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Re: st: encode vs destring


From   Sergiy Radyakin <serjradyakin@gmail.com>
To   "statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu" <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   Re: st: encode vs destring
Date   Fri, 26 Jul 2013 17:49:43 -0400

Thank you Nick,

 I was more concerned to hear that there is something that could go
wrong if the -replace- option was added. Specifically the labels might
get de-attached or there might be ambiguity which name will the
value-labels schema receive, or something along these lines, similarly
to why some commands support some types of weights that others don't
support.

Context: I am dealing with a bunch of files converted from Excel with
allstring option, so yes, there are a bunch of variables that need to
become numbers again, and no, there is no need to retain the original
string variables as copies.

The replace option just seem to fit to encode. Can it be added? (and
since encode is built-in, this question is for StataCorp).

Thank you, Sergiy

PS: it does save only a couple of lines of code per variable: drop and
rename, so no need to get an extra dependency to the project in the
form of external commands:

encode province, generate(p)
drop province
rename p province
--------------------------------------
encode province, replace

On Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 5:32 PM, Nick Cox <njcoxstata@gmail.com> wrote:
> -destring- was written that way; -encode- wasn't.
>
> Does that count as a reason? Perhaps not, but the original rationale
> for -destring- (I can speak confidently on this point as its original
> author) was largely to correct mistaken input, i.e. string input was a
> mistake and the variable(s) should be numeric.
>
> The original rationale for -encode- was, in contrast, largely to let
> users have it both ways.
>
> Nick
> njcoxstata@gmail.com
>
>
> On 26 July 2013 22:20, Sergiy Radyakin <serjradyakin@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Is there any reason why Stata command encode does not support the
>> replace option, which Stata command destring does support?
>> Sergiy
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