There are a few aspects for that:
1. SAS/Base is like SQL a language for special purposes, not for general like C
2. continuity is much more important for professional applications as for
3. SAS/Base follows the procedural concenpt, not object-oriented (modern,
but the better solution for special purposes? Why is there no SQL++?)
4. If you mean, the development and integration of user-defined procs and
functions is the show stopper: you can write and integrate them since many
years with SAS/TOOLKIT! By the way: there seems to be not much demand for
that. There are some TOOLKIT procs, like PROC SYNCSORT for mainframes to
allow easier configuration of the sort-utility, some device drivers, but it
seems to be more a tool for the SAS developers to realize that very quick.
5. The real thing I'm missing is BCD arithmetic (Binary Coded Decimal),
which PL/1 had and which was not ported to SAS language. That is a thing,
which is very helpful in many modern applications with high precision
issues. Unfortunately not in the statistics environment, where SAS comes from.
6. Some of the biggest Data Warehouse installations I know, use SAS as ETL
(Extraction and Transformation Language) in a bunch of other databases and
datawarehouse tools! Why? Because SAS/Base was the best solution in that
environment! Not the PROCs, but only the "simple" DATA-step language!
The industry standard for accounting and performance measurement MXG and
CA-MICS are based on SAS/Base - why? Because SAS/Base was and is actually
the best solution for that (very comfortable and fast)!
So I think, SAS/Base is the best tool for working with data. If I'd try to
write a computer game, or a application which should run on my mobile, I
choose something what's good for that. For data-manipulations I prefer
SAS/Base. Add BCD arithmetics (type DECIMAL in PL/1) and I'll be lucky.
Adding user written PROCs and functions? Nice to have, but not necessary
(but also possible now with many languages, including C)! Enhance the
functions which give me OS-informations, e.g. FINFO, DINFO, ... and there is
no need for other functions which are not already there.
I agree that SCL and the development of GUIs is not the thing where SAS has
it's strenghts, there are cheeper and maybe better solutions. I think the
support and integration of languages like PERL, JAVA, ... will be improved
in future and SCL might have not a great future, but I think the concept of
the SAS/Base language is good and detail improvements will keep that alive.
Same like SQL - it's "standard", which means a big responsibility to "keep
it compatible", which also means "keep it as it is" and be very careful with
On Tue, 30 May 2006 09:03:09 -0700, Lei Zhang <lzhang9830@YAHOO.COM> wrote:
>Hi Gerhard and Howard,
> What I wanted to point out before is that SAS is slow to follow
>the advance in computer science. The syntax it uses is very similiar to
>old languages like JCL, Fortran or PL/1, which were good languages at
>that time. Since then, SAS has been struggled to borrow some new
>langauge features from OO, but hasn't been successful yet. I heard that
>they were going to provide user-define function feature for Data step
>in SAS 9.2 after many requests from users. Personally I think they
>should have provided this feature ten years ago, not until next year or
>later. I hope significant changes will be made in SAS 10 in order for
>them to catch up with the times.