Susan Slaughter

Computer says…my job is safe

In Detritus, Everything, Writing on January 12, 2018 at 11:04 am

The purpose of this blog is simply to post this link to an article in The Economist.

Click here to read the article “How soon will computers replace The Economist’s science writers?

At this point, I could stop writing because this article falls into the category of No Comment Needed, but that would be too easy.  As a conscientious blogger, I will add that while computers have clearly failed to master technical and scientific writing, they should have no trouble writing literary reviews.

WUSS 2017: The Papers

In Everything on September 15, 2017 at 4:23 pm

Western Users of SAS Software 2017 logoThe Western Users of SAS Software 2017 conference is coming to Long Beach, CA, September 20-22.  I have been to a lot of SAS conferences, but WUSS is always my favorite because it is big enough for me to learn a lot, but small enough to be really friendly.

If you come I hope you will catch my presentations.  If you want a preview or if you can’t come, click the links below to download the papers.

On Wednesday, I will once again present SAS Essentials, a whirlwind introduction to SAS programming in just three hours specially designed for people who are new to SAS.

How SAS Thinks: SAS Basics I

Introduction to DATA Step Programming: SAS Basics II

Introduction to SAS Procedures: SAS Basics III

Then on Friday Lora Delwiche will present a Hands-On Workshop about SAS Studio, a new SAS interface that runs in a web browser.

SAS Studio: A New Way to Program in SAS

I hope to see you there!

 

 

Choose Your SAS Interface

In Everything on September 15, 2017 at 3:53 pm

A while back, I wrote about the proliferation of interfaces for writing SAS programs.  I am reposting that blog here (with a few changes) because a lot of SAS users still don’t understand that they have a choice.

These days SAS programmers have more choices than ever before about how to run SAS.  They can use the old SAS windowing enviroment (often called Display Manager because, face it, SAS windowing environment is way too vague), or SAS Enterprise Guide, or the new kid on the block: SAS StudioAll of these are included with Base SAS.

DisplayManager9-4window

Display Manager / SAS Windowing Environment

EG7-12window

SAS Enterprise Guide

SASStudio3-5window

SAS Studio

I recently asked a SAS user, “Which interface do you use for SAS programming?”

She replied, “Interface?  I just install SAS and use it.”

“You’re using Display Manager,” I explained, but she had no idea what I was talking about.

Trust me.  This person is an extremely sophisticated SAS user who does a lot of leading-edge mathematical programming, but she didn’t realize that Display Manager is not SAS.  It is just an interface to SAS.

This is where old timers like me have an advantage.  If you can remember running SAS in batch, then you know that Display Manager, SAS Enterprise Guide, and SAS Studio are just interfaces to SAS–wonderful, manna from heaven–but still just interfaces.  They are optional.  It is possible to write SAS programs in an editor such as Word or Notepad++, and copy-and-paste into one of the interfaces or submit them in batch.  In fact, here is a great blog by Leonid Batkhan describing how to use your web browser as a SAS code editor.

Each of these interfaces has advantages and disadvantages.  I’m not going to list them all here, because this is a blog not an encyclopedia, but the tweet would be

“DM is the simplest, EG has projects, SS runs in browsers.”

I have heard rumors that SAS Institute is trying to develop an interface that combines the best features of all three.  So someday maybe one of these will displace the others, but at least for the near future, all three of these interfaces will continue to be used.

So what’s your SAS interface?