Year 2000: Be Concerned, Be Very Concernedgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Have you renovated your source code? Yes - quite a while ago now. Have you tested the changes? Yes - and put it into production. It's all done and dusted then? Yes. Or perhaps, no. This is the message that emerged from a conversation I had with David Jones, CEO of Reasoning.
Reasoning do Y2K inspection work - they inspect renovated code and give you a verdict on how accurate it is, offering to change it if and when they find bugs. It is a neat operation based on a software factory concept. Code can be in-and-out very quickly. In the run up to year 2000 they have been doing good business while many other Y2K companies have been watching revenues decline. However in recent weeks, they had a shock.
An insurance company that had previously sent them 30,000,000 lines of code for renovation sent them a portion of the renovated code for inspection. Reasoning found errors. They immediately went into a panic. If there were errors then surely the company's original renovation work was wrong. They checked back against the archives they keep of every job that they have done, thinking that somehow the original job was botched or even that there might be flaws in their software. (They have to keep archives in case of legal action when the millennium arrives). Relief gave way to bewilderment when they discovered that the original renovation work was fine, the errors they had discovered were new.
They informed the customer who sent back all the rest of the code for further renovation. In examining these 30,000,000 lines of code, Reasoning found about 5000 new errors (about 0.017 percent). These errors had been introduced in the space of two new releases of the insurance company's software. Roughly sixty percent of the errors would have led to data corruption.
So let us consider what this means. Unless the insurance company is anomalous, and it probably is not, the reality is than any further amendments to renovated code creates a high level of new errors. Reasoning believes that this is because of the fact that windowing, the method that most companies have used to cure the problem, creates complex logic which programmers have difficulty with - which itself implies that the year 2000 problem doesn't disappear even if you pass through the fateful day without mishap.
However, more concerning still is the fact that many companies have renovated their software but not frozen the code until Year 2000 - and understandably so, as the need for amendments regularly arises. Judging from this example they are almost certainly introducing new errors. Be concerned, be very concerned
-- c (email@example.com), September 22, 1999
Well, I know of some crazy problems out here in the real world, that companies what think they have made it, have big problems, their accounts are deleting active files,people who owe money are being told they are paid up. You can't talk to these people cause their computors are fixed are ready so there can't be a problem. Yea Right they are a buch of blink brains.
-- ET (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 22, 1999.
Basically, I rather imagine that this could be true. And I happen to believe there likely ARE problems with renovation code.
But just so I have this straight: People really get the gollywobbles because some guy named "Snark" wrote about a company that inspects y2k work? (Snark is the signature on the original piece. See referenced website above.)
I will defend to the end the right for Snark to say what Snark said ...just not in the way he said it.
Is "Snark" somebody I should know about in the Y2K world and trust, but I don't know about because well, I'm basically a mope? Does anybody know who Snark is?
You know, the people at REASONING must be real pros if "They went into immediate panic."
But it's the hynotic "Be concerned, be very concerned" title *and* last line that really nails their credibility into place for me.
I'm not a troll, but I can act like one when I see things like this.
-- Id Pro Quo (IdProQuo@aol.com), September 22, 1999.
Actually it's Boojums you have to watch out for.
-- Tom Carey (email@example.com), September 22, 1999.