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st: Selecting stubnames for -reshape- / macrolists

From   Philipp Rehm <>
Subject   st: Selecting stubnames for -reshape- / macrolists
Date   Mon, 30 Jun 2008 14:20:45 +0200

My question is whether there is a clever way to identify the stubnames 
for a -reshape-. Consider this example:

sysuse auto, clear
foreach j in 1 2 3 4 5 {
    gen x_`j'=rep78+`j'
    gen y_`j'=rep78-`j'
drop y_3
gen id=_n
keep id x_* y_*

This data-set contains the following variables which I want to -reshape-:
x_1  x_2  x_3  x_4  x_5
y_1  y_2       y_4  y_5
I want to -reshape- by stubnames x_ and y_.
In my "real" data-set, I know that all variables I want to end up with 
as stubnames contain an underscore (_). They all also do contain numbers 
after the underscore, but there is no regular pattern there.

Now, I am generating a -macrolist- with unique stubnames, but this seems 
like a detour to me, especially the loop:

ds *_*
foreach v in `r(varlist)' {
	local f `=regexr("`v'","[0-9]+","")'
	local n `n' `f'
	local n: list uniq n
di "*** `n' ****"
reshape long `n', i(id) j(foo)

Two questions:
1) Is there a better way to identify stubnames for a -reshape-?
2) Is there a more straightforward way to arrive at a unique macrolist 
than the one I chose? In particular, something like the -regexr()- 
function, but with the ability to remove all instances (not just the 
first) of the regular expression. Something like -subinstr()-, but for 
regular expressions.

Thank you!

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