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Re: st: Two Questions about Release 9.1

From   Joseph Coveney <>
To   Statalist <>
Subject   Re: st: Two Questions about Release 9.1
Date   Sat, 17 Sep 2005 15:30:57 +0900

Nick Cox wrote:

2. One of the many interesting aspects of Statalist is that
you learn about other people's quite different desires
in data analysis. If you had value labels longer than 244 characters,
when and how in Stata would you make _practical_ use of them?


It's not for analysis.  The need is for data management of datasets with
variables of text data that occasionally exceed 244 characters in length.

I work in an industry (medical products) that is required to do a lot of
"reporting" of study results in annexes to application dossiers that are
submitted to health ministries in order to gain approval to market a
product.  "Reporting" in this context has the meaning that it has in, for
example, Microsoft Access's Reports and SAS's PROC REPORT, that is,
tabulation and line-listings of individual data, among other things.

Because of its superior data-management capabilities, I use Stata for doing
the data management tasks underlying "reporting," but I output the
configured datasets to another application for the actual reporting.*  I
look forward to the day when I can use Stata throughout the whole process.
This will require maturation of Stata's XML capabilities as well as of
nascent industry standards ( ),
which I hope will occur contemporaneously.

It doesn't look like value labels are the workaround to Stata's string
variable length limitation.  Mata looks more promising for this.  Jann Ben
has done some superb pioneering work with Mata (e.g., -mf_insheet-).  I'm
eagerly awaiting the Netcourse (as well as the two _Stata Journal_ articles)
on Mata that Bill Gould mentioned on the List last month; like  Fred Wolfe,
I find the user's manual a bit daunting.

Joseph coveney

* Yes.  There's always

local variable_label : variable label first_chunk
char define first_chunk[varname] "`variable_label'"
list . . . first_chunk second_chunk . . ., ///
 subvarname linesize(`c(linesize)') . . .
log2html . . . , linesize(`c(linesize)') ///

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