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st: RE: -replace- should not be use with temporary files (was: Comparing datasets)


From   "Joseph Coveney" <jcoveney@bigplanet.com>
To   "Statalist" <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: RE: -replace- should not be use with temporary files (was: Comparing datasets)
Date   Fri, 19 Sep 2008 10:00:55 +0900

Thanks everyone for replying, reminding me of the -save `[undefined]',
replace- hazard. It's not often that I create or use permanent Stata
dataset files, anymore, and so it's fortunately rare that the opportunity to
catastrophically overwrite one comes up.

To answer Rajesh's question: it's not so much system resources as mental
resources. I use temporary files for repeated -merge- and -append- just as
Sergiy illustrated (I imagine that that's their major purpose for most Stata
users), and it's just easier to me--less error prone--to recycle a very
limited number of temporary files for that purpose than to keep track of a
proliferating number of them. I note, though, that I've developed a habit
of erasing the temporary file at the end of a repeated -merge- or -append-
section of code, so that outside a loop, it's usually -save- without -replace-.

Joseph Coveney


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