Have you ever turned the wrong way onto a one-way street? I was driving in downtown Raleigh last weekend and did just that. How embarrassing. Based on my driving directions, I knew there was a one-way street ahead. Truthfully, I was talking and laughing with my sister and wasn’t paying attention to my location relative to the order of my directions.
The syntax of a programming language is the set of rules that defines the combinations of symbols that are considered to be correctly structured programs in that language. When plotting driving directions you wouldn't consider taking a shortcut through somebody's backyard or going the wrong way down a one-way street.
Likewise an experienced programmer doesn't consider violating the basic syntax rules. Your syntax must not have errors such as
- Missing or misspelled keywords
- Invalid variable names
- Missing or invalid punctuation
- Invalid data options
If you want to learn more about SAS procedures, statements, system options, functions, and formats the new 9.3 Syntax Index from the Documentation site is now available to help you improve the performance of your SAS code.
Syntax is our mechanism for reading and writing SAS programs. Clearly, bad syntax can make programming tasks much more difficult and slow. I hope you’ll take the time to check out the 9.3 Syntax Index.
SAS Publications continues to listen to your feedback and strives to provide the tools you need to take advantage of the Power of SAS!