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RE: st: Problem with seed and bootstrap
I've been puzzled by the behaviour of -sort-
in the past before I understood this, so
I have some sympathy with Svend's motivation,
but I want to cry Whoa! here. I suspect that
some programs or do files actually depend
on the jiggling around that is standard
with -sort-. Change the default and you
break that (or raise yet another version
For users who need this,
. sort ... , stable
or a wrapper to that effect seems easy enough.
> Two messages about unstable and stable sorts:
> Thank you very much Gary. -Sort- was creating the problem
> and the option -stable- solved it.
> It is interesting that setting the seed does not solve this
> sort of problem.
> I've always wondered how and why -sort- produces inconsistent
> results anyway.
> I would think a stable sort is easiest to do, but apparently not.
> I suspect it is a good idea to just pay the performance
> penalty and get in
> the habit of using the -stable- option routinely.
> Imagine that -sort ... , stable- was the default, but that you could
> avoid it with an -unstable- option. Can anybody imagine a situation
> where a user would benefit from the -unstable- option?
> A stable sort might take some more computer time (does it?), but quite
> a few users have spent quite some human time trying to figure out what
> happens. A wish to StataCorp.: Let -stable- be the default, and add a
> -fast- or -unstable- option if there is a point in doing that.
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