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Pythonic Y2K


On Fri, Jan 18, 2019 at 4:56 PM Avi Gross <avigross at verizon.net> wrote:
>
> Larry,
>
> I keep hearing similar things about the Flu Vaccine. It only works 40% of
> the time or whatever. But most of the people that get the flu get a
> different strain they were not vaccinated against!

That seems like a complete non-sequitur. What does that have to do with Y2K?

But I will tell you something: I've never had a flu vaccine in my life
and I've never had the flu.

And I will tell you something else: I have proof that worrying works -
99% of the things I worry about never happen, so it must work.

And please stop top posting.

> There are hundreds of strains out there and by protecting the herd against
> just a few, others will flourish. So was it worth it?
>
> Your argument would be that your work found lots of things related to Y2000
> that could have been a problem and therefore never got a chance to show. I
> wonder if anyone did a case study and found an organization that refused to
> budge and changed nothing, not even other products that were changed like
> the OS? If such organizations had zero problems, that would be interesting.
> If they had problems and rapidly had their software changed or fixed, that
> would be another and we could ask if the relative cost and consequence made
> such an approach cheaper.
>
> But in reality, I suspect that many of the vendors supplying products made
> the change for all their clients. I bet Oracle might have offered some
> combination of new and improved products to replace old ones or tools that
> could be used to say read in a database in one format and write it out again
> with wider date fields.
>
> The vast difference some allude to is realistic. Y2K swept the globe in
> about 24 hours. No easy way to avoid it for many applications. Someone
> running python 2.X on their own machines may be able to continue living in
> their bubble for quite a while. If you sell or share a product with python
> frozen into an app, it makes no difference. But asking some clients to
> maintain multiple copies of python set up so one app keeps running as all
> others use the newer one, may not remain a great solution indefinitely.
>
> Has anyone considered something that may be at the edges. How well do
> cooperating programs work together? I mean if program one processes and
> saves some data structures using something like pickle, and program two is
> supposed to read the pickle back in and continue processing, then you may
> get anomalies of many kinds if they use different pythons. Similarly,
> processes that start up other scripts and communicate with them, may need to
> start newer programs that use the 3.X or beyond version as no back-ported
> version exists. The bubble may enlarge and may eventually burst.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Python-list <python-list-bounces+avigross=verizon.net at python.org> On
> Behalf Of Larry Martell
> Sent: Friday, January 18, 2019 10:47 AM
> To: Python <python-list at python.org>
> Subject: Re: Pythonic Y2K
>
> On Fri, Jan 18, 2019 at 10:43 AM Michael Torrie <torriem at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > 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.
>
> I had one client, a hedge fund, that I fixed literally 1000's of Y2K issues
> for. When Y2K came and there were no problems, the owner said to me "You
> made such a big deal about the Y2K thing, and nothing happened."