[ESS] ESS[SAS]: Submit region starting new SAS session?

Sparapani, Rodney r@p@r@p@ @end|ng |rom mcw@edu
Thu Feb 12 22:27:10 CET 2015

> Hi Rodney,
> Hmm; C-c C-p is also undefined for me. C-c C-r seems to be the "submit region" shortcut on my setup (upon
> opening a .sas file, it tells me SAS mode was last updated in June 2001, so perhaps I am working with an older
> version of ESS).
Possibly.  There was a version (or two) of ESS that managed to break
SAS interactive use.  But, I'm pretty sure it was not recently.
However, if you are running a version of ESS from 2001, then all bets
are off!  You are completely on your own.  In fact, I don't even have
access to a version prior to 2002, i.e. 5.1.19 (I suppose you could
get one from the repo with git fu).  I suggest you update to a recent
version like 14.09.  What does F1 v ess-version tell you?

> At first I wondered if this is just a difference between how SAS-Unix works and how SAS works on Windows
> (which is where I learned to program in SAS). On Windows you can indeed submit a chunk of code and the
> libraries etc. defined in that code will persist as long as SAS is open. But that's not true here. The thing
> that puzzles me is that ESS[R] actually does work the way I expected it to: I can define a variable (or a
> function, whatever) and it stays defined so that I can work with it further. I don't understand what makes
> that possible in R and not SAS.
> What is the usual workflow for SAS programmers using emacs? Do people typically redefine everything with
> every run through the code? Do people store everything (even intermediate stages of work) in permanent
> datasets so they don't have to? (Or is everyone else just able to write code right the first time without
> debugging?? That would sure be nice....)
> Erin

Well, they are two totally different beasts.  In R, you can easily run
an analysis with a one-liner.  In SAS, you need at least 3 lines to do
anything.  Also, SAS does not have the concept of objects so there are
no temporary objects to manipulate other than data sets (and
occasionally, catalogs) which are not really objects at all.

I don't know anyone who uses interactive SAS with ESS.  I just try it
every now and then to see if it still works.  It is one of the
original features of ESS from the previous millennium (and probably
mostly inherited from the pre-cursor called SAS-mode).  So, there is a
small chance a 2001 version would work.  But, as you see, it is really
small ;o)  Quite frankly, I only use batch and that is what I teach my
students and anyone else who will listen.


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