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st: RE: AW: RE: Programming stata using egen functions

From   "Nick Cox" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: RE: AW: RE: Programming stata using egen functions
Date   Tue, 28 Apr 2009 13:35:18 +0100

I disagree. I think the situation is much less clear-cut than you imply. 

-egen, sum()- is undocumented as of Stata 9 upward, but remains available for those who want it. Making it available only under version control would have as a main consequence disadvantaging longstanding users who would have to unlearn a little habit, or edit their do files or programs accordingly. That might include me. 

In this case Anne appears to think that -sum()- is an -egen- function and only she can say why that it is. My first guess is that Anne has not been a Stata user from Stata 8 or earlier; if so she has not learnt of -egen, sum()- from current or recent documentation. My second guess is that Anne is just confused in general between functions in general and -egen- functions in general, and the particular names being used are not the issue. So I don't think that the mistake made here would be solved by the change Martin suggests. 

Alternatively, if the problem is that the abbreviation -gen- and the full name -egen- are so close, then yes, people will be bit by that on occasion, but I can't see StataCorp changing either in a hurry. 


Martin Weiss

" is the -egen- function -sum()-, but it isn't. It is the Stata function -sum"

That is the weird thing: Just one letter ("e") differentiates the running sum from the total. I think that "egen, sum()" should be retired and only available under version control. It calls -egen, total()- internally anyway, so nobody would lose, but a lot of clarity gained...

set obs 30
gen x= rnormal()

egen y =sum(x)
//running sum
gen z=sum(x)

list, noobs

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