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By Dr. Karl Ho, Research and Statistical Support Services Manager
What is Hot Fix?
On a regular basis, SAS upgrades the software and releases new versions to licensed customers. However, what if bugs are identified between the releases? Hot Fix is provided by the company that fills the gap. The Technical Support at SAS defines Hot Fix as addressing "specific alert issues uncovered by customers' applications". According to SAS, "while the hot fixes would have been tested and are fully supported, they have not gone through the full QA process". As a responsible measure, the company mails alert notes to licensees when a bug is located. It will also provide solutions (fix) for the bug or give information on how to download a patch. Two sample Hot Fix alert notes were appended at the bottom of this article.
Hot Fix for bugs can be procedure-related. For instance, the latest Hot Fix is on the accuracy of a Kendall's tau b, a crosstabulation statistics for two variables, generated in the PROC CORR procedure. The Hot Fix message reminds users of the problem and gives suggestions to circumvent the inaccurate output. In some cases, the Technical Support will provide patches (hot fix bundle) to fix the problem. But in most cases, it recommends waiting for the next release which will incorporate the fixed procedures, unless a problem is encountered.
To get more details on Hot Fix or locate a bug, visit the Hot Fix website. Or you can subscribe to the Hot Fix Alert mailing list.
With frequent bug reports, it may appear that the software is prone with defects. From the other prospective, it also indicate the company spends a lot of effort in keeping the customers abreast of the bugs and newest fixes to show good will and responsibility. Not a lot of software companies have the courage to provide customers what they need to know. SAS certainly is well ahead on this.
Sample Hot Fix alert notes:
With Hot Fix Releases:
From: SAS Technical Support <tsdlist@UNX.SAS.COM> To: <TSNEWS-L@VM.SAS.COM> Date: 8/2/02 1:32PM Subject: SAS Institute TS: New Hot Fix Releases New Hot Fixes are available on the Technical Support Hot Fix Web site for SAS Release 8.2 (TS2M0). The latest SAS Release 8.2 (TS2M0) Hot Fixes are for: SAS/ACCESS INTERFACE TO DB2 (OS/390 only) SAS/ACCESS INTERFACE TO INFORMIX (UNIX only) BASE SAS (Windows and UNIX) For more information, please review the Release 8.2 (TS2M0) Hot Fix "What's New" page: http://www.sas.com/techsup/download/hotfix/82_SBCS_whats_new.html If you are running SAS with Asian Language Support (DBCS), please review the DBCS "What's New" page: http://www.sas.com/techsup/download/hotfix/82_DBCS_whats_new.html A comprehensive list of all Hot Fixes is available at: http://www.sas.com/techsup/download/hotfix/hotfix.html
Alert Note only:
From: SAS Technical Support <tsdlist@UNX.SAS.COM> To: <TSNEWS-L@VM.SAS.COM> Date: 8/5/02 11:52AM Subject: SAS Institute Alert Note SN-008065 SN-008065 ***Alert Sas Note*** Kendall Partial Tau b Correlation Coefficients are incorrect when a variable has zero variance and the PARTIAL statement is used Product: Base SAS Component: CORR procedure Priority: ALERT If you are using a PARTIAL statement, and if any of the analysis variables have a standard deviation of zero, then the Kendall Partial Tau b Correlation Coefficients are incorrect. The coefficients that are produced are actually the unpartialed Kendall's Tau b correlations. To circumvent the problem, remove the variables for which the STD Dev is zero. Keywords: incorrout incorrstat kendall tau b correlation partial kendall partial tau b correlation coefficients are incorrect when a variable has zero variance and the partial statement is used 008065 8065 SAS Note Revised On: Thu, 25 Jul 2002 System Version Reported Version Fixed AIX 64 bit 8.2 TS2M0 AIX/6000 7 TSP1 AIX/6000 8 TSM0 AIX/6000 8.1 TS1M0 AIX/6000 8.2 TS2M0 VM/ESA (CMS) 7 TSP1 VM/ESA (CMS) 8 TSM0 VM/ESA (CMS) 8.1 TS1M0 VM/ESA (CMS) 8.2 TS2M0 Compaq Tru64 UNIX 7 TSP1 Compaq Tru64 UNIX 8 TSM0 Compaq Tru64 UNIX 8.1 TS1M0 Compaq Tru64 UNIX 8.2 TS2M0 HP-UX Operating Systems 7 TSP1 HP-UX Operating Systems 8 TSM0 HP-UX Operating Systems 8.1 TS1M0 HP-UX Operating Systems 8.2 TS2M0 HP-UX 64 bit 8.2 TS2M0 Intel ABI 8 TSM0 Intel ABI 8.1 TS1M0 Intel ABI 8.2 TS2M0 Linux 8.2 TS2M0 MIPS ABI 8 TSM0 MIPS ABI 8.1 TS1M0 MIPS ABI 8.2 TS2M0 OS/390 (MVS) 7 TSP1 OS/390 (MVS) 8 TSM0 OS/390 (MVS) 8.1 TS1M0 OS/390 (MVS) 8.2 TS2M0 IBM OS/2 7 TSP1 IBM OS/2 8 TSM0 IBM OS/2 8.1 TS1M0 IBM OS/2 8.2 TS2M0 Solaris 7 TSP1 Solaris 8 TSM0 Solaris 8.1 TS1M0 Solaris 8.2 TS2M0 Solaris 64 bit 8.2 TS2M0 OpenVMS VAX 7 TSP1 OpenVMS VAX 8 TSM0 OpenVMS VAX 8.1 TS1M0 OpenVMS VAX 8.2 TS2M0 OpenVMS Alpha 7 TSP1 OpenVMS Alpha 8 TSM0 OpenVMS Alpha 8.1 TS1M0 OpenVMS Alpha 8.2 TS2M0 Windows NT 7 TSP1 Windows NT 8 TSM0 Windows NT 8.1 TS1M0 Windows NT 8.2 TS2M0 Windows 2000 Datacenter Server 8 TSM0 Windows 2000 Datacenter Server 8.1 TS1M0 Windows 2000 Datacenter Server 8.2 TS2M0 Windows 2000 Professional 8 TSM0 Windows 2000 Professional 8.1 TS1M0 Windows 2000 Professional 8.2 TS2M0 Windows 2000 Server and Advanced Server 8 TSM0 Windows 2000 Server and Advanced Server 8.1 TS1M0 Windows 2000 Server and Advanced Server 8.2 TS2M0 Windows 95 7 TSP1 Windows 95 8 TSM0 Windows 95 8.1 TS1M0 Windows 95 8.2 TS2M0 Windows 98 7 TSP1 Windows 98 8 TSM0 Windows 98 8.1 TS1M0 Windows 98 8.2 TS2M0 Windows ME 8.2 TS2M0 Windows XP 8.2 TS2M0 No Fixes Available