After the edit: still a tier jerker

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It was about eight months ago that I wrote the first draft of "Setting It All Up", Chapter 15 of SAS for Dummies. There is some pressure to be clever when organizing these chapters for a Dummies book, and to be creative when crafting section headings and figure captions. Our job as authors is to not only inform, but to entertain as well.

To address the complex deployment possibilities with SAS software and solutions, I added a section titled "Trail of tiers: talking across boundaries". You know, because setting up mid-tier and platform tiers and hooking up the client tier can be somewhat challenging, to put it mildly. My technical reviewers commented that this heading was tremendously clever -- very gratifying.

However, my editor at Wiley thought otherwise. He acknowledged the play on words, but then advised: "I don't think we should be comparing software installation with a horrific, shameful period in our nation's history."

My knee-jerk reaction to this was "well, obviously you've never had to install and configure software applications on different platforms and get them talking". However, even I had to admit that this was an insensitive response, so I kept that to myself. Instead, I struggled to come up with alternative "tier"-related headings. Some candidates that I rejected:

  • "Tiers of a clown..."
  • "Tier-ful experience..."
  • "Blood, sweat, and tiers..."
  • "Tier-drops on your pillow..."

Well, you get the idea. In the end, my final edit includes this as the heading: "Drowning in tiers: talking across boundaries".

As discussed at SAS Global Forum 2007, the next version of SAS brings many improvements in the deployment process. I'm afraid that my clever headings will be rendered obsolete. Or maybe I'll be able to change it to "Tiers of joy."

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Chris Hemedinger

Senior Manager, SAS Online Communities

+Chris Hemedinger is the manager of SAS Online Communities. Since 1993, Chris has worked for SAS as an author, a software developer, an R&D manager and a consultant. Inexplicably, Chris is still coasting on the limited fame he earned as an author of SAS For Dummies.  He also hosts the SAS Tech Talk webcasts each year from SAS Global Forum, connecting viewers with smart people from SAS R&D and the impressive work that they do.

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