Complex question. Remember, that for me Cinderella is an experiment in communication. Your question really cuts to the bone of my technique and methodology. I pose questions. Seemingly innocent. But actually composed with malice and aforethought.
People react badly to my bald statements of fact. They feel honour bound to challenge them. So I prefer to put out the bait in the form of questions or seemingly irrelevant comment. And let replies roll in and "pull" the information naturally and in a more "digestible" form.
For example there are three threads out there at the moment causing a minor riot.
They are the "Confused", "Bios Myth" and "Leap Year Coding" threads.
Just for example lets look at one.
This is the original text for "Confused", it hit the Web in a slightly different form, but this is the gist.
"I seem to have missed the bus somewhere. I keep seeing new products coming out ostensibly aimed at MVS/XA, COBOL II etc. Now as far as I know these products are as dead as the Dodo. ESA is the only possible solution. The older systems will NOT be retrofitted with Y2K compliance. Is this correct, or has something changed while I wasn't looking?"
The rationale behind the question and its wording is a little more complex.
I perceive three problems.
1. People just don't seem to be aware of the new environment.
2. People do not seem to be aware of where to find the info (or are just not bothering to get it).
3. I recently saw some code samples for the "new" COBOL date solutions. They bear no resemblance to the "old" type code.
There are new verbs, new call sequences, new techniques, new assumptions. This is not simply expanding the length of date fields, this is new logic and design. I do hope people have not been changing their systems based on the wrong assumptions. I do hope all these new Commercial "Tools" are based on this new reality.
So I posed the "Confused" question hoping to draw replies.
So far the results have been encouraging. IBM has entered the Arena directly (telling me not to be Confused but read their web site). I see this as very positive. We have to get a dynamic communication going between the participants. I am not saying that it is not happening at all but it is happening behind closed doors. I am trying to draw the debate out into the light of day, and stimulate interaction.