Did we learn nothing from Y2K?
#365 Henry, Thursday, 21 June 2018 10:39 AM (Category: Programming)
(Tags: date y2k)

Yesterday, a Jira ticket came past my desk.

"patient's date of birth is 5/31/32, but it will not accept - it says patient DOB must fall on or before 04/02/18 (right now or earlier). 1932 is well before 2018. Even if I use the context key and manually scroll to the year 1932, it presents this same error."

And yes, we obviously learnt nothing from Y2K. Our Java programmers are allowing them to enter two-digit years, and have added value tests so that if it's less than 50 it's 20xx, and if it's greater than 50 it's 19xx.

One of the sensible suggestions was to force 4-digit years in the data entry. But that got shouted down.

I have seen stupid ideas come up about every 15 years. Over and over again, the same stupid ideas surface, get implemented, face enormous problems, get fixed, and then resurface 15 years later. No-one pays attention to the past in programming. Stupid ideas persist forever, and it seems like every new generation of programmers ignores the past and reimplements stupid stuff, and has to go through pain.

I stayed out of this argument. I was here for Y2K, and I did a huge amount of work refactoring everything so we would continue unscathed when 1st January 2000 ticked over. We didn't fix everything - a bunch of small stuff screwed up, which we fixed over the next few days. The new guys don't care. They probably assume they won't be here when 2100 rolls around, or the company won't be here. Either way it will be SEP - Someone Else's Problem.

0 comments