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Re: st: use13 : an experimental Stata command to import datasets in new Stata 13 format into older versions of Stata


From   Nick Cox <njcoxstata@gmail.com>
To   "statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu" <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   Re: st: use13 : an experimental Stata command to import datasets in new Stata 13 format into older versions of Stata
Date   Wed, 19 Jun 2013 20:15:33 +0100

There are two kinds of questions here:

1. What StataCorp might do; or should do, on which users can express opinions

2. What user programmers offer as extra programs. The _possibilities_
are defined by the fact that StataCorp publishes its data file formats
and the _constraints_ by the extent to which old versions of Stata can
not do everything that new versions can.

I disagree with this:

> The feature that lacks in Stata is really: savemin (imaginary name), which would
> examine the file and save it in the lowest possible version that would not incur
> losses (that is really a job for save, but let's not get into that).
> With that, many
> datasets will end up somewhere in the v4-v7 range (imho).

Or rather, I don't think this means much without a definition of
"would not incur losses".

Nick
njcoxstata@gmail.com


On 19 June 2013 19:25, Sergiy Radyakin <serjradyakin@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 1:11 PM, Nick Cox <njcoxstata@gmail.com> wrote:
>> I have no access to Stata 13, but there is precisely no point to
>> -saveold- if Stata 12 is presented with data features it can not
>> handle. So, at best long string variables will get truncated at 244
>> characters. That's my guess.
>
> The idea is to be creative and make the content accessible in Stata 12. There
> are several strategies: splitting long variables into chunks,
>  (resume-->resume_1, resume_2, resume_3....)
> each no longer than 244, or dumping the long variables into a text file,
> from which the users can pull the strings using alternative methods, etc.
> The simplest approach is to truncate the data, but it is not
> necessarily the best.
>
> But the bulk of the users are not going to use the new features of Stata 13
> right away. Just as many of the datasets that are shipped with Stata 12 can
> be resaved for Stata 9 without any losses. Consider auto.dta for example.
> Secondly, since the features of Stata 13 were kept out of public view, noone
> was planning for them in advance, and having the possibility of long strings
> would not change the questionnaires being designed this month, and the data
> collected using them in the next half a year.
>
> The feature that lacks in Stata is really: savemin (imaginary name), which would
> examine the file and save it in the lowest possible version that would not incur
> losses (that is really a job for save, but let's not get into that).
> With that, many
> datasets will end up somewhere in the v4-v7 range (imho).
>
> Another strategy could have been dual compatibility: SPSS v7 can read SPSS
> v11 datasets. It does not understand everything, but the core of data
> can be read,
> and decoration is often (not always, but often) not essential.
>
>>
>> I hope you don't get troubled by users who imagine that you have found
>> a cheap way for them to upgrade without paying!
>
> Nothing in the announcement implies that. It is not an upgrade for Stata 12 that
> delivers features of Stata 13. It is a way to read data from Stata 13 subject to
> a) limitations of the existing Stata versions and b) my own goals and
> time/effort
> constraints. Not sure whether the same argument applies to e.g. StatTransfer,
> which is doing a similar conversion, though having had more time for
> implementation (and [hypothetically] more insider information).
>
> Best, Sergiy
>
>
>> Nick
>> njcoxstata@gmail.com
>>
>>
>> On 19 June 2013 18:05, Sergiy Radyakin <serjradyakin@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> And just as long they continue to "forget" doing this.
>>>
>>> Also, I am not sure what is the behavior of -saveold- in Stata 13.
>>> What does it do with the long strings? The documentation is only
>>> saying "saves the dataset currently in memory on disk ... in Stata 12
>>> format". How is conversion done?
>>>
>>> Sergiy.
>>>
>>> On Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 1:00 PM, Nick Cox <njcoxstata@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Note that getting your colleagues using Stata 13 to use -saveold- to
>>>> save their datasets is the age-old solution to this.
>>>>
>>>> Nick
>>>> njcoxstata@gmail.com
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On 19 June 2013 17:54, Sergiy Radyakin <serjradyakin@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>> -use13-  is an experimental Stata command to import datasets in new
>>>>> Stata 13 format into older versions of Stata
>>>>>
>>>>> The dataset format has changed in the new version of Stata to be
>>>>> released on June 24, 2013 to accommodate new features.
>>>>>
>>>>> The command will help users who can't upgrade immediately, but need to
>>>>> load the data produced by Stata 13 (e.g. by their colleagues who have
>>>>> upgraded) during the transition period.
>>>>>
>>>>> The use, limitations, and installation instructions are described here:
>>>>> http://www.adeptanalytics.org/radyakin/stata/use13/use13.htm
>>>>>
>>>>> Best, Sergiy Radyakin
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