User:Cameron

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Hi, my name is Cameron and I started using SAS in April 2012, when my employer decided SAS was the best solution to producing administrative statistics for the state sector organisation I work for, in New Zealand.

SAS Applications I am familiar with include:

As an organisation we have decided to take a non-programmer approach to SAS and keep away from writing SAS code as much as possible. Instead we use the standard SAS modules, tasks, transformations, etc. We only resort to writing SAS code when there is no other alternative .....

Some ideas for articles

  • A tip that observes that one can use the Import Data task wizard in SAS Enterprise Guide to quickly examine an external delimited flat file to determine its structure and the best way to import the file, including determining the delimiter and what informats and formats are suitable to use. The wizard can also generate SAS code to use outside SAS Enterprise Guide.
  • Today I learned to use a SAS feature, (or tool, option, statement, procedure, etc.) in a new or different way. Some notes about any new discovery made about SAS code or products. While we are often familiar with code and products, sometimes we need to go back and read the manual or see something new, different, or even familiar, that hasn't been documented and just needs to be shared. See I just learned, below.

I just learned

This week I learned how to:

Decommissioning of the sasCommunity.org wiki

It is with some sadness I note the proposed decommissioning of the sasCommunity.org wiki. Although I am disappointed the wiki will be made "read only" at the end of 2017, its decommissioning is not unexpected. It is difficult to maintain a wiki website when 9 out of 10 recent contributors violate the terms of service and add inappropriate content that serves no obviously useful purpose for the community, while the other user(s) spend almost all their time devoted to cleaning up the mess being made. Such contributor behaviour scares the community away, and when the community itself is not very dedicated to the wiki and rarely collaborative in the first place then concepts such as "soft security" become a formidable overhead.

For a wiki to work requires trust among the contributor community that their contributions will be respected by the others in the community. Also, the community needs to be committed to sharing their contributions as well as valuing and accepting the feedback and criticism of others with diverse and contrary viewpoints. That can be difficult to achieve when there is only one or two content contributors to an article. For it is the discussion that evolves from having diverse views that makes a wiki community work.

If each contributor added their own article with no input from anyone else then we are talking about a blog being a better website model. These single contributors are probably best recognised as the teachers, or preachers, of the community. The degree to which a viewpoint is held and the number of challenging questions tolerated about that viewpoint perhaps distinguishes the two.

Strongly held viewpoints are perhaps better challenged in a discussion forum that is better oriented to keeping the contribution of each participant separate. Similarly, the question and answer style of some discussions are also better dealt with in a forum type website model.

Articles about papers, presentations, books and other publications are possibly better dealt with in some form of catalogue or database model. While such a model could also deal with promotional articles, some form of moderation is also needed to minimise hypebole and keep things reasonably factual.

The wiki really comes into its own when the community collaborates to write a common work that relies on a consensus of the community. This seems to be the area where other wiki have succeeded. Yet the sasCommunity has perhaps not found that common work to write about. Perhaps it is because the other resources are too accessible for SAS users that so few have felt the need to write their own usage manual, such as a Sasopedia.

Whatever the reasons may be for its eventual demise, my five odd years contributing to the sasCommunity.org wiki have been a learning experience that I have enjoyed participating in. Unfortunately, few others in that community of SAS users I encounter in the real world seem to understand, let alone, share, the vision of a sasCommunity. Without such a community of visionary users the sasCommunity.org wiki does not have the support it needs to succeed.

- Cameron (talk) 17:52, 31 December 2017 (CST)