Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2003 09:04:27 -0500
Reply-To: Howard Schreier <Howard_Schreier@ITA.DOC.GOV>
Sender: "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Howard Schreier <Howard_Schreier@ITA.DOC.GOV>
Subject: SAS-L Panel / Kind and Gentle, or Not
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[This is part of a report on a panel discussion about SAS-L which took
place during the 2003 NESUG conference. Partcipants: Paul Dorfman, Ron
Fehd, Phil Mason, Barbara Okerson, Dianne Louise Rhodes, David Septoff;
also Ray Pass]
On the subject of Kind and Gentle, or Not ...
Barbara noted that blunt answers can nevertheless be good answers.
Paul noted that lists and newsgroups devoted to other programming
languages are sometimes vicious in tone. In contrast, SAS-L is generally
supportive, nurturing, and helpful. SAS-L is not used as a vehicle to
Phil pointed out people on SAS-L are generally very patient with
In Dianne's view, while most responses are gentle, people sometimes are
not tactful in correcting or disputing the statements of others. She
voiced concern that this discourages some people from posting.
Dianne does not like to see response threads turn into ego-driven
contests. There was reinforcement from the audience for this position.
Phil also saw an occasional need to discourage such behavior.
An audience member recalled a recent episode in which somebody proposed
launching a SAS discussion similar in purpose to SAS-L, but using
instant messaging as the platform. This person thought the responses in
SAS-L were defensive and disrespectful.
Ron observed that over the years there have been occasional initiatives
to spawn more specialized SAS discussion vehicles, but that none has
succeeded. Ray and Phil both suggested that an idea with merit would
gain solid support, whether or not there is vocal opposition.
[See "SAS-L Panel" on
http://www.listserv.uga.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A1=ind0312d&L=sas-l for more.
Any misrepresentations in this report are unintentional and are my