Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 19:33:43 -0400
Reply-To: Anthony Ayiomamitis <ayiomamitis@IBM.NET>
Sender: "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
From: Anthony Ayiomamitis <ayiomamitis@IBM.NET>
Subject: Re: Commentary: Those Irrational Programmers
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McDaniel, Stephen TAP wrote:
> Zuckier, Gerald wrote
> I saw a talented C++ programmer do essentially the same thing; write a
> SAS program that goes through the file by manually stepping through each
> When I first learned SAS, in the mid-1980s, I tried writting my programs
> the same (wrong) way! Why? Because the manuals (at least then) weren't
> clear enough for a novice to understand how data steps work! They were
> big on syntax and short on clear, concise explanations of how the system
> processed code! I picked up the Introduction to the SAS System (total
There are lots of examples in the older manuals that gave you actual
examples of DATA steps (with real data after the CARDS statement) along
with PROC steps and the related output.
One example that comes to mind from my 79.8 version manual is one of
the time series procs (either X11 or ARIMA) where they gave you sunspot
data with all of the source to read the data, process it and a "mapping"
between options on the proc statement and the corresponding portions of
the listing(s) that had the results.
Many procs in SAS/STAT had/have real-life examples with documented
sources of data (journal, author etc).
> fluff), and then all of the BIG manuals that my university bookstore had!
> It seemed incredible that SO MANY MANUALS WERE NEEDED since I had
> learned other languages from just one book! I had programmed in BASIC,
> FORTRAN, and PASCAL prior to being introduced (by fire) to SAS. The
> bottom line problem was the very sorry state of documentation for
> beginners and a lack of access to an experienced mentor.
As I noted in an earlier message, my 79.8 manual is about 1" thick
and that the COMPLETE manual for the SAS system.
> Nowadays, SAS novices have a much better situation! If I could have had
> access to Diorio's book, Cody and Smith's book, etc., I would have had a
> much more enjoyable and productive introduction to SAS!
> My 10 cents worth,
> Stephen McDaniel