by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/05/14 03:00 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2006/05/14/597278.aspx
This post is telling a true story.
Not only is it true, but it has been true five different times (with minor, inconsequential variations each time with different people).
It is fair to say that I am hopeful that by posting it that there will not be a sixth time....
Anyway, it went something like this. Someone sent me an email, asking about the .NET Framework's JapaneseCalendar. He had experimentally determined the boundaries for the different eras:
Era # Date Range 1 08/09/1868 - 29/07/1912 2 30/07/1912 - 24/12/1926 3 25/12/1926 - 07/01/1989 4 08/01/1989 - ??/??/????
08/09/1868 - 29/07/1912
30/07/1912 - 24/12/1926
25/12/1926 - 07/01/1989
08/01/1989 - ??/??/????
And as part of his test cases, he needed to know what to fill in for that last date.
In fairness to him and all of the others, none of them are from Japan. They are simply developers/testers using Microsoft products, and they all had in common the fact that they did not look at the help topic....
As gently as I could, I pointed him to that MSDN topic that describes the JapaneseCalendar class, and the similar table that it presents:
GetEra value Era Name Era Abbreviation Gregorian Dates 4 平成 (Heisei) 平 (H, h) January 8, 1989 to present 3 昭和 (Showa) 昭 (S, s) December 25, 1926 to January 7, 1989 2 大正 (Taisho) 大 (T, t) July 30, 1912 to December 24, 1926 1 明治 (Meiji) 明 (M, m) September 8, 1868 to July 29, 1912
平 (H, h)
January 8, 1989 to present
昭 (S, s)
December 25, 1926 to January 7, 1989
大 (T, t)
July 30, 1912 to December 24, 1926
明 (M, m)
September 8, 1868 to July 29, 1912
And of course the important text in the Remarks section:
The Japanese calendar, which is also known as the Wareki calendar, works exactly like the Gregorian calendar, except that the year and era are different.
The Japanese calendar recognizes one era for every emperor's reign. The current era is the Heisei era, which began in the Gregorian calendar year 1989. The era name is typically displayed before the year. For example, the Gregorian calendar year 2001 is the Japanese calendar year Heisei 13. Note that the first year of an era is called "Gannen"; therefore, the Gregorian calendar year 1989 was the Japanese calendar year Heisei Gannen.
(the red emphasis is mine)
It would most definitely be a bad thing if Microsoft (or any company for that matter!) had knowledge of the end of the emperor's reign, and am sure that I am only one of many who would never wish for such knowledge to be in anyone's hands.
The expression from my heritage would be something along the lines of "may he live to be 120" but I would honestly not even want to say that, as it feels ill omened to set any kind of limit here, and I think that what the JapaneseCalendar class does, by not having a maximum date, is a strong and supportive statement of a long and powerful reign that is being [implictly] made....
This post brought to you by "平" (U+5e73, a.k.a. CJK IDEOGRAPH meaning 'flat, level, even; peaceful')
# Gabe on 14 May 2006 2:56 PM:
# Michael S. Kaplan on 14 May 2006 4:50 PM:
# Rosyna on 14 May 2006 4:54 PM:
# Centaur on 15 May 2006 3:31 AM:
# Maurits [MSFT] on 15 May 2006 12:51 PM:
# anon on 15 May 2006 4:38 PM:
# Maurits [MSFT] on 16 May 2006 5:27 PM:
John Cowan on 16 Dec 2008 2:19 PM:
"May you live to be 120 years and six months."
"Why six months?"
"I don't want you should die *suddenly*."
Also there are the Chasidim of the Dead, the Breslover Chasidim who still recognize Rebbe Nachman of Breslov as their one and only rebbe, notwithstanding he died almost 200 years ago....
2008/12/16 Grody to the Max[Date]!
2008/04/24 Y oh Y does YYYY sometimes mean YY, you ask?
2007/07/21 Theory vs. practice in software development
2006/10/25 Out of [implied] range
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