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Re: st: trim spaces in postcode


From   Ronnie Babigumira <rb.glists@gmail.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: trim spaces in postcode
Date   Mon, 03 Apr 2006 08:54:30 +0200

Thanks Nick

Nick Cox wrote:
I have two guesses here.
First, -generate- can be smart because
Stata can look at the expression on the RHS of
gen newvar = exp
and work out what kind of beast it is. What is more,
Stata is always going to be correct on this, or else
you are asking for something illegal.
Second, -input- and -infile- historically weren't designed to be smart because it was thought that the user
could and should specify what variable types were wanted. -insheet- came a fair while later and was more ambitious. It peeks at the first and second lines of the file and
tries to work out what is going on. Often, it can misunderstand, which is part of the rationale for -destring- and -tostring-,
which came a wave later yet.
In short, -infile- and -input- remain as originally designed on the principle of not fixing what isn't broken.
Nick n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk
Ronnie Babigumira


Yes I have used and continue to use -insheet- (mainly if I have tab delimited data from excel) and specifying the string length is not a problem with -insheet-. That said, there are situations where -infile- is the appropriate command and of course -input- is invaluable when I want to input a few entries. In this case I have to specify the length of string variables
Ada Ma

> have you tried -insheet-??
Ronnie Babigumira

> Is there something in newer versions of Stata that would save me from guessing the length of strings when using -infile-
> and -input-
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