[tz] The Y2038 problem is 20 years away

Matthew Donadio matt at mxd120.com
Fri Jan 19 14:03:16 UTC 2018

On Thu, Jan 18, 2018 at 10:14 PM, Tim Parenti <tim at timtimeonline.com> wrote:

> It is now 03:14 UTC on 19 January 2018.  Twenty years from now, POSIX and
> POSIX-based timestamps, which have more-or-less been counting seconds since
> 1970, will reach 2^31 and thus overflow signed 32-bit integers.  Since all
> sorts of forward-looking date arithmetic abounds, it is inevitable that
> there are still active applications that will mishandle this.  Twenty years
> out is an interesting point when more of those seams might start to show,
> and left unpatched, that would only increase as we approach 2038.  It's
> much like Y2K, but in binary… and with seconds.
> So keep your eyes peeled in the near future for anything suddenly thinking
> it'll somehow be December 1901 in the slightly-more-distant future.  You
> have some insight into just why that'll be happening.

Something to keep in mind with this is that even if you are on a 64-bit
architecture, these are some instances where you may be working with 32-bit
timestamps.  I know some PHP builds for Windows are like this (the builds
are actually 32-bit).  This can make unit testing very difficult if you
can't properly test in an affected environment.

--Matthew Donadio (matt at mxd120.com)
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