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st: Wishlist for Stata 13

From   David Kantor <>
Subject   st: Wishlist for Stata 13
Date   Mon, 28 Jan 2013 16:32:14 -0500

I have a wish, based on Stata 10. So I don't know if this has been taken care of in Stata 11 or 12.

When using -confirm new file- or -confirm file-, it would be good if the file name could (optionally) be checked for the possibility of it being a .dta file. That is, suppose the filename is in a macro "filename", and my code looks like...

confirm new file `filename'
save `filename'

Most of the time, I should really check...
confirm new file `filename'.dta
--as Stata interprets `filename' as `filename'.dta when saving it as a dataset. Thus, if I test only
confirm new file `filename'
and `filename' is "abc", and the file abc.dta exists, but abc (no dot) does not, then the -confirm- will pass, but the -save- will fail.

The solution would seem to be to test...
confirm new file `filename'.dta
But it is not always correct, either, as there is an exception: if the name already has a "." in it, then -save- does not append ".dta".
So the robust way to code this, as I see it, is...
if strpos("`filename'", ".") {
	confirm new file `filename'
else {
	confirm new file `filename'.dta

or the equivalent one-liner:
confirm new file `filename'`=cond(strpos("`filename'", "."), "", ".dta")'

But I don't want to write all of that every time. It would be nice if that were built-in to -confirm-. Perhaps it would be a new syntax, such as -confirm new dta file- filename.
Has anyone else had this issue?

I had another wish, but can't think of it now.

Thanks to Statacorp for listening.

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