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Re: st: Why does Stata return an invalid syntax error in this ado file?


From   Aaron Kirkman <ak1795mailserv@gmail.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: Why does Stata return an invalid syntax error in this ado file?
Date   Fri, 19 Oct 2012 18:23:24 -0500

Hi Nick,

As always, thank you for the corrections and advice, especially about
-set trace on-. The suggested work perfectly.

Aaron

On Fri, Oct 19, 2012 at 5:58 PM, Nick Cox <njcoxstata@gmail.com> wrote:
> Except that as advised "String" should be "string".
>
> On Fri, Oct 19, 2012 at 11:53 PM, Nick Cox <njcoxstata@gmail.com> wrote:
>> General tips
>>
>> 1. Use -set trace on- to see where the program stops.
>>
>> 2. Always report the return code. Here it is 197, meaning that
>> -syntax- itself is problematic.
>>
>> Specific tips
>>
>> 3. The bug is that the argument of -generate()- should be given as
>> "string", not "String".
>>
>> 4. Your -generate()- option is compulsory. If it is empty, the program
>> won't run. Hence the -if- test is superfluous. Your program can start
>>
>> program define statetofips
>>          version 8
>>          syntax varname , Generate(String)
>>          quietly  {
>>                  gen int `generate' = .
>>                  replace `generate' = <stuff>
>>                  ...
>>          }
>>
>> 5. Other small changes suggested above.
>>
>> On Fri, Oct 19, 2012 at 11:18 PM, Aaron Kirkman
>> <ak1795mailserv@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> I'm writing a simple ado file, --statetofips--, to assign fips codes
>>> to observations based on the state name. If I run the following code,
>>> I do not receive an error:
>>>
>>> ##
>>> clear
>>> input str8 state
>>> Alabama
>>> Alabama
>>> Alabama
>>> Alaska
>>> Alaska
>>> Alaska
>>> Arizona
>>> Arizona
>>> Arizona
>>> Arkansas
>>> end
>>>
>>> gen int fips = .
>>> replace fips = 1 if lower(state) == "alabama"
>>> replace fips = 2 if lower(state) == "alaska"
>>> replace fips = 4 if lower(state) == "arizona"
>>> ##
>>>
>>> However, if I run this code, I receive an "invalid syntax" error:
>>>
>>> ##
>>> clear
>>> input str8 state
>>> Alabama
>>> Alabama
>>> Alabama
>>> Alaska
>>> Alaska
>>> Alaska
>>> Arizona
>>> Arizona
>>> Arizona
>>> Arkansas
>>> end
>>>
>>> discard
>>> statetofips state, generate(fips)
>>> ##
>>>
>>> These are the contents of --statetofips.ado--, which is located in the
>>> same directory as the above do file:
>>>
>>> ##
>>> program define statetofips
>>>         syntax varname , Generate(String)
>>>         if "`generate'" != "" {
>>>                 quietly gen int `generate' = .
>>>         }
>>>         replace `generate' = 1 if lower(`varlist') == "alabama"
>>>         replace `generate' = 2 if lower(`varlist') == "alaska"
>>>         replace `generate' = 4 if lower(`varlist') == "arizona"
>>>         replace `generate' = 5 if lower(`varlist') == "arkansas"
>>>         replace `generate' = 6 if lower(`varlist') == "california"
>>>
>>> end
>>> ##
>>>
>>> I reduced --statetofips.ado-- to its simplest form, and the error persists:
>>>
>>> ##
>>> program define statetofips
>>>         syntax varname , Generate(String)
>>> end
>>> ##
>>>
>>>
>>> What is causing the syntax error in the ado file?
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