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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fat Fingers

I just looked at some code I had written a few months ago. It categorized things based on a bunch of criteria. At the end of the data step I output the categories that did not fit into a definition bucket nicely:

if bucket in(12,11,10,7,6,5,4) then output junk;

But then I remembered that I also wanted to see if any of them went past all the logic and came up with a missing bucket:

if bucket in(12,11,10,7,6,5,4.) then output junk;

Of course, YOU can see that I forgot the last comma between the 4 and . So missings weren't actually included. I didn't actually see it till today. Doh!


  1. I hate when that happens...

    In this sort of case, it's the one time when I fell good about using an open-ended else statement.

    data new
    set old;
    if bucket IN (1,2,3,8) then output new;
    else output junk;

    I try to put an open-ended else on almost every if-then series (or select) just to make sure I'm not losing any data, e.g.:

    data new;
    set old;
    if sex='M' then gender='Male';
    else if sex='F' then gender='Female'
    else put "ER" "ROR: unknown sex " sex=;

  2. Here's my only lame tip ... I always put the missing item first so I know I have it.

    Hey I recently discovered the missing function so you could also do ....

    if bucket in (12, 11 )
    or missing(bucket)

    This makes me think of the saying "Experience is what you get, when you don't get what you want."