Why we can change calendar systems alright

Tags: datetime, networking.
By lucb1e on 2012-04-16 10:47:21 +0100

IPv6 is probably one of the biggest changes we have ever tried to undertake. It affects billions of people, and hundreds of thousands of engineers need to learn how to work with it. It'll succeed of course with the hot breath of a lingering shortage of addresses in our neck, but it's a really big operation.

IPv6 is better in many ways, not just number of addresses though. But it would have taken forever, perhaps literally, to switch without the address shortage. I feel it's the same for our calendar system.

To switch time systems, everything has to change. To sum up every system that has to change in order for you to continue reading this blog:
- You;
- Your browser (Firefox, Chrome, ...);
- Windows;
- The DNS server;
- The NIC (network card);
- Your router;
- Your modem;
- Your ISP's routers, switches and other equipment;
- Equipment in the peering exchange;
- Internet backbone's equipment;

And the entire way back up from the internet backbone to me.

That's a lot of things. Not that everything has to change that much, mostly just the interface and some protocols need to get updated. Also as we say here, many hands make light work. Mozilla made your browser, Microsoft your OS, Cisco your router, protocols are often maintained at the IETF, etc. Everyone just has to do their share.

One of the hardest things about this is that time systems can be mind-blowing at times. But being unable to work with time this is nothing new, I bet that two-third of the educated world's population can't even tell me what time it is in GMT+3 right now, even without considering daylight saving time. This is pretty stupid to me, but most people simply never work with this kind of stuff.

So this may seem a frightening lot of work for it to ever succeed.

But let me tell you what has to change in order to completely drop IPv4 support globally, which we are going to in a matter of years:
- Your browser (Firefox, Chrome, ...);
- Windows;
- The DNS server;
- The NIC (network card);
- Your router;
- Your modem;
- Your ISP's routers, switches and other equipment;
- Equipment in the peering exchange;
- Internet backbone's equipment;

And the same things the entire way back up to me.

You see, the only problem is you. You are the only thing I left out in the IPv6 change list.

So it is certainly possible, we just need to see the importance of it. I said before that time systems are kind of mind-blowing at times, but this change is supposed to get rid of that. Changing time systems makes working with dates and times simpler. It doesn't take more than 30 minutes to understand it, and I think at most a week or two to get used to it. You'll never want to go back.
lucb1e.com
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