General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

Remember the Y2K 'bug'? Apparently New Zealand payment computers didn't realize this year had a Leap Day.

Asked by elbanditoroso (33133points) 1 month ago

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How does a company in this day and age NOT realize that every four years, we add a Leap Day?

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6 Answers

gorillapaws's avatar

In programming, the concept of time, calendars and clocks is actually really tricky to get right. It’s always best to use a built-in library to handle the logic of time, but sometimes naive programmers will try to do it themselves and get themselves into trouble. Here’s a list of Falsehoods Programmers believe about Time.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

How such a “professional” was entrusted with programming a system with real-world monetary
consequences is a mystery.

I wrote a calendar program in high school that accounted for leap days, the lack of leap days in years divisible by 100 (unless the year is also divisible by 400), and the 1752 switch in England and its colonies from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. (That last bit was accomplished by simply refusing to print a calendar for years before 1753).

This was so long ago that I typed out the program on a terminal where the display was a roll of paper on a teletype.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Call_Me_Jay “How such a “professional” was entrusted with programming a system with real-world monetary consequences is a mystery.”

They probably outsourced the code to the cheapest foreign developers they could find.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well…we are just primates after all.

jca2's avatar

When I used to work for the government, we used to refer to the people who made this kind of error/did this level of quality work as “the lowest bidder.”

Forever_Free's avatar

I bet their Stock Prices LEAPED downward.
It shows the lack of thinking on that firm.

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