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Re: policy around 'wontfix' bug tag




On Mon, Feb 05, 2018 at 09:11:23AM -0500, rhkramer@xxxxxxxxx wrote:
I assume (I know) that the license for date is some free / open source license
that would allow you to incorporate the old code into a new function (probably
with appropriate citation / credit) and then add / modify / delete code as
desired.

OK, I will say one thing--I suspect this is something like the (forget what
they called it)--the year 2000 problem--there is code that people (and
companies depend on) that is so old that the maintainers are long gone, thus
breaking that old function wouild be a very bad thing.

IIRC it started out as a YACC function in the late 80s, and is now a Bison (YACC+GNU extensions) library. There are still people who work on it--the debug option added a couple of years ago has made it *much* easier to understand why it does the things that it does. I'm not sure that if I were implementing a new option I'd use the bison code at all (it does probably limit the contributor pool). The bigger issues aren't the choice of implementation language, they're 1) getting buy-in on what the replacement should look like and 2) getting people to use something different. It's tough, because almost every linux system out there has date(1) with the existing -d parser, and it's easier to assume that's there than to use something else. (E.g., it's possible to use python or perl or other scripting language one-liners with any number of date libraries to add much more maintainable date handling to their scripts, but most people just stick with the date(1) they know rather than using one of the alternatives.)

Mike Stone