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From |
"Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk> |

To |
<statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu> |

Subject |
st: RE: RE: searchable list of commands/options for various Stata versions |

Date |
Wed, 2 Apr 2008 19:50:20 +0100 |

The short answer is, again: Because one is documented, and the other isn't. It really doesn't matter which one you use, as they are identical in terms of definition and results. In your case, as a long-time Stata user, it is quite possible that you are aware of both, or use programs or do files that separately use -egen, sum()- and -egen, total()-, but none of that matters, unless StataCorp has confused you by its syntax change. The main issue I see as this. If -egen, sum()- is mentioned, then anyone who is using Stata 9 or Stata 10 will not find that documented. -egen, sum()- means nothing to anyone except users of Stata 8 down and people with long memories. The people with long memories don't need this explanation. We have a convention that Statalist takes the current version as standard: manifestly that does not rule out explanations like this one. As often reported, Statalist stalwart Svend Juul was the stimulus for this name change. He pointed out that the function -sum()- means and has long meant cumulative (running) sum, so the -egen, sum()- function was out-of-line and the one to give way. It was renamed -egen, total()- in Stata 9. I can see a case for documenting old names as well as new, but the cost-benefit analysis does not seem clear-cut to me. Where does one draw the line, for example? Perhaps there are users who can remember that the -log- command had a different name in Stata 1.0. Nick n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk Feiveson, Alan H. So how I would know to use "total" instead of "sum"? Is there a searchable list of commands and options that have essentially the same function in different versions of Stata, but with different names? In this example, I would like to specify "-egen, sum() and this magic list would come back with something like what you said below. (Ha) Nick Cox -egen, total()- is documented as of Stata 9 up. -egen, sum()- is not. No other difference. So the former, -total()-, is now recommended for all users of Stata 9 up. Johannes Geyer Nick: What is the difference between -total()- and -sum()- that makes the latter better than the other? * * For searches and help try: * http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/res/findit.html * http://www.stata.com/support/statalist/faq * http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/

**Follow-Ups**:**Re: st: RE: RE: searchable list of commands/options for various Stata versions***From:*Richard Williams <Richard.A.Williams.5@ND.edu>

**References**:**RE: st: Re: Loop syntax***From:*"Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>

**st: RE: searchable list of commands/options for various Stata versions***From:*"Feiveson, Alan H. (JSC-SK311)" <alan.h.feiveson@nasa.gov>

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