32 characters is rather short these days, especially when dealing with external (DBMS, excel, etc) data.
Why not allow longer variable names? and labels? and likewise for data members?
The data structure would not be affected, just the metadata.
The change from 8 to 32 (40 to 256 for labels) characters took place for version 7 almost 20 years ago; time for a new enhancement.
Of course, longer text strings in SAS variables (200 to 32k en V7) and macro variables (no change in V7 iirc) would be nice too, but the metadata upgrade should be both easier and more immediately useful.