OT: patenting an old year/date concept, to make millions

From: Megan <mbg_at_world.std.com>
Date: Mon Nov 15 18:23:19 1999

>I am confused here just a little bit. And I am not taking exception to
>what was done in V5.7 - in fact, I believe that the decisions which were
>made were correct. However, if "this was fixed in RT-11 V5.7" is what I
>think the word "fixed" means, then not allowing the command: "DATE
>01-Jan-72" in all versions of RT-11 which did allow the command "DATE
>01-Jan-73" means that these previous versions had a "bug".

I sure consider it a bug... and the fact that it was fixed in V5.7
proves it...

>If a "bug" is the correct interpretation for not allowing a year of 1972,
>I wonder why the developers of RT-11 never corrected that aspect in all
>the years of RT-11 development?

I can tell you that I never knew it was there as a problem until you
commented on it the other day. If I had known back when working on
RT for DEC, I would have fixed it immediately.

I suspect that what happened was something like this:

        1) The original gods of RT, developing for an OS to be
           released for use in 1972, developed a date command which
           worked properly for 1972 and as far into the future as
           they figured it would be around.

        2) At some point after the beginning of the RT epoch
           (certainly later than the beginning of 1973), someone
           was responding to a bug report about the date command
           doing something wrong with an invalid date, so it was
           decided to add some code to validate the date word in
           the RMON fixed offset area before attempting to report

        3) The 'fix' made was to check the year field and reject it
           if it was zero. Being after 1972, and the PIP /L option
           working just fine, it was decided the fix was good.

        4) Since time doesn't go backward, newer developers never
           encountered the bug...

>Personally, I always was confused that DIR accepted 1972 as a perfectly
>legal DATE to be displayed, but then RT-11 in general, regarded 1972 as
>invalid. I felt that aspect was a "bug" in itself, but nothing to
>complain about. There were too many other serious bugs to be fixed

Too many other?! Makes it sound like we should have distributed Raid
with the kit... :-)

                                        Megan Gentry
                                        Former RT-11 Developer

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Received on Mon Nov 15 1999 - 18:23:19 GMT

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