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Pythonic Y2K


On Friday 18 January 2019 16:55:28 Avi Gross 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!
>
> 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." --

I would quite cheerfully have bought a ticket to watch and hear your 
reply, Larry.

Or better yet, silently reached into your briefcase and brought out an 
invoice, listing what and where you patched, and what you would normally 
charge to find and fix each one individually when the gun went off for 
real 36 hours back and his fund was losing 1% an hour.  Sometimes the 
truth shuts them up but theres usually some yelling involved.

> https://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/python-list


Cheers, Gene Heskett
-- 
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
Genes Web page <http://geneslinuxbox.net:6309/gene>