Stata 15 help for dtaverify

Title

[R] dtaverify -- Verify .dta file construction

Syntax

dtaverify filename

Description

dtaverify verifies that the contents of filename are properly constructed according to the standard specified by StataCorp. If the file is constructed incorrectly, dtaverify details how the file differs from the standard.

Also see [R] dtaversion.

Remarks

dtaverify can be used to

o debug programs written in other languages and in packages that produce Stata .dta files by running dtaverify on the file those programs produce.

o verify that a .dta file has not been subsequently damaged.

dtaverify provides useful debugging information. dtaverify returns 0 if the dataset matches the standard specified by StataCorp, and it returns nonzero otherwise.

The standard for .dta files can be found in [P] file formats .dta. The format of Stata .dta files has changed over time. The standards are known as format 102, format 103, and so on. .dta files contain identifiers that specify the standard used in the file and thus current versions of Stata can read datasets that meet previous standards. See [R] dtaversion for more information, including a table relating file formats to Stata versions.

dtaverify currently can verify standard format 115 and subsequent. If dtaverify is run on an older dataset, dtaverify will provide instructions on how to verify its construction.

Aside for programmers

The source code for dtaverify may be of interest to Stata programmers for two reasons:

1. It provides a useful secondary description of the file formats.

2. It provides an example of how code can be written in Mata to read complicated binary formats.

dtaverify, a command stored in dtaverify.ado, is merely a switcher that jumps to other, standard-specific routines. It is not interesting, but the standard-specific routines are interesting. We recommend you see viewsource dtaverify_118.ado.


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