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# RE: st: best practice for dates and times

 From "Liao, Junlin" <[email protected]> To "[email protected]" <[email protected]> Subject RE: st: best practice for dates and times Date Mon, 21 Feb 2011 19:02:19 +0000

```Maarten,

How do you explain the following? I found out that it does not matter if you set type to float or double. -replace- always promote decimal numbers to float for most of calculations. However, for -clock()- results, it chooses double. If you and Nick are correct, then the results should be consistently of one type or the type according to setting.

. clear

. set type float

. set obs 1
obs was 0, now 1

. gen byte x=1

. replace x=clock("1may2001 1:20","DMY hm")
x was byte now double

. gen byte y=1

. replace y=2.123456^3
y was byte now float

. des

Contains data
obs:             1
vars:             2
size:            16 (99.9% of memory free)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
storage  display     value
variable name   type   format      label      variable label
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
x               double %8.0g
y               float  %8.0g
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sorted by:
Note:  dataset has changed since last saved

Junlin

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of Maarten buis
Sent: Monday, February 21, 2011 12:45 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: RE: st: best practice for dates and times

---  Liao, Junlin
> Please note in previous code I had intentionally set type to float.
> -replace- still choose double for results of -clock-. Suppose I do
> another calculation, -replace- will choose float. Therefore, -replace-

--- On Mon, 21/2/11, Nick Cox wrote:
> As I understand it, -replace- looks at values, not what produced them.
> If it sees a particular number that should be stored as -double-, it
> is not because it comes tagged with a history "produced by -clock()-;
> act accordingly".

Nick seems to be right, -replace- will increase the storage type regarless of what function produced it, just not float, which I think is a sensible default given what was said before.

set obs 1
gen byte foo = 1
replace foo = 10000
desc

-- Maarten

--------------------------
Maarten L. Buis
Institut fuer Soziologie
Universitaet Tuebingen
Wilhelmstrasse 36
72074 Tuebingen
Germany

http://www.maartenbuis.nl
--------------------------

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