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Pythonic Y2K


Ian,

You just scared me. It is 2019 which has four digits. In less than 8,000
years we will need to take the fifth to make numbers from 10,000 to 10,999.
90,000 years later we will need a sixth digit and so on.

Do you know how many potential Y2K-like anomalies we may have between now
and year 292,277,026,596 when it may all be over? Will people evert learn
and just set aside lots of room that dates can grow into or allow varying
lengths?

Makes me wonder though why anyone in the distant future would want numbers
that long to represent that date. I suspect that long before then, some
surviving members of whatever the human race becomes will do a reset to a
new calendar such as the date the first settlers arrived in the Gamma
Quadrant.

So whatever unit they store time in, though, may still need a way to reach
back to historic times just as we do by talking about what may have happened
in 2000 B.C.


-----Original Message-----
From: Python-list <python-list-bounces+avigross=verizon.net at python.org> On
Behalf Of Ian Kelly
Sent: Thursday, January 17, 2019 2:14 PM
To: Python <python-list at python.org>
Subject: Re: Pythonic Y2K

On Wed, Jan 16, 2019 at 9:57 PM Avi Gross <avigross at verizon.net> wrote:
>
> The forthcoming UNIX 2038 problem will, paradoxically happen on 
> January
19. I wonder what they will do long before then. Will they just add a byte
or four or 256 and then make a date measurable in picoseconds? Or will they
start using a number format that can easily deal with 1 Million B.C. and 5
Billion A.D. just in case we escape earth before it co-locates with the
expanding sun.

The obvious solution is to stop using 32-bit Unix timestamps and start using
64-bit Unix timestamps. This change has already been made in some OSes, and
the problem will not repeat until the year 292,277,026,596, by which time it
is highly unlikely that either Unix timestamps or humankind itself will
still exist. Even if they will, that moment in time is so far out from the
present that I can't really be bothered by the possibility.

We have 19 years to take care of the problem before it happens. Hopefully
this time around we won't be trying to fix it right up until the last
minute.
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