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st: RE: How to convert multiple numeric variables into a single string variable?


From   "Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: RE: How to convert multiple numeric variables into a single string variable?
Date   Sun, 7 Oct 2007 18:19:28 +0100

Naturally reading stuff in a language in which 
you are not fluent can be difficult. (Your English
seems very good to me.)  

I just note that this is pretty clearly a 
problem in data management, so that is the 
manual I would pick up. Then I skim 
the list of comands and see

"split Split string variables into parts"

which was one of your questions. The other
part is a little more difficult to find
but the -split- help points to -egen- 
because -egen, concat()- is in essence
the inverse of -split-. 

Admittedly I am trying to re-create
the discovery process, as I am already 
familiar with both of the commands in 
question and know the answers in advance. 

My advice remains the same. At some point 
those who are using Stata daily -- and have
got past the absolute beginner stage -- would benefit
from just skimming the manuals to see what
is there. Quite often they would then discover
basic commands they need but have been missing. 
I know most people think they are just too busy 
to do this, but in the long run I think it 
would save most users more time than it lost. 

A very experienced Stata user who has been 
with the program since Stata 1.0 once said
to me (paraphrased): 

"I don't know how people learn Stata. 
When it was very small you could master the
whole thing, and then you just learned extra
bits as each new version came out. But 
I don't know how those coming to the program now 
manage at all!" 

So, how do people learn Stata? In some ways
it remains a mysterious question. 

Nick 
n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk 

tiago.pereira@incor.usp.br
 Thank you, Nick. You are currently saving my life.
> 
> > You really would benefit from skimming the on-line
> > -help-, using -search- and browsing the manuals.
> 
> I do extensive searches to find answers to my questions 
> before posting any
> message here. However, it is worth of mentioning that the 
> main motivation
> is the fact that, in some cases, I do not know keywords in English to
> search for. Try to imagine that you have only Stata manuals 
> in French or
> Chinese. Finding specific topics, when you have no idea how 
> to write that
> in those languages, may be a big challenge.

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