d Dave


Recently one of our programmers cut and paste text from an external document to populate variables.


Here is an example.  I can see that those single quotes pasted in are odd.

if paramn=26 then PARAM="My PAD makes me feel not normal";


I created an ADaM define that included this dataset, and typed in these same values into a codelist.  But when we validated, something odd happened.  Pinnacle had no problem with the values I typed into the codelist.

But the report cited values in the dataset that did not match the codelist, and displayed the dataset values without the bogus single quotes (squares below):



My PAD makes me feel ‘not normal’


SD0037Value for PARAM not found in (ADPADQOL Parameter) user-defined codelistTerminology



I think it’s a bad idea to just cut and paste from some questionable source into a text variable, and that is the problem.  But I’d like to have a more concrete reason than that to state.  Is there a certain character set that Pinnacle recognizes?  Does it have a name?  And these bogus characters are not part of that character set?

Forums: ADaM

j Jozef
on December 31, 2021

I am not surprised ... The two technologies, SAS Transport 5 and XML do not fit together - blame FDA for refusing to move to modern Dataset-XML instead of SAS Transport (5 or 8).

In XML, single quote is a special character. See e.g. https://www.xmltutorial.info/xml/special-characters-in-xml/ (and many other places).
So, if you have a single quote that is in a text that is in a Define-XML attributed, like in "CodedValue" within "CodeListItem", you need to replace the single quotes by their "entity", which is '
If you use a good tool to generate your define.xml (which the Define-XML team encourages people to do BEFORE generating the datasets - the define.xml is "the specification"), the tool will take care of that for you.

Also, please take into account that SAS Transport only supports US-ASCII characters. Although the normal single quote is supported by US-ASCII (code 39), when copying values from other sources (automatically or manually), you may come to surprises when one or more characters are non-US-ASCII. For example, I have seen people having "skew" (MS Office) quotes being copied to the SAS Transport 5 file, leading to ... disaster. Are your single quotes such "skew" characters?
How P21 Validator treats non-ASCII characters that occur in SAS Transport files, I cannot say. Maybe these are ignored ... That may explain the behavior that you found.

With best regards,
Jozef Aerts
CDISC XML Technology team

d Dave
on December 31, 2021

Thank you, Jozef.  That was very helpful...

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