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SAS Bloggers in Action (2): Jian Dai and his SAS Academy

My first post on SAS bloggers begins with Rick Wicklin and I plan a series of posts. It would be nice for a statement of rational before following pages.

As a learner, I benefit frequently from lots of high quality blogs. But I’m also slightly lazy as a reader: I read almost all blogs in Google Reader rather than returning to the original web pages and adding some comments. Here I’d like to post a series of SAS bloggers and their blogs (that I subscribed and read frequently) to extent my thanks, share with friends and sometimes amuse the bloggers themselves:)

In this page, honor belongs to Jian Dai and his Yahoo group, “SAS Academy”:


Wait. You may ask: a Yahoo group?

Jian actually is a blogger for a collective blog, _Clinical Trial New Technologies & Best Practices_. But here I’d like to refer this Yahoo group which actually serves as his own blog and I also use Google Reader to subscribe its RSS feed:

launched at December of 2008

444 posts till July 2011, averagely 14 posts per month (and roughly 1 post for every 2 days!)

And all in all, most (and almost every) posts are under Jian’s name and few posts come from other’s hands are just outlier-like(less than 10). Note that I just read all the historical messages in a weekend and got the impressions. In the following page, I might retrieve all the data from the SAS Academy and supply accurate reports.

Recently Jian posted a C implementation of a SAS tokenizer based on Finite-state Machine(FSM). A tokenizer is a lexical analyzer of a specific programming language and in this case you can just imagine it is a small part of SAS Supervisor to recognize all tokens. In SAS Academy, Jian posted lots wonderful (and beautiful) implementation of lots of general or specific problems using C, Perl, JScript, JavaScript, PowerShell, VBS/VBA, … and even ProLog, a general logic programming language!

Wait wait. You may wonder: is Jian a SAS programmer?

I don’t know how Jian identify himself as a programmer and it would be best to leave this question to himself. But don’t worry. There is no such phrase engraved at the door of Jian’s SAS Academy:

Let no one ignorant of C/Perl enter.

Actually Jian is a SAS/statistical/clinical programmer by job and he of course has lots of interesting SAS codes posted, including SAS implementation of Lambda Expression and recursion(Jian is also an active conference speaker on this topic). –Some clinical programmers without any computer background would find it difficult to understand the CS part even of Jian’s SAS codes, for example, Lambda Expression. Suggestion: Google it and you will enter a totally new joy world.

Jian plays like a geek, and he is always making efforts to extend the horizon and scope of SAS programming language by taking advantage from computer science(actually he had some posts titled play like a CS pro). I have great experience by exploring Jian’s SAS Academy and very often, a popular book title pops up in my mind:

Programming Pearls

If you want sometimes programming for fun, just for fun, that’s it.