David Hall warns that talk about being 90% compliant -- which is rare enough these days -- may be misleading. The final 10% of the repair may turn out to be impossible because of the first 90%.
He warns that the initial repair will contains problems. There is a very great need for thorough testing, with enough time on the back end to repair and test again.
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Date: Sun, 28 Dec 1997
. . . I have seen several companies that were "90% finished with their Yr2K projects" only to find that the last 10% was impossible to accomplish due to HOW they "fixed" the other systems within the company. Their only option was a total replacement rather than the "fix" they had "planned". Whether or not the replacements will be done in time for the new century, they haven't a clue. Also there are several external interfaces that might just mess up a good "fix" before implementation. I refer here to the notes that the US IRS is expected to require four digit year fields in any electronic data sent to its systems. If true, that should really mess up a lot of windowing schemes, or at least add additional bridging/program work on to the end of the existing plans.
This is the first problem where we as a community (global, country, community, personal) have had to determine WHAT the other fellow is doing so that our work can interface. We have not been good at that type of work (anyone want a Beta VCR?), so I fully expect that when our Yr2K work is tested through its interfaces, very little will actually work properly the first time. I recommend, like our collegues in the UK, that the US have a Yr2K test day for its EDI and other types of interfacing systems. The Knoxville (TN) electric utility is going to run a full physical test of its Yr2K fixes on Labor Day 1998 according to some articles I have read. Such tests would be a great way to not only test the system interfaces, but also bring Yr2K attention to the public and congress/administration types who insist we will have a balanced budget over the next decade.
Dave HallOpinions are my own and not those of my employer