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Re: st: RE: -save- with emptyok

From   Jeph Herrin <>
Subject   Re: st: RE: -save- with emptyok
Date   Mon, 12 Feb 2007 17:08:07 -0500

I will use this opportunity to yet again petition the good
folks at Stata to add an "emptyok" option to -append-, so
that -append using [file], emptyok- will simply -use- the
file. It would obviate the various kluges (such as Partha's)
for setting up an intial empty (or other) file to append to.

Partha Deb wrote:
Thanks Nick. I implemented a solution, much like the one you suggest, that does not require emptyok. But it seems to me that emptyok is an "empty" option if variables/observations need to be specified anyway before -save , emptyok- plays nicely with -append- or -merge-. Perhaps this is something for the good folks at Statacorp to chew on.



Nick Cox wrote:

The issue here is not with -save-, but with -append-.
-append- needs something more than almost nothing to join on to. I think you need to -save- your dataset
with variables (even though there are no observations). Fortunately, a token variable is sufficient (but evidently necessary).
. clear
. gen completeanduttergarbage = . . save empty, emptyok . append using auto
. drop completeanduttergarbage
Admittedly, the error message here does not indicate
the problem.
Partha Deb

I'm having trouble getting -save- to work with emptyok in the way I think it should. Here's an example.

. save temp, emptyok
(note: dataset contains 0 observations)
file temp.dta saved

. use temp.dta

. append using auto.dta
no dataset in use

Shouldn't I be able to append? What am I doing wrong? I'm using Stata 9.2.
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