Oct 18 2010

Dates and Bugs

Dates are the source of a large number of issues that I have had to solve, and that I may have introduced.  When working with an application that is used outside of your office, date problems will propagate.  Many date bugs are like time bombs waiting to strike at the right daylight saving change or leap year.

Date bugs come in different flavors, you have your rendering and parsing bugs where you expect one format and are given a different one.  You have your timezone problems, where you expect Pacific Standard Time (PST) and you are given Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).  I also enjoyed working on daylight saving issues caused when the Bush administration passed a law that changed when the start of daylight savings time occurred in 2007.  In addition to date issues caused by policy change, there are geopolitical issues.  For example, many Caribbean countries don’t change their timezone for daylight savings, they are on Eastern Standard Time (EST) year long.  And I haven’t even mentioned the classic date issue of all time, the Y2K bug.