Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2011 12:18:46 -0500
Reply-To: Arthur Tabachneck <art297@ROGERS.COM>
Sender: "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Arthur Tabachneck <art297@ROGERS.COM>
Subject: Why we have SAS-L
Seeing an automatic OOO response from someone from SAS, this morning,
reminded me of a thread that I've been meaning to start for some time.
First, while I haven't seen it mentioned on the list since I started posting
here in 1999, there really is a reason why SAS staff can't use SAS-L as a
mechanism for providing technical support. The topic was discussed way back
in early 1987 that, for legal reasons, a commercial entity can't use bitnet
as a vehicle for offering technical support (see, e.g.:
For those of you not familiar with bitnet (i.e., the because-its-time-
network), you can read a bit about it at:
And, since the listserv on which SAS-L exists is still based in academia,
the same legal restrictions probably apply yet today. However, there was
nothing wrong with SAS staff ("birdies") reading the posts and replying to
some of us with answers we could then post to the list. The issue may have
been less restrictive when the listserv and usenet started mirroring each
other, but that also introduced a lot of unwanted noise as can be seen if
one looks at comp.soft-sys.sas today. I, for one, like the fact that we get
so little of that noise today.
Similarly, the question of how to advertise the benefits of SAS-L was also
discussed shortly after SAS-L started (see, e.g.:
http://vm.marist.edu/htbin/wlvtype?SAS-L.97 ). That, clearly, is still
something that I don't think has ever been sufficiently addressed.
The topic of what to advertise, though, requires that we know who we are,
why we are here, what we are trying to accomplish, and where we stand
relative to complementary and/or competitive sites like sasCommunity.org,
the SAS Forums, usenet and runsubmit.
In short, I am hoping that this thread can prompt a discussion that will
help to provide answers to some if not all of those questions/issues.