Include explanations of all error and warning messages in the help
on 12-09-201311:44 AM - last edited on 10-10-201509:56 PM by LainieH
Searching for the text of an error message in SAS documentation is usually unsuccessful. Error messages are rarely documented. This is frustrating: the computer knows something is wrong but it refuses to tell me in language I can understand. I was reminded of this by Rick Wicklin's blog about Interpreting PROC IML error messages.
Other software products I have used have catalogued ALL error messages by number and text and provided explanations and tips about what to do. I find this very helpful. It should be done for all software: the programmers write the error messages so I assume they know what they mean. See Informix and Sybase SQL Anywhere for good examples.
Please SAS, include the text of all error and warning messages in your documentation. Make them easy to find. All messages should say what happened, what side effects there were (e.g. calculation aborted) and how to prevent it happening. If you can give messages a unique number to make searching easy, even better.