Using and Contributing to sasCommunity.org

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Introduction

Users have requested to see more HOW-TO articles on using sasCommunity.org. This article is an attempt at such documentation and describes how the site may be used to document the results of researching a question a finding an answer. By summarizing the results here on sasCommunity.org, they:

  • can be made broadly available to the worldwide community of SAS users; and
  • can be improved upon and maintained by that same community.

The question in need of an answer

In October, 2007 Hari posted a comment on the SAS-L list:

I came across usage of the WHERE ALSO in online learning.
I understand now that it performs same as "WHERE SAME AND ..." but not able to see the same documented in help? I checked up throug the Where statement portion in SAS Language Reference: Dictionary.

A few SAS-L regulars responded, including Michael Raithel, Don Henderson, Nat Wooding, Richard DiVenezia and Howard Schreier.

The use of ALSO with WHERE is documented as part of the SCL WHERE function. Part of the discussion in that thread was a comment by Nat Wooding for a request for annotated documentation. Don Henderson suggested that a form of such annotated documentation could be accomplished thru the use of this site, sasCommunity.org. Howard Schreier added the following comment:

Another good thing about the wiki at sasCommunity.org is that
the content is not bound to a particular SAS version. As new
versions of SAS arrive, links and other things will need
updating, but the wiki as a whole will persist nicely.

This article is a tutorial approach to describing

  • how Hari could have tried to use sasCommunity.org
  • how others, seeing Hari's question on the SAS-L list, could have added content to sasCommunity.org to address Hari's question.

Looking for Technical Documentation

There are a couple of ways that a user could try to search for content about WHERE ALSO:

  • Search Sasopedia which is one of the links along the left hand panel.
    • From the Sasopedia page, the next step would be to check by Statement for the WHERE statement.
  • Upon discovering that WHERE is not listed there, the next step might be to use Search.
  • Search is also found along the left hand side.
  • Upon entering WHERE ALSO in the text box and clicking Go there are no hits of interest.
  • Next the search is broadened by just entering WHERE in the text box and clicking Go. Again, there are no hits of interest.

So the next step is to post a question - perhaps to the SAS-L list, the Forums at sasCommunity.org or the SAS support site.

Note: Once this article was published and the steps described below were completed, the above conditions were no longer true since WHERE will be found in Sasopedia and by the Search function.

Fast Forward - The Question is Answered

Now let's move forward to where the original question has been answered. Expecting that the question will come up again, let's document our discoveries using sasCommunity.org.

The activities described below can be done in any order. This article starts with a top-down approach where we start with adding a category page for the WHERE statement and function.

Adding a Category page for the WHERE Statement

Since WHERE was not found in the Sasopedia, and specifically in by Statement, the first task is the add it there.

  • Using the link Create an Article found in the left hand panel, a category page WHERE is created. A category page is created first since we notice that many of the statments have category pages that group all the articles related to that statement together.
  • Before creating the category page for WHERE, being geeks the first step is to see how other such pages have been created by visiting a few, clicking the Edit tab and reviewing the source and we discover that many of the them have:
    • the same text at the top:{{putinstatements}}. This generates:
      • the standard wording appearing at the top of many pages that describe how to add articles to this category page.
      • as well as the category tag needed to add the category to the Sasopedia for by Statement.
    • which is followed by links to pages at support.sas.com for the SAS Online Doc.
  • So we copy that text and re-use it, editing the Online Doc link so they point to the WHERE documentation.
  • We actually create two links to the Online Doc since ALSO was found in the WHERE function doc, not the statement doc.

Adding a Page to document/discuss the use of WHERE ALSO

  • Using the link Create an Article found in the left hand panel, create a page called Where also to describe the results of the research.
  • Include any/all relevant text
  • Include the category tag for the WHERE Statement category, [[Category:WHERE Statement]] so it can be found on that category page.

Summary

This article will hopefully assist users in determining whether, why and how to use sasCommunity.org.

in the original SAS-L thread, Nat Wooding made the following comments that relevant:

My point here is that with paper, one can add to the printed word;
however,with the online docs, I can't add personal notes to the
pages that I see. Has anyone ever seen a tool that would link to a
page but allow the user'snotes, images, etc, to be available, also.

. . .snipped. . .

For example, in the case of where also, Mike might want to pull up
the SAS Base Dictionary page for WHERE and add a comment on the
WHERE ALSO , what it does, and offer links to the reference that
[[User:Donh|Don] found, the SAS Community posting, and also,perhaps,
Sunil Gupta's SGF paper.

. . .snipped rest. . .

Hopefully this article discusses how to augment the online docs in a shared way:

  • the relevant links to the online doc were added to the category page
  • other pages/notes can be added by adding the category page to those articles.