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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   Robert Picard <picard@netbox.com>
To   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 16:29:52 -0400

Nope, the check is based on the storage type. However, -compress- will
reduce a strL to a str# type if Stata calculates that it would require
less memory. Then if all string variables are shorter than str244, you
can use -saveold-.

Yes, I like the new string expression syntax, it's in -help string
functions-, more specifically, -help strdup()- and -help strcat()-.

Robert

On Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 3:44 PM, Sergiy Radyakin <serjradyakin@gmail.com> wrote:
> Thank you, Robert.
>
> the above is helpful. So the suggested route is to drop or truncate
> variables, and it is up to the user to take the responsibility for the
> decision. I am ok with that. Notably Stata reports that the fact of
> presence of strL is a problem, does it check that any of the strL's
> are really longer than 244 before deciding that it is a problem? (when
> they are not binary).
>
> It seems the expression syntax has also been expanded? "x"*5000 is new
> to me, at least in Stata. Mata supported it, but not Stata
> expressions.
>
> Best, Sergiy Radyakin
>
>
> On Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 3:09 PM, Robert Picard <picard@netbox.com> wrote:
>> The -saveold- command of Stata 13 returns an error if the data
>> contains a long string:
>>
>> . clear
>>
>> . set obs 2
>> obs was 0, now 2
>>
>> . gen s = "x" * 5000
>>
>> . saveold test.dta
>> data cannot be saved in old format
>>     Data contain strL or str#, #>244, and prior releases of Stata
>> would not know how to process these variables.  Either drop the
>>     variables or use recast with the force option to change them to str244.
>> r(459);
>>
>>
>>
>> On Wed, Jun 19, 2013 at 2:25 PM, 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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