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P-STAT: the Programming Language

PPL: In Brief

In P-STAT files can be modified any time they are input to any P-STAT command. Thus, new variables can be generated or existing variables recoded as the file is read by the REGRESSION or SURVEY commands -- it does not require a separate data step! Of course we have the following garden variety manipulations:

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SPLIT and COLLECT are functions for manipulating groups of related cases such as all of the plots in a farm, all the people in a household or all the employees in the department.

EXPAND is a PPL statement that projects the values of one or more input variables into a set of new variables, each associated with a specified value in the input variables.

Scratch variables make it easy to pass information between cases in a single file, between files and even between commands.

A full suite of character functions is available:



TOKEN returns a piece of a string, where piece is usually defined as blank delimited. The delimiter and the position of the token can be specified. For example the following retrieves the month from a date in the form dd/mm/yy:

Month = TOKEN ( date, 2, '/' )

MATCHES provides pattern matching capabilities that are usually found in languages such as grep and awk. In the following example MATCHES is used to look for patterns in a variable named "State" that appear to be New Jersey. This matching pattern will successfully identify "NJ" "N J" "n.J." "new JerSey".
IF State MATCHES 'N (ew|.)01  @  J (ersey|.)01', 
SET State = New Jersey