Will something really happen or just another April Fool's Day?

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Okay, guys, here's the $64 question. We all know April 1 is another drop dead day: fiscal Year rollovers for Japan, Canada and the state of NY (with the UK soon to follow, on April 6). So, what will happen? Will NY state pensioners suddenly not get their checks, etc. etc. Is this something serious or another red herring BS non-event. You folks with experience in programing these systems need to speak up on this. Ed, maybe you could chip in on this one. Thanks, everyone... Sandmann

-- Novacop (Sandmann@alasbab.com), March 28, 1999


Response to Wii something really happen or just another April Fool's Day?

Well, we know that it won't have any impact on embedded systems -- so we're not going to see any failures of process control systems, refineries, utilities, or things of that sort.

It also means that we're not going to see problems in PC BIOS chips or non-compliant PC operating systems.

The problems will exist in application programs that are aware of, and make use of, the end-date of the fiscal year, i.e., March 31, 2000. Thus, we're almost certainly talking about financial systems, tax systems, etc. It's likely to have the greatest impact on report- writing programs that spew out spreadsheet-looking reports with rows and columns of numbers, showing budget figures for all 12 months of the fiscal year.

Several people have argued that we probably won't see any problems in the day-to-day transaction-processing systems, e.g., the systems that process daily receipts and daily disbursements of funds. However, if there are any logic-checks that ask questions like, "Is this disbursement legitimate within the context of a full fiscal year?", THAT could cause problems.

As with most other aspects of Y2K, the bottom line is that we really don't know where and how the problems will hit. What's fairly obvious, given the experience from the Euro rollover, is that any minor or modest problems will be hidden pretty well within the bureaucracy. However, if it causes something comparable to the NJ food-stamp problem (yes, yes, I know that the officials have now described that problem as a non-Y2K problem), then it will be hard to cover up. If a hundred thousand retired civil service workers don't get their monthly pension check, you'll definitely see it on the evening news program.

It will be interesting to see how it turns out...


-- Ed Yourdon (ed@yourdon.com), March 28, 1999.

Ed, sir, WADR I'm SURPRISED at you!! NJ is quintesentially a Y2K problem. The NEW REMEDIATED program had a problem in date handling. The humanentered "199" and teh program shifted left and filled with a zero. the date edit SHOULD have caught that it was a 3 digit entry and dumped back for a correct date. this was in teh REMEDIATEDS software, and therefor becomes a Y2K bug (albeit perhaps one of those pesky "introduced during correction" bugs) but still......

Chuck, who knows how to spec and TEST a simple date edit.

WADR= With All Due Respect

-- Chuck, a night driver (reinzoo@en.com), March 28, 1999.

Yes...it will be interesting to watch.

Problems that arise from fiscal-year roll overs certainly won't occur en masse at the stroke of midnight, 1 April,1999. If that were the case, where are the news reports of massive IT failures from all the companies that rolled over on1 February, 1999 - almost two months ago?

Most financial peeks into the future are used to trigger a decision at 6 months, 90 days, 60 days and 30 days before the targeted date. That's why June, 1999 is important...The targeted look-ahead date will require a calculation that results in a value that is recognized and valid for further use by other "action" software or people.

Fiscal years are still for accounting and tax purposes. Operational years are calendar based. It is now March, 1999. One year from now is March, 2000. Where are the massive failures from software looking ahead one year from today? If you are looking at fiscal-year roll overs as precursors to future y2k failures, I think you're looking at the wrong indicator.

I think we'll see indicators starting in July, increasing in October, exciting in November and thrilling in December. Of course, I'm always open to learn from others...

-- PNG (png@gol.com), March 28, 1999.

Also see the thread:


"fiscal years reported as yr 2000"

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), March 29, 1999.

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