[kwlug-disc] OT: Apple's iPhone iPad etc Daylight to Std time bug

Khalid Baheyeldin kb at 2bits.com
Sat Nov 6 15:48:02 EDT 2010

On Sat, Nov 6, 2010 at 3:34 PM, unsolicited <unsolicited at swiz.ca> wrote:

> Is this really any different than the year 2000 problem?

No, it is not, despite some similarlity.

The Y2K thing was a fixed future date for everyone, and systems that
were being written as late as early to mid 90s used 2 digits for the year.
Lack of forethought, cutting corners, lack of budgets (for development, as
well as for storage), underestimating application longevity, pure slopiness
are all among the reasons.

Also, Y2K was a massive effort, but a one time event.

In this case, this is a twice a year recurring event for far more devices
than what was out there 10 years ago.

In this case, the problem domain is unnecessarily complex, due to outside
factors (e.g. not all states in the USA follow the same rules, countries
Egypt will change to summer time, then back to winter time when the fasting
month of Ramadan comes in summer [to make the day "feel" shorter], then
back to summer time for a few weeks more! Then we changed the calculation
of when the dates take effect to be in sync with the USA for business

This is all outside complexity that has to make it into software. Much like
and accounting laws have to be changed every year in Quicken/QuickBooks
and other

The proper solution is external, not software: do we really need DST, and
its confusion in real life, groggy employees in March, missed flights,

Again, I am not hopeful that the problem domain will change just to make
easier for developers. But until that happens, expect these kind of issues
popup everywhere.

And think beyond iPhones and VCRs. What about life critical devices such
as pacemakers, insulin pumps, ...etc?


Khalid M. Baheyeldin
2bits.com, Inc.
Drupal optimization, development, customization and consulting.
Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. --  Edsger W.Dijkstra
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. --   Leonardo da Vinci
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