My Recent Actions
My activities have focused on alerting Stratus VOS customers to the
ambiguity of 2-digit years starting January 2, 2001. I'm concerned that
both customer employees and customer software will get confused beginning on
that date. As I think I mentioned to this list some months ago, our
software (and, I expect, many other software packages) can handle both
leading-year and trailing-year formats when 2-digit years are used, as long
as the 2-digit year is not in the range 1-31. For example, our software
lets you specify a date-string as:
06/30/00 or 00-06-30
because we know that 00 must be a year, and we map it to 2000 automatically.
We handle the European forms (day then month) by a user-settable parameter.
Things get interesting next January, because our software actually defaults
to YY-MM-DD, so the progression:
is actually the first day of February, March, and April, rather than the
2nd, 3rd, and 4th of January. This is pretty nonobvious, at least to an
American. But it has been our documented behavior since 1982 and we can't
change it now.
We have spent a great deal of effort notifying our customers, of giving them
software to help detect problematic code, and encouraging them to test dates
in 2001 and beyond. Several customers have reported problems in their code,
so we know that the issues are out there. The solution is extremely simple:
always use full four-digit years.
If you want more details, read
I have to say that I've been surprised that there has not been more mention
of this issue in the computer press or in the popular press. It is
essentially a y2k issue all over again. (In fact, internally we call it the
Paul Green, Senior Technical Consultant
Stratus Computer, 111 Powdermill Rd, Maynard, MA 01754
Voice: +1 (978) 461-7557; FAX: +1 (978) 461-3610
Speaking from Stratus not for Stratus