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Re: st: Unable to create local macro in modified ado-file (xtreg_fe.ado)

From   Nick Cox <>
Subject   Re: st: Unable to create local macro in modified ado-file (xtreg_fe.ado)
Date   Tue, 17 Jan 2012 09:16:00 +0000

Excellent diagnosis by Richard. The allowed length for local macro
names was originally 7 characters, but it was not an error to give
names that were longer; they just corresponded to names of macros that
could not exist and were ignored. -macval()- is not affected by
-version- control.

Modifying Stata's own files -- even when under a new name, the only
defensible way to do it -- can be tricky. StataCorp's developers feel
free to use undocumented features and to write code that is not
densely explained.


On Tue, Jan 17, 2012 at 4:39 AM, Richard Williams
<> wrote:
> At 07:36 PM 1/16/2012, Bert Lloyd wrote:
>> Hello all,
>> Thank you very much for the discussion.
>> Regarding Nick Cox's valuable suggested partial test (macrotest), that
>> and other similar tests work fine in ado-files that I create myself
>> from scratch, as well as others borrowed from co-workers, etc. This
>> problem has only occurred when attempting to modify Stata ado-files.
> One other tidbit: Your original code works when version is set to 7 but not
> 6. Further, this code works:
> version 6
> local mylocal Hello
> noisily di      "*****************"
> noisily di      "local my_test_local contains"
> noisily di "`mylocal'"
> noisily di      "*****************"
> Why? The whatsnew file for Stata 7 says "Stata now allows names to be up to
> 32 characters long.  That includes variable names, label names, macro names,
> and any other name you can think of." I don't know what the limit was in V 6
> -- 7 characters maybe? -- but my_test_local was probably too long of a name.
> Make your macro names shorter, like I did above, and I think your code will
> work.

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