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Monday, November 15, 2010

!= does not == ne

In general, the more programming languages you work with, the better you are going to become as a programmer. I try to work with a new language about every year, so I can stretch my little brain in lots of different directions.

However, the downside is sometimes you lose track of the syntax that used to be second nature to you. Or maybe it's just old age? Wait, what was I talking about?

Oh yeah, I was working away on some SAS macro code and it just wasn't working. It was simple code. Easy code. Code you can read and write in your sleep. And I still couldn't get it to work. After circling around the problem for waaaay longer than I should have, it finally stuck out at me like a sore thumb. Oh silliness, there is no != in SAS (unlike say, EVERY other language).

Unfortunately the offending != syntax fails silently in SAS macro:

%macro whatIsGoingOn(name);
%put ** reality check name is &name **;
%if &name != Stephen
%then %put You are not Stephen;
%else %put Hello Stephen;

** reality check name is Chuck **
Hello Stephen