Thursday, March 16, 2006

st: looping over parallel lists - is there a alternative to "for"?


I do a lot of routine or repetitive data analysis and use loops and lists frequently (btw, thx to Nick Cox, his "How to fact lists with fortitude" helped me a lot).

I'm wondering why the "for"-command is officialy out of date in Stata while one of it's best features - the use of parallel lists - can't be done otherwise. Or am I missing something?

One example: I routinely map ten different diseases with tmap and save the maps as a graphic file.

for var var1-var10 \ any "Disease1" "Disease2" [...] \ any "Filename1" "Filename2" [...] : /// tmap choro X, id(county) map("county-Coordinates.dta") title("Y") \ graph export "Z.png", replace

In this example each graph is determined by something like a 3-tuple of variable, title and saving-filename. This is just basic code, in real life the code blows up and becomes hard to read, as we all know, "for" has some disadvantages. So if it can be done in a more structured manner, I would like to know...

Best wishes

Dr. Stefan Gawrich Hesse State Health Office Wolframstr. 33 35683 Dillenburg

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