Two and Half Lost Concepts


As Stacey mentioned in her last blog post, she’s a fan of the television show Lost, as I am too. Often our final few minutes of study group will discuss the numerous theories regarding the Lost castaways and their island stories and sideways stories. For 5 minutes or so, it’s nice to get lost in something besides certification!

The latest saga in the certification path leads us down the road to Producing HTML output. And somehow, these concepts seemed vaguely familiar to me. So perhaps in a parallel universe, I too have a sideways story! But, it’s time to get back to our journey towards becoming SAS Certified.

During our study group, there was some confusion regarding absolute and relative URLs. After some discussion, we decided to ask the SAS community to comment on when you use either of these. I understand that relative URLs are simple. But, considering the possible maintenance required with relative URLs, I’m wondering how often these are used. It seems like an absolute URL would be the best bet for the long term. Is that a correct assumption?

Another concept I’m still trying to understand is in one of the questions I missed in the quiz. Below is the question and answer.

When the code shown below is run, what file will be loaded by the links in D:Outputcontents.html?


     ods html body=’d:\output\body.html’

  1. D:\Outputbody.html
  2. D:\Outputcontents.html
  3. D:\Outputframe.html
  4. There are no links from the file D:\Outputcontents.html

The correct answer is: A. I’m looking for some clarification here other than the one-liner in the back of the book stating that the contents= option creates a table of contents that contains body links.

If you’re struggling with ODS or would like additional information on ODS topics, check out our new SAS Press book Output Delivery System: The Basics and Beyond by Lauren Haworth, Cynthia Zender and Michele Burlew.


About Author

Christine Kjellberg

Sr Associate Development Tester

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  1. Hi!
    The question asked is "what file will be loaded by the links in" D:Outputcontents.html? .
    Certainly Contents.html file has the links to each outputs. And all outputs are printed in body.html.
    So when we click these links in Contents.html, body.html will be loaded.
    Hope this clears your question.
    Irfan Khan

  2. Just remember what a table of contents(TOC) is in Microsoft Word. A TOC is nothing but a collection of headers from each section in the document with link to the corresponding section. So when you do a click (or Ctrl-Click), Word will take you to the corresponding section.
    Now coming to SAS. Say you submit 10 procedures and create the output in HTML using ODS. The one output file (*body.html*) contains output for 10 procedures. When you use the contents= option, you are creating another html file with just the TOC. The TOC will contain 10 rows, each linking to the particular proc output within *body.html*.
    Clicking on any of the item listed in TOC will lead you to the actual content, which is present in *body.html*. That is why, the answer is A.
    If you are also using the frames= option, you are creating another file which only contains a link to the TOC and a link to the body. So remember, your actual data is stored in just one file. Contents and Frame are files with links (Although very useful if the body contains output of multiple procedures).
    Wish you all the very best for your certification!

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