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Bug#653158: www.debian.org: /y2k/ page is probably obsolete

On Sat, Dec 24, 2011 at 8:34 AM, Paul Wise <pabs@debian.org> wrote:

> Since we are now well past Y2K, it is probably time to delete this:
> http://www.debian.org/y2k/
> Any objections?

I have three reasons / possibilities why this might not be desirable:

(1) Are there any major institutions which still care about Y2K
compliance?  I'm thinking specifically about governmental (or
corporate) procurement compliance policies, but there may be other
things also which care about this sort of thing.  If there are, this
page may still be helpful in addressing those policies.  Remember,
governments and corporations move ... "slowly", in changing their
policies and practices once established.

(2) Y2038.  A related issue to the Y2K mess was/is the Y2038 mess,
which specifically affects Unix and Unix-like OSen (like Debian
Linux), and more particularly ones which still have a definition of
time_t as a 32-bit value.  In a quick search of the Debian web site
(search.d.o, searching for term "2038" [not in quotes]), the only
thing I quickly find related to this is a page on "Debian and the
Millennium Bug", at URL
http://www.debian.org/News/1998/19980104.en.html .  It seems to me
that the Y2K page might be helpful in constructing a page for Debian's
actions concerning and response to the Y2038 issue, if and when this
is done.  (I suspect it is likely that Debian will need to address
this at _some_ point, unless there is a decision made at some point to
not support any 32-bit architectures any more, which decision I
personally find ... unlikely, considering the ubiquity of Debian and
of Linux itself.)

Another interesting page I found in Google searching for Y2038 (I
couldn't remember if it was Y2038 or Y2036 or whatever) was the URL
http://www.y2038.com/ which at a very quick glance seems to be a more
general page on the issue, not Debian (or even Unix / Unix-like)

(3) Historical interest.  Even tho the actual date has come and gone,
and the issue has presumably already either been fully resolved or
else visibly manifested itself, people might still be interested in
the issue, even if for no other reason than because it _was_ in fact a
significant issue in the history of computing.  Or, perhaps,
interested in it as an example of "what not to do in the future" (e.g.
fail to think in a sufficiently long-term manner -- for instance, can
we perhaps expect to have a "Y9999+1" issue, one day?)  I note, for
instance, the page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y2k -- admittedly,
Debian is not attempting to be encyclopedic in the same sense as
Wikipedia (nor do I think it should make the attempt), but the
principle still applies.

More personally ... I, myself, am an information pack rat; I hate to
throw away information, because you never know if it'll be needed (or
just wanted) again one day.  Is there an actual _need_ to delete this
information, are the computers running the web site running out of
bits or name space?

Now, I would agree with augmenting or altering / rewriting the
existing page, to make it clear it's referring to a past event, it's
being retained primarily (or solely) for reasons of historical
interest, and it's unlikely (or certain) to not be updated any
further.  I could also see the page being moved to a different place,
say to www.d.o/archive/y2k or something similar (where it is still
indexable and findable by web spiders, e.g. Google, et al).  Either or
both of those things would seem reasonable to do, express the current
status of the page and the information it contains, but retain the
information for anyone who might still be interested in it now or in
the future.  (Note, if the page is moved, a pointer to its new
location from the existing page should be established for at least
some time.)

Hope this is of some use, interest.  Thanks for your time.  Be well.


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