would be better approaches than trying to cram so much information into a value label.

My own bias is to have nice, short labels (Stata output generally truncates after around 10 or 11 characters anyway, right?) But perhaps I overlook some benefits here.
One thing that occurs to me is to use this in conjunction with support for multiple languages, in order to include complete questionnaire wording in one set of labels, and shorter "analysis" labels in another.

There was a presentation at NASUG last year by Theodore Pollari & Phil Schumm on using Stata as the base for a fully-integrated questionnaire development, questionairre production, and analysis system--I imagine the longer labels might be helpful in that sort of context. See

--Nick WInter

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