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st: filenames for -permute using-

From   Roger Harbord <>
To   Statalist <>
Subject   st: filenames for -permute using-
Date   Mon, 15 Aug 2005 17:22:17 +0100

Hi all (StataCorp programmers in particular!),

I just discovered that a program a wrote under version 7 of Stata has become slightly broken in Stata 9: -metareg- with the -permute(#, detail)- suboption no longer works.

Looking into this i find it now needs quotes around a temporary filename -line 299:

permute `xlist1' `xlist2' using `pm', `level'

- must now be replaced by

permute using `xlist1' `xlist2' using `"`pm'"', `level'

(pm is a local macro holding a the name of a tempfile)

A bit of tracing shows the problem occurs because under Windows the tempfile name contains a colon. This causes problems under Stata 9 because -permute- is now a prefix command and has a colon in its usual syntax, even though the -using- syntax doesn't have a colon.

I have a -version 7- statement at the start of this program. [U] 11.6 "File-naming conventions" says that quotes are required only for filenames containing blanks. I guess to be on the safe side I should always include quotes around tempfile names just in case someone's TEMP directory contains a space, but that seems unlikely (typically will be something like C:\WINNT\TEMP) and i've had no reports of problems before.

Would be very nice if this could be fixed by an official Stata update...

Best wishes,

Roger Harbord
MRC Health Services Research Collaboration
Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol

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