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st: Order variables alphabetically, not like -aorder-


From   "Friedrich Huebler" <fhuebler@gmail.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   st: Order variables alphabetically, not like -aorder-
Date   Wed, 24 Oct 2007 17:06:19 -0400

Assume I have a dataset with the variables year1, year2, ..., year19, year20.

forval i = 1/20 {
  gen year`i' = 1
}

The command -aorder- sorts the variables in ascending order of the
number that follows "year". The technical note in [D] order explains
that this is by design, "even though to most computer programs, year10
is alphabetically between year1 and year2."

There are cases where I would like the variables to be sorted in
strict alphabetical order, like this:

year1
year10
...
year19
year2
year20
year3
...
year9

Any suggestions on how this can be done without specifying the sort
order with -order-? It would be nice to have an option like -aorder,
strict- that does not try to be as smart as the current version of
-aorder-.

Thanks,

Friedrich
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