At some point in December 2023 my WordPress Blog Site decided to have an automatic Early Spring Clean!!


Some time in December 2023 the internal WordPress user list became out-of-sync with the Simple Membership list that is used to control access to paid-for features on the site. It has taken me until now to identify, notify and remove from the Simple Membership list those members that are no longer known to WordPress. The estimated membership loss was 480 from a membership total at the beginning of December 2023 of 856!

The regional breakdown of registered blog members at the beginning of December 2023 was as follows:

PositionRegionPercentage of MembershipMembers
1Indian Sub-continent36.9%313
2The Americas22.8%193
5Rest of the World6.6%56

Now the regional breakdown of registered blog members looks like this:

PositionRegionPercentage of MembershipMembers
1Indian Sub-continent35.7%134
3The Americas23.2%87
5Rest of the World6.4%24

There are a number of reasons why the specific members may have been retained or lost, but I can’t confirm or refute these theories:

  • Only 6 of 480 members lost had registered for VIEWS UK forum access.
  • Most of the retained members regularly visit the site.
  • UK and The Americas have a bigger share of the members, and UK has overtaken The Americas (probably because VIEWS UK access is more prevalent in UK members!).
  • All of the shares of the other regions have decreased.

As a consequence, all new members are automatically given access to the VIEWS UK forum, where the VIEWS newsletter can be found.

I’ve withdrawn my apps from the Chrome Web Store after 9 years


Regrettably I’ve withdrawn my apps from the Chrome Web Store after 9 years. For the last few years the Chrome Web Store has not been accepting new apps, only extensions, so I’ve not been able to add new apps, although updated apps have been accepted. However, recently my apps have been behaving differently, and only showing blank pages, so I’ve made the decision to withdraw my apps altogether.

There were 2 categories of apps in the Chrome Web Store:



  • SAS apps, which are still available in the Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore (for Android devices). You can also access them on any device with a Programming blog membership as a web app.
  • Educational apps, which are also available in the Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore (for Android devices). You can also access them on any device with an Educational Games blog membership, again as a web app.
  • New Theme for my Blog Pages is an Old Theme!


    Over the last few months I had been using Rebalance from Jetpack as the theme for my blog site, but more and more of its features seemed to conflict with my blog content:

    • Sections of code using uniform fonts in pre-formatted paragraphs were coloured white, so I’d been forced to recolour them black using CSS.
    • The links in the Forum Tag List were orange, as were the links in the list of selected forum topics. However, hovering over these links changed these and other links to white on white, or orange on orange, due to a conflict with bbPress, my forum plug-in.
    • Finally, the top menu in Rebalance was shown as a “hamburger” icon on smaller screens, but not on the desktop, so I’d been forced to style this menu using CSS to match the smaller screen version.

    I searched the catalogue of WordPress themes to find one that worked on the desktop and smaller screens and could only find the theme I am now using, Twenty Fifteen from WordPress. It also doesn’t require any restyling!

    So why did I call it an old theme?

    I used this theme when I first created this blog site in 2016. It has just taken me 5 years to realise how good it is!!

    This blog site will be closed for scheduled maintenance between 20:30 and 21:30 (GMT) on 02Jan2021


    This blog site will be closed for scheduled maintenance from 20:30 to around 21:30 (GMT) on 02Jan2021:

    • 07:30 to around 08:30 on 03Jan2021 (Melbourne)
    • 05:30 to around 06:30 on 03Jan2021 (Tokyo)
    • 02:00 to around 03:00 on 03Jan2021 (India)
    • 21:30 to around 22:30 (Western Europe)
    • 15:30 to around 16:30 (East Coast USA)
    • 12:30 to around 13:30 (West Coast USA)

    A number of software packages will be updated for stability and security.

    Thank you for your understanding!

    New advice when registering as a blog member


    Remember to use your full personal name, not a business name (unless you’ve asked me first), and a full last name is expected and required to complete registration, not “X Y” where your user information is considered to be hiding your identity. If you supply a name like “X Y” then your profile will be set to Pending, which will be deleted automatically after 1 month if not corrected.

    NEW: An activation email will be sent to your registered email address to confirm that it is valid. If you do not receive it within a few minutes, then please contact Philip Holland at, as your email address may not have been accepted, but can be corrected.

    It is also recommended that you do not use an email address as, or include your company name in, your user name, because user names cannot be changed, but your email address or company might change in the future!

    You can register for Free blog membership here: Join Now Button

    I’ve changed the site theme. Do you like it?


    I’ve changed the site theme. Do you like it?

    I’ve been using the LeftSide theme on this blog site for some time now, but it hasn’t been working as well on phones and tablets recently, so I’ve decided to update the theme to Rebalance. This new theme was designed to adapt more appropriately to desktop, phone and tablet screens, so it should give everyone a better view of my blog.

    Do you like the new Rebalance theme compared with the previous LeftSide theme on my blog site? Please answer for every device you use:

    • Desktop: it works better than LeftSide (33%, 1 Votes)
    • Phone: it works better than LeftSide (33%, 1 Votes)
    • Tablet: it works better than LeftSide (33%, 1 Votes)
    • Desktop: it is about the same as LeftSide (0%, 0 Votes)
    • Desktop: it is worse than LeftSide (0%, 0 Votes)
    • Phone: it is about the same as LeftSide (0%, 0 Votes)
    • Phone: it is worse than LeftSide (0%, 0 Votes)
    • Tablet: it is about the same as LeftSide (0%, 0 Votes)
    • Tablet: it is worse than LeftSide (0%, 0 Votes)

    Total Voters: 1

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    Desktop: LeftSide

    Desktop: LeftSide

    Desktop: Rebalance

    Desktop: Rebalance

    Phone: LeftSide

    Phone: LeftSide

    Phone: Rebalance

    Phone: Rebalance

    Microsoft Exchange 365 is dead! Long live Google Mail! …but maybe not!


    I’ve finally realised that my company’s email server on Microsoft Exchange 365 is too unreliable to use for emails from my SAS blog server, so I have configured the email client to send emails through Google Mail instead. This means that:

    1. Emails will no longer be sent from
    2. Emails will now be sent from
    3. Hopefully emails will be sent more reliably

    If you have existing email filters that accept emails from, please can you add to your accepted email addresses.

    In case you are wondering why I phrased the title of this post as I did, it is based on the announcement from Buckingham Palace when a monarch dies and the succession of a new monarch to the throne of the United Kingdom. It is a statement of continuity!

    Stop Press

    Various attempts to send out emails to members have made me realise that the reliability of the Microsoft Exchange 365 servers is better than the traffic restrictions of the Google Mail servers. As a consequence I’ve decided to revert back to sending emails from

    However, I may make use of the email server on my server in the future, so watch this space!

    My SAS-related blog site is being encrypted, so please be patient!


    My SAS-related blog site is being encrypted! However, some links on the blog pages may still open pages that haven’t yet been encrypted until the process has been completed, so please be patient.

    If you access the blog site using “”, then you will now be automatically directed to the secure blog site (with the URLs beginning with https://). If you are using a direct link (beginning with, then you may have to update that link to use “https://” instead of “http://”.

    Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused, but the changes will make this site more secure in the future.

    I’ve added a tag cloud for all of the forums used by blog members


    As part of the development of the VIEWS UK forum infrastructure, I’ve added a tag cloud for all of the forums used by logged-in blog members. This means that clicking a word or phrase in the tag cloud will generate a list of forum topics with that tag. I’ve also added a search form at the end of the page, in case you would like to search a specific forum.

    Once you have logged into the blog site, this can either be accessed directly at Forum Tag Cloud page, or through the Menu via Forums, Features and Subscriptions > Forum Tag Cloud. If you have not logged in, then you will be directed to the Join Us page, and you won’t be able to see the item in the Menu! This is because the forums on the blog site can only be accessed by logged-in members.

    Did you miss the links to the blog posts and forums? They are now visible again under the menu!


    Did you miss the links to the blog posts and forums? They are now visible again under the menu! I’m not sure when these links vanished, but I re-instated them this morning:

    • Blog posts are visible whether you are logged into the blog or not.
    • The Forum widgets are only visible when you are logged in.

    My blog and forums are open for business in their new premises!


    On 28 March 2017 I completed the migration of my blog and forums to a new server. You will not have to do anything different to access the new server, as it is all managed transparently by my router.

    The new environment is protected by an uninterruptible power supply, and has an increase in its available disk space. I’m hoping that the chance of future interruptions has been dramatically reduced.

    Alongside the blog are 2 forums where you can ask questions:

    (1) The SAS Skills Discussion Forum is included when you register for the Free membership, and is where you can ask questions about SAS skills, but not SAS coding problems.

    (2) The SAS Programming Forum, which has a very small subscription cost, is where you can ask SAS coding questions, including those from homework and interviews. This forum also includes a growing SAS course in the form of small topics. There are currently 3 main sections to the SAS course: Data Steps, PROC SQL and macros, but more are being developed.

    After a period of instability my SAS blog should have more availability, and may be quicker too!


    Following my SAS blog server crash in September I have experienced occasional access interruptions from a few minutes to several hours since then. There have been various reasons for the down time, including WordPress plugin updates causing incompatibilities, server software updates, accidental disconnecting of the router, and my internet service provider temporarily interrupting their service to me.

    To correct the last problem I decided to change my broadband connection from ADSL to a “Superfast” fibre, which meant changing my provider. This has now been completed, but the changeover process did more than change my internet service provider. While running the two broadband connections in parallel I discovered some issues in the setup of the network gateway, which had itself caused a number of interruptions. I can’t guarantee that there won’t be more short interruptions in the future, as I’m in the process of reorganising the cabling in my office, but I wanted to assure everyone that, if you have difficulty connecting, then wait a short while before trying again, as I will be back, and the blog could be quicker too!