Wednesday, October 29, 2014

HTML 5 Is Official

The W3C has announced that HTML 5 is now an official recommendation. This designation is, in some ways, just a formality, but it is important for SAS. It paves the way for the HTML destination of ODS to deliver results in HTML 5 format in future SAS releases. For ODS purposes, HTML 5 is only slightly different from HTML 4, so you may not notice the difference in the way ODS codes output tables. An advantage of HTML 5, though, is that there is more agreement among web browsers about the way HTML 5 documents should be displayed. This particularly affects spacing details such as cell padding, the small blank area between the data in a table cell and the cell border. In previous HTML versions, browsers did not agree on whether this spacing should be counted when computing the cell width and height. The result is that tables can look noticeably different from one browser to another.

With greater consistency in spacing in HTML 5, you can have more confidence that output files will have a similar look and feel for everyone who looks at the output, regardless of the browser they are using. This in turn should allow style sheets to be more precise, specific, and efficient in the visual design of HTML output tables from SAS, matching the precision that you can already expect in paginated destinations such as PDF.

The HTML destination is one of the most important in ODS, since it is often the default destination. HTML 5 as the default could come with some style sheet adjustments. These are things programmers can look for in the next SAS release.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New Book: Routine SAS SQL

The new book Routine SAS SQL, out today, is especially for people getting started with SQL in SAS. When I wrote it, I started from the “SQL” chapter in Professional SAS Programming Logic, but I added many more details that a SAS SQL coder is likely to need.

This book is also my first e-book. I’ll be watching to see how popular the e-book formats are in comparison to the print format.

Routine SAS SQL at Amazon (paperback)
Routine SAS SQL at Kobo
Routine SAS SQL for Amazon Kindle
Routine SAS SQL for Apple iPad

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

SAS Analytics 13.1

SAS Analytics 13.1 is shipping as part of a maintenance release for SAS 9.4. This release combination reflects the recent SAS release strategy, in which technology releases come first and analytics releases follow a short time afterward. SAS Analytics 13.1 is meant to work with SAS 9.4. So far, I haven’t come upon any stories of attempting to use 13.1 procedures in SAS 9.3. If history is a guide, that would work to some extent, but with so few incompatibilities in SAS 9.4, it would surely be simpler to make the jump to SAS 9.4.