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Re: st: New package -use10save9- available on SSC

From   Nick Cox <>
Subject   Re: st: New package -use10save9- available on SSC
Date   Mon, 31 Oct 2011 09:15:43 +0000

This program raises questions similar to, but not identical to, those
raised by -save9- (SSC). See earlier postings by Joerg Luedicke

and myself

Marco Ercolani's replies are included in these postings. (He is the
author of -save9-.)

First, -use10save9- is I gather essentially for users of version 9, as
if you have Stata 10 up you don't seem to need it (except for its
support for multiple files). That is clearly a class of users who
might seek some help in reading .dta files that otherwise are
unreadable. However, if you have version 9, then inbuilt -save- will
automatically save to version 9 format. So, the use of -save9- within
-use10save9- appears superfluous.

Second, -use10- (SSC) itself claims only that it can read Stata 10
.dta files in Stata 9, whereas the claim made on its behalf here is
that you can read Stata 10+ files. This seems all too likely to be
misunderstood by some users, as Stata 10+ surely includes Stata 12.

Third, you can go beyond what official Stata provides if you write
extra code that makes use of StataCorp's published specification of
.dta format. -use10- does do this among the three programs mentioned
but otherwise I don't see that the programs can do anything radically
different from what -save- and -saveold- do in any particular version
of Stata.

The underlying principles are very simple. Everyone benefits from
being totally precise about what programs can and, by extension,
cannot do. Similarly, superfluous programs do no harm, except that
they can confuse.

Those are the principles. In practice -use10save9- does offer
functionality for working with several .dta files at once, but
otherwise I am unclear about its precise rationale. Perhaps others too
would appreciate some clarification here, or correction of what I am
not understanding.



On Sun, Oct 30, 2011 at 10:29 PM, Lars Ängquist <> wrote:
> Dear Statalist.
> Many thanks to Kit Baum who recently (2011-10-29) made the -use10save9-
> package available for download from SSC. In Stata, use the -ssc- command to
> do this directly, or go somewhat more indirectly through usage of
> the -findit- command.
> --- --- ---
> Brief abstract:
> use10save9 - is a program that helps out with opening Stata 10+ files from
> within Stata 9 and then saving them in Stata 9 format using the user-written
> -use10- (Radyakin, 2008) and -save9- (Ercolani, 2011) functions. May be
> applied to a quite generally defined/matched set of Stata datasets within a
> defined folder and, if selected, also with respect to all corresponding
> subfolders. The simplest syntax is purely based on defaults. All options are
> optional.
>  An alternative, secondary, usage might be to simply use the function as an
> extension to -save9- in order to save matched sets of datasets in Stata 9
> format while being in Stata 10+.

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