[R] Y2K compliance of R

Thomas Lumley thomas at biostat.washington.edu
Tue Mar 30 19:14:04 CEST 1999

On Tue, 30 Mar 1999, Mai Zhou wrote:

> Hi, I was thinking to ask the University computing Labs here
> to install R and I was told they need a statement that the software (R)
> is Y2K compliant. Which I cannot find in CRAN. (in addition to the 
> licensing info). 
> Is it a big issue to put such a statement in R? or this has legal implications
> that R do not want as a "free" software? 

It is an important issue. R, as the licensing says, "comes with no
warranty whatsoever". We can't provide any guarantee that R does any
particular thing correctly.

Also, if the university wants "Y2K compliance" without giving any
specification of exactly what they mean it sounds like they are just
making sure that they will be able to blame someone if things go wrong.

If they are actually interested in whether R is likely to die on
1/1/{20}00 then you could reassure them that the basic R distribution
doesn't represent years as two-digit strings anywhere. However, there is
nothing to stop the user from doing so -- garbage in, garbage out.

In any case, the current R (0.63.3) will probably be several versions
obsolete by Y2K, though there's no particular reason to think it will be
any more buggy in January than in December.

Thomas Lumley
Assistant Professor, Biostatistics
University of Washington, Seattle

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