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Re: st: Stata vs Fortran


From   Stata SpecialEdition <stata.se@gmail.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: Stata vs Fortran
Date   Wed, 1 Sep 2010 13:22:46 +0100

Why I want to use the FORTRAN language does not matter. My original
question (how to read STATA dta files into FORTRAN) has been answer.
Professor Sergiy Radyakin provided a link to code which someone has
written to do exactly this. If there was not ever any need to do this,
then this code would not exist. I did not say I did not want to learn
read/write in FORTRAN, but working with the binary file itself has a
large number of advantages. I assume you know what they are given your
credentials.

Lots of love.


On 9/1/10, Allan Reese (Cefas) <allan.reese@cefas.co.uk> wrote:
> This discussion seems to have gone off topic, and stata.se (why hide
> behind pseudonym?) has not indicated what Fortran properties Stata,
> Mata, or any other language cannot replicate.  I would suggest that
> within any complex calculation (supercomputers, multiple processors have
> been mentioned), the overhead of learning how to read a formatted Ascii
> file into Fortran will be trivial.  It is also likely that the data file
> in Stata will contain variables not needed in the Fortran calculation.
>
> My credentials: my first computer language was Fortran 66, and
> subsequently learned Fortran 77 among the 6 languages we covered in a
> one-year computer science course.  Subsequently worked on university
> helpdesk with many Fortran users.
>
> Reasons for caution:
> 1) Our Fortran compilers could build in various levels of run-time
> checks (eg overflow, array bound checks).  Some people who wrote the
> most complicated programs would turn all the checks off, which made the
> code run much faster but with far less confidence in the answers!
> 2) Stata.se's reason for choosing Fortran may be the availability of
> excellent and well-proven routines (eg Nag library).  I would encourage
> using such code.  Another helpdesk caller had written his own subroutine
> for numerical integration but asked for help as it was slow and
> convergence was poor.  His routine took 30 seconds per call; the Nag
> equivalent took 0.1 seconds, had been validated as accurate, and would
> detect non-convergent functions.
> 3) Maybe you don't want to learn Fortran's READ statement, but how will
> you get to see the results without learning WRITE?  And WRITE is still
> the most powerful tool for debugging your logic.
>
> Fortran had, and has, the advantage of being a language completely
> defined by a standard, though I once looked at a program that started
> with the comment, "This program is written to the Fortran standard
> except we rely on accessing absolute memory addresses."
>
> The original query included, "Is it possible to read my STATA files in
> FORTRAN? A colleague said it was impossible and I would have just save
> it as an ASCII."  Colleague is clearly wrong, or misquoted.
>
> Allan
>
>
>
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