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Re: Preparing the Remnant for the far side of the crisis



At 10:03 AM -0700 9/18/97, Tim May wrote:
>There's simply no way that much code can be refactored to get the "00"
>problem fixed. It isn't, of course, just a matter of doing a
>search-and-replace on "00" and replacing it with "2000." For example, the
>date code was picked to be 2 digits (back in the 1950s and 60s and well
>into the 70s, 80s, and even 90s) to save space. Switching to 4-digit dates
>would require recompilation of the code (for which the compilers may not
>even run properly any longer), and the old hardware will of course not
>accept straightforwardly recompiled code (because part of the code "tucked"
>these compressed numbers into small registers, as but one of many examples).

Note also that the standard date format for OS/360 and its descendents is
the "Julian" date, a YYDDD format.  This means those old compilers have to
be changed to use a different system call to get the current date.

In 1969, my wife participated in a previous "expand the date" project for a
company in San Francisco.  They converted from one digit dates to two
digits.


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