[tz] US feds & Y2K

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Fri Apr 11 21:49:39 UTC 2014

random832 at fastmail.us wrote:
> I wonder if they should really be deleting this, rather than amending it
> to some rolling rule.

It would make sense for the federal government to have a Y2038 
requirement now rather than waiting until 23 years from now.

Most cell phones and other 32-bit platforms would not conform, as 
they'll stop working when 32-bit time_t values roll around, so it may be 
a bit much to insist that every government acquisition conform right 
away.  At least, though, there should be a well-documented expiration 
date on whatever hardware and/or software the federal government acquires.

A few 32-bit platforms have fixed the Y2038 problem by going to 64-bit 
time_t.  I know of NetBSD 6.0 (Oct. 2012), OpenBSD 5.5 (scheduled for 
next month), and GNU/Linux x32 (a 32-bit ABI on a 64-bit kernel, not 
part of any widely-used distribution).  Making a real system work well 
past 2038 can be a challenge even with these operating systems, though, 
as many of their file systems, applications, and protocols are still 
limited to 32-bit time_t values.

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