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More adventures with SAS web editor

Lovely young daughter
After dropping The Spoiled One off at the beach and setting a personal best for calls returned, I’m back on setting up data sets, assignments and more for the fall semester.
So ….. I tried using the UPLOAD option from the menu in the SAS Web Editor and that was a sad failure. Next, I tried using FTP and that worked with one small caveat.

First of all, to find the path you will need and other information for FTP, you can read about it on this post. Also, you will find a picture of a badger and learn, if you did not already know it, that the proper term for an aggregation of badgers is a “clan”.

It uploaded in next to no time and all was great except for the fact that it does NOT show up in my Projects folder. If you have been using SAS Web editor with the upload feature, it may be disconcerting to you (or your students) that now you appear to be working with data that is invisible.

However, if you do use the correct LIBNAME statement you’ll have no problem accessing your data.

So …. I got as far as a proc contents. Then, when I tried running some simple analyses I got this message

ERROR: File SASCAT.FORMATS.CATALOG was created for a different operating system.
ERROR: Format DTHFLAG not found or couldn’t be loaded for variable DTHFLAG.

This probably is not anything specific to SAS Web Editor. The original data is nine years old, God knows what it was created on. I downloaded it on to a 32-bit Windows OS running on Boot Camp on a Mac then uploaded it to SAS Web Editor. I’m not surprised there was some incompatibility.

My next EIGHT HOURS are spent either in meetings or driving to and from meetings – GRRR – but after all that I’m going to try the PROC FORMAT with a  CNTLOUT option, then try using PROC FORMAT with CNTLIN on the other end on SAS Web Editor. I think that will work. Stay tuned.>In the meantime, there are a couple of points to learn from this

  1. As I’ve ranted on here before, don’t think that using open data for your class is going to be simple. Plan in advance. Give yourself time to identify any problems
  2. Just mentioning the PROC FORMAT CNTLOUT = and even the use of a FMTSEARCH options gives me pause to think that perhaps you are in the best position to teach using SAS Web Editor if you are proficient using SAS yourself. This is just  a general rule on teaching, I think. There are universities that want to hire people as cheaply as possible and get someone who reads the textbook one chapter ahead of the students. I’m very happy that I don’t work anywhere like that. If that person is you, you’re probably going to be deeply frustrated if you try using SAS Web Editor. All isn’t lost, though. Repent! There are a lot of helpful resources for faculty, so start in the summer, solve all of the issues like these ahead of time and both you and your students will be better off.

I do realize there are schools that only tell people they are hired a few weeks before the semester starts. That sucks. I don’t know what to tell you to do in that case except try to find some place to work that does things in a less half-ass fashion. Good luck.

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