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The A3C Connection, July/August/September 1998 The A3C Connection
July/Aug/Sept 1998 Contents What's New at the ACCC ACCC Free Public Labs The Case of the 100-Year-Old Babies The Year 2000, UIC, and You Microcomputer Software and Hardware
What Does Y2K Compliant Mean? The ACCC Y2K Plan The Right Format for Dates ACCC Free Seminars, Fall '98 About the A3C Connection  

What Does Y2K Compliant Mean?

  This is an important question. PC Profile, a software and consulting company based in Adelaide, South Australia, offers one vendor's description in their article that discusses whether there is such a thing as a fully compliant system ( ):
  • The program should require a century indicator on all dates that it receives and produces.
  • All date calculations, whether in one century or multiple centuries, must neither cause an abnormal ending nor generate incorrect results. [Duh!]
  • All records sort by date properly in both directions (ascending or descending).
  • Leap years will be determined correctly. [See The Year 2000 is a Leap Year.]
  • All hard-coding in century fields and date fields has been removed or prohibited.
  • Date fields are not used for purposes other than for dates. [For example, using hard-coded dates such as 09/09/99 as an "end of file" marker.]
  • Applications that interface with other applications or that import or export dates do not alter the date settings of other software.
The problem is, of course, that each vendor has its own definition, which may not include all of these provisions. (The last provision is a hard one to follow; see Remember -- what the vendors say might not apply to you.)

What Does Y2K Compliant Not Mean?

It does not mean that you'll have any idea what the system will do when it encounters dates with two digit years. Many use windowing schemes (see "The Year 2000 Pledge" on page 4), and they're all different. The Federal Year 2000 Commercial Off-the-Shelf Product Database ( ) has a quick summary of the Y2K behavior of many popular software packages, including their windowing scheme; there's a link to it on the UIC Year 2000 home page.

The A3C Connection, July/Aug/Sept 1998 Previous:  Microcomputer Software and Hardware Next:  The ACCC Y2K Plan

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