• Subject: Re: AS400 Date Window For *MDY
  • From: Jim Langston <jlangston@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 15 Oct 1999 15:53:21 -0700
  • Organization: Conex Global Logistics Services, Inc.

The fact is the "standard" on AS/400's is to use IBM's date field.  With the
unwritten understanding that our logic should still work as long as we don't
do anything "tricky" with it.  Put in a date and do simple math and functions
on it and it becomes a black box.

Being a black box, it makes absolutely no difference to us how IBM stores
it.  IBM could decide to store it as the # of days since 010101 if they wanted
to and, in theory, our programs would still work.  If the OS stores a date as
32134 or 38291032 doesn't matter to me, as long as when I call for the date
I get the same date that was entered originally.

When 2040 approaches, and IBM changes their OS to store dates differently,
and they convert dates to the new method however they wish to do it (perhaps
on the OS upgrade) my programs should still work, right?

Regards,

Jim Langston

P.S.  I never considered the 2 digit date limitation an OPP, back in 1985 or so
I was working at a company that stored dates in 2 digit fields.  I brought it up
to
the boss (the owner of the company) that it wouldn't work after 1999 and he said
he knew, that they were going to upgrade it before then, but to leave it as it
was.

Then it became his problem and not mine (and he was a programmer too).


John Taylor wrote:

> Jim,
>
> I think that this would be a difficult move for IBM to make. It would place
> them in a position of breaking existing code by changing the documented
> behaviour of the operating system. This is something that they,
> understandably, are always reluctant to do.
>
> Personally, I would like to see them add an enhancement that allows a
> customer to specify their own window for 6 digit dates. The time to do this
> is now, before the use of the date data type becomes so pervasive that
> changing it's behaviour is no longer an option.
>
> I'm somewhat confused as to why IBM did it that way in the first place. It
> seems to me that a sliding window would be much more usefull.
>
> I completely agree with you that it would eventually become an OPP. I
> certainly don't plan on writing any more code at that age. However, it is my
> problem TODAY - because I'm aware of it. And I feel a moral responsibility
> to address it now, before it becomes a big problem. Unfortunately, at the
> present time, that means avoiding the use of the date data type for 6 digit
> date formats.
>
> John
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: owner-midrange-l@midrange.com
> > [mailto:owner-midrange-l@midrange.com]On Behalf Of Jim Langston
> > Sent: Thursday, October 14, 1999 5:24 PM
> > To: MIDRANGE-L@midrange.com
> > Subject: Re: AS400 Date Window For *MDY
> >
> >
> > Well, basically Taylor, if we are using IBM's date fields, and the year
> > 2040 approaches, IBM is going to have to do something to update
> > the date fields.  When that happens, our programs will still work without
> > us having to do anything.
> >
> > It now becomes an OPP (Other Person's Problem).
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Jim Langston
> >
> > John Taylor wrote:
> >
> > > Judging from the responses to this thread, it appears that we
> > have chosen to
> > > deal with this by sticking our heads in the sand, or passing
> > the buck - yet
> > > again.
> > >
> > > Ironically, if someone were to suggest that we store those dates in *MDY
> > > format (true date fields) within the database, there would be
> > no shortage of
> > > people standing in line to explain why that is a bad thing.
> > >
> > > John Taylor
> > >
> > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > From: <KLChilds@aol.com>
> > > To: <MIDRANGE-L@midrange.com>
> > > Sent: Thursday, October 14, 1999 13:36
> > > Subject: Re: AS400 Date Window For *MDY
> > >
> > > > LOL  !!!
> > > > +---
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