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Category talk:Informats

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Because Formats and Informats are often very similar, and articles about one can also cover the other fairly easily, should these categories both be part of a category for Formats and Informats before being categorised under Category:Language Elements? - Cameron 21:04, 23 May 2013 (EDT)

This was actually the subject of quite a bit of debate when we set up the categories for Category:Language Elements. We also consulted the SAS documentation folks about this. The issue is that while there is quite a bit of overlap, there are also quite a few that are only formats or informats. So, it is not clear that there is a clear best answer. Were you thinking that the Formats and Informats category be part of Category:Language Elements in addition or instead of the current two categories (with both of them being subcategories of Formats and Informats)? --Don Henderson 07:49, 24 May 2013 (EDT)
I was thinking of inserting the category Formats and Informats under Category:Language Elements and then hanging the categories for Formats and Informats as subcategories in the Formats and Informats category. This would have parallels with the Category:Functions and CALL Routines. As you say, both Formats and Informats have a lot in common and a fair few differences too. However, while editing the one wiki article about a format, BEST format, I could see that the article was in both categories and that got me wondering why there wasn't a combined category. I accept that Formats and Informats have different functions. But they are like looking at the opposite ends of the same pipe, fluid goes in one end and out the other. One end is the entry and the other end is the exit, but both ends are round and the fluid can flow in either direction; although the pipe may work better if used in one direction than the other if the pipe ends have directional couplings, as you find on drain pipes. In many respects Formats and Informats are like pipe couplings, but for data. Some work better for data going in, others are better for data coming out, some work just as well both ways, but while they come in different shapes and sizes they all do a common job of coupling the intenal data representation with the external (real world) data representation. (I'm thinking that this is becoming an article now, so I will stop raving on.) - Cameron 17:08, 24 May 2013 (EDT)
Cameron, raving on is good from folks who both know about SAS and wikis ;-). I wanted to think about this for a bit before replying. First the analogy to Functions and CALL Routines is valid but not a direct parallel since there are not separate subcategories. That aside, you raise some good points. My concern about your suggestion is whether it will cause folks to use the wrong category. For example, someone might miss an article because they looked in Formats and Informats and did not know to look in either Formats or Informats. I suppose we could handle that with notes about that on the category pages. --Don Henderson 08:03, 31 May 2013 (EDT)
Don, you raise some really good points about not having a combined category. You have got me thinking about this issue further. And our continued thinking about it is good thing. It helps achieve consensus. Wikipedia uses consensus to produce quality articles. The Meatball wiki contemplates what a consensus is and suggests ways to achieve it. And this sort of discussion is a primary way to achieve it. Because this is a category, I don't want to launch into creating a category only to find that was the wrong thing to do. On a wiki, a page, once created cannot be uncreated, even if it was subsequently deleted. So what are the advantages and disadvantages of a combined Formats and Informats category? I have suggested that it brings together two similar related concepts under one super-category. However, to work properly the super-category should have no articles in it, only the sub-categories. This would mean that any articles would need to be classified under either Formats or Informats or both of those categories, but never the combined category. (One character) Less text is required to classify under both of those categories compared to the combined category, too. The only purpose that the combined category then serves is to reduce the number of lines under the language elements listed in the Sasopedia Language Element index by one line and bring Formats and Informats together on the same line. But what it also does is put all the articles a further mouse click away for the reader. And that is a Bad Thing to do, because we need to write for the reader, who should be considered first. While an article about Formats and Informats is probably a good idea, a category may not be. I know this sounds like I have talked myself out of having a combined category for Formats and Informats but I am still open to its creation. If somebody can come up with a good case to do it I would support it, I think. But I do understand that it is not needed at the moment. However, this discussion has been good as it helped me to understand why a combined category didn't exist and has also given me some insights about issues I couldn't understand about the sasCommunity before. Because the approach is strongly content over community, I am now beginning to understand why there is so little user interaction. - Cameron 07:22, 1 June 2013 (EDT)