A la recherche du bug de l'an 2000 : une mission facturée à l'heure

Il s'agissait de vérifier si un produit (ITG) distribué par AccuMeasure continuerait à fonctionner après le premier janvier 2000.

L'application avait été écrite il y a plus de 10 ans. Le client disposait des sources : 1488 fichiers (sources C et makefile), mais n'avait plus de personnel compétent.

J'ai fourni un rapport qui concluait que j'avais trouvé 3 bugs concernant les dates mais aucun spécifique à l'an 2000.

Le client (Jim Rose) a été très satisfait de la prestation :
.... thanks for doing the ITG testing. .... The $3000 seems very fair (a very good price), as it seems like you have done a lot of hard work.

Echange de mails

from Jim Rose, AccuMeasure : 31 Mar 1999
I have two questions about ITG: can you determine if it is Year 2000 compliant, and can we support it on Windows 95/98. I am very willing to pay you for checking into this, as it is important to a few customers, and one of the customers is still buying a few copies a month.

from Guy Dalberto : 12 Apr 1999
I don't know what I will find, but if you want I can have a look. For that kind of job, my hourly rate is US$ 80, or 600 for a whole day, plus taxes. At the end of each day you get a mail resuming what I have done/found. I send the bill at the end of the month, and you must pay immediately. (or you must explain what I have done wrong)

from Jim Rose : 14 Apr 1999
Thanks for your message. That sounds good to me. I will be able to pay you at the end of May, so you might want to wait until May to do this work. We are just shipping quite a few FTM workstation upgrades, so we will be in a better financial position at the end of May. Do you have an idea of how long it might take? I know that this is not a 'fair' question, but I thought I would ask anyway.

from Guy Dalberto : 23 Jun 1999
Well I had a first look. You will find the comments in the file appended. It's the same file in two formats. I spent two days doing that. I think I understand a little better what is ITG now . If you think it's ok I will look at the structure for another day, and then then I will search for the potential Y2K problems the next day. But I am less and less optimistic about what can be done without a drastic overhaul. So If find a potential problem I think you will just be able to tell your costumer about it.

from Jim Rose : 23 Jun 1999
Thanks for starting to take a look at ITG. I recognize that it probably will not be possible to modify ITG if there is a Year 2000 problem. Hopefully, there will not be a problem, and so we will not have to deal with that. I have one customer, Hewlett-Packard, who is still purchasing ITG. They use ITG for the one use that is still OK for now, as a front panel to run their special driver that happens to be for a big telecommunications test set. The primary reason I want to investigate Year 2000 compatibility is to determine if HP will have a problem at the Year 2000. ITG is small part of the cost of the overall system, but it is certainly necessary for them. It will be just fine if you spend another 2 to 3 days to determine whether ITG is likely to be Year 2000 compatible. I will be out of town from this Friday, June 25, until July 15. Is it OK to pay you after I return? If not, please let me know right away.

from Guy Dalberto : 2 Jul 1999
You will find all the details in the doc file. The rtf file is just the same, in case you don't use M$ products. I am pretty sure that ITG will be okay during the next years, but you should make also a real test, as what I say is just a conclusion obtained from searching for date patterns in the sources. All in all I spent 38 hours on that work. That makes it 38 * 80 = 3000 US$. When you will come back, we'll see what I should write on the invoice. I'll be away from Valence from july the 5th to july the 16th.

from Jim Rose : 27 Jul 1999
Thanks for your message a few weeks ago, and also thanks for doing the ITG testing. I'm glad you didn't find anything that looks like it will blow up in the year 2000. For the invoice, it would be good if you could put 'ITG Year 2000 Test'. The $3000.00 seems very fair (a very good price), as it seems like you have done a lot of hard work.