Peter de Jager [de Yawguer -- Dutch] wrote the 1993 "Doomsday" article that got y2k awareness going. In this 1996 article, he shows why the lure of a silver bullet is so strong: it lets people stop worrying. He also describes the 18 problems that a silver bullet would have to solve.
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So begins the Silver Bullet discussion. People are very reluctant to accept that the Year 2000 problem cannot be solved in some 'simple' manner. They insist that some automatic solution can be found. That some smart genius will invent a solution that will cure the world's problem and we won't actually have to do all that work.
This belief that a Silver bullet will be found (or indeed, has been found), while understandable considering the circumstances, is pure utter nonsense. (could I state my position any clearer?)
Here's why the notion of a 'Silver Bullet' worries me. People who hear a Silver Bullet exists will think they can now put this problem off until later. The notion of a Silver Bullet raises the expectation that all will be well, that THEY DON'T HAVE TO WORRY. . . .
I have no objection to vendors claiming they have some really powerful tools. That they can offer highly automated processes. That they can greatly reduce the workload. But I object strongly to the claim that ANYONE has a Silver Bullet to the Year 2000 problem. . . .
There exists an organization who have a very critical application. Only one problem, they have lost the source code. If that's not bad enough, the source code was . . . JOVIAL. I don't mean 'funny', I mean the Language 'JOVIAL'.
Which solution would your 'silver bullet' choose? I thought so... Your Silver Bullet doesn't work for JOVIAL object modules... who would'a thought. . . .
The Year 2000 Silver Bullet... implies it will fix your entire problem automatically. Which means that it must be able to fix the problem automatically in all programs. Regardless of which language the program is written in. Even those unique and curious in-house languages which companies created to solve their unique and curious problems.
Good luck. There are languages running today that only a handful of people are even aware of, never mind expert in. . . .
I am a huge proponent of tools. I believe the only way to tackle the Y2K problem is with the help of tools. To do otherwise would be to ignore the potential savings of 20-30% (perhaps even higher) which automated tools can deliver and are delivering in many companies. This article was written purely to put into perspective why the search for a 'Silver Bullet' as I defined it in my opening paragraphs, is nothing more than a search for the Holy Grail.... you can learn a lot about the problem and yourself in the process, but you should not really expect to find it.