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Pythonic Y2K


Reminds me of a similar problem that didn't get noticed until it did actually hit: In 2007 the first time a group of F-22's crossed the international date line every computer system in the aircraft crashed, losing comms, navigation, avionics, and a host of other systems. Fortunately their engines, landing gear, and enough other systems still worked, so they were able to visually follow their refueling tankers back to Hawaii and land, where they had to sit for a couple days before Lockheed could patch their software.

If the circumstances had been a little different they could have lost a whole group of shiny new $150 million aircraft to a software bug and left a bunch a pilots floating in life rafts for a while in the middle of the Pacific.


-----Original Message-----
From: Python-list [mailto:python-list-bounces+david.raymond=tomtom.com at python.org] On Behalf Of Michael Torrie
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2019 10:36 AM
To: python-list at python.org
Subject: Re: Pythonic Y2K

On 01/16/2019 12:02 PM, Avi Gross wrote:
> I recall the days before the year 2000 with the Y2K scare when people
> worried that legacy software might stop working or do horrible things once
> the clock turned. It may even have been scary enough for some companies to
> rewrite key applications and even switch from languages like COBOL.

Of course it wasn't just a scare.  The date rollover problem was very
real. It's interesting that now we call it the Y2K "scare" and since
most things came through that okay we often suppose that the people who
were warning about this impending problem were simply being alarmist and
prophets of doom.  We often deride them.  But the fact is, people did
take these prophets of doom seriously and there was a massive, even
heroic effort, to fix a lot of these critical backend systems so that
disaster was avoided (just barely).  I'm not talking about PCs rolling
over to 00.  I'm talking about banking software, mission critical
control software.  It certainly was scary enough for a lot of companies
to spend a lot of money rewriting key software.  The problem wasn't with
COBOL necessarily.

In the end disaster was averted (rather narrowly) thanks to the hard
work of a lot of people, and thanks to the few people who were vocal in
warning of the impending issue.

That said, I'm not sure Python 2.7's impending EOL is comparable to the
Y2K crisis.
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