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st: error messages in -svmat-

From   "Feiveson, Alan H. (JSC-SK311)" <>
To   "" <>
Subject   st: error messages in -svmat-
Date   Wed, 22 Jun 2011 12:10:22 -0500

If one attempts to use _svmat- with the -names(col)- option, the error message "invalid syntax" will usually come up if a column name is not a legitimate variable name. This message is unhelpful. In this situation, I suggest the error message should be changed to something like "the name(s) for some column(s) are not a legitimate variable names", or even better, list the columns with illegitimate names. 

Still better would be an automatic modification to a legitimate variable name as when reading in headers off a non-Stata file. This actually happens in one case only - when the last column (no other one) contains a space in what would otherwise be a legitimate variable name string.

Al Feiveson

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