[svlug] Re: Y2K and Linux

J C Lawrence claw at kanga.nu
Sun Apr 4 22:55:36 PDT 1999

On 5 Apr 1999 02:47:10 GMT 
Marc MERLIN<marc_news at merlins.org> wrote:

> Are we talking loss of functionality or minor date printing issues?
> The reason I ask is that as long as the program doesn't refuse to
> work (like at(1) refusing to schedule stuff after Y2K), I don't care
> much about minor issues.

Problems, even minor ones such as misformatted dates can have very
serious side effects in RL scenarios.  If a backup tool prints dates
in the wrong format due to a Y2K you'd be pretty ticked off if that
meant that it overwrote new binaries with older ones inside your
restore scripts, or if your tarball, when restored to disk, marked all
files with dates in the beginning of this century rather than early
next, or how about my mail system throwing as staledated away every
message that passes thru your system, because it timestamps it almost
100 years etc.

Small problems with dates can trivially expand into very serious
problems when dates are mishandled.  

> All the tools you mentioned above have GNU equivalents (except maybe
> for dump, which won't work on any filesystem type), so it's not a
> huge issue since usually the first thing I do anyway is replace the
> system tools with the GNU versions.

I'm not aware of any exposures in the GNU tools.  I also haven't
chekced them or seen the Y2K reports on them.  I expect that they are
in good shape.  I also expected that the other tools I did do Y2K
surveys on would be in good shape.  Due your own research, make your
own decisions, and be willing to bear the responsibility for the end
results that bears.  That's the only real choice.

> I am assuming that most if not all the GNU tools are Y2K compliant,
> and most other non FSF tools supplied on your average linux
> distribution are either Y2K compliant, or don't break in any major
> way.  If I am mistaken, feel free to correct me.

This is something I haven't checked into.  It is something I will be
checking into.

> For the few things that break, I don't think it's any worse than
> x11amp or xosview breaking with a newer version of the kernel.

As always, the impact is dependent on the load.  A minor or ignorable
problem for one can easily be utter catastrophe for another.

J C Lawrence                              Internet: claw at kanga.nu
----------(*)                            Internet: coder at kanga.nu
...Honorary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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