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Unread 29-02-2008, 09:27   #1
weehamster
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Default A leap year too far for the RPA

I just saw this over on Boards.ie
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Guess what - The Luas Smart Card doesn't recognise today - Feb 29. It very kindly lets you tag on and take your journey but when you go to tag off the zapper thingy says "invalid date" and won't tag off. This means you're charged for the whole length of the line!!!!

I rang Luas and they said the smart card isn't programmed for Feb 29 as it is an extra day so they took note of where I travelled from and to and said they couldn't refund the difference on to my card but would send me out a cheque for the difference!.

They suggested buying a ticket if I'm using the Luas later !
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Unread 29-02-2008, 09:40   #2
Mark Gleeson
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This is just unreal, this is a Y2K style bug someone somewhere should be taken out and shot for this. Any professional software developer always pays attention to the abnormal cases, leap years being the big one when dealing with dates and time.

A trip with camera is required now
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Unread 29-02-2008, 10:19   #3
Mark Hennessy
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Absolutely shocking.

Why are the RPA being allowed run the smart card project again?
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Unread 29-02-2008, 11:10   #4
James Shields
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Testing for leap years is first year comp-sci stuff! Is it acceptable that people have to phone in to claim their refund? Think how much extra revenue RPA/Veolia are taking from people who don't notice the error tagging off.

I'm wondering how IE's automatic validators will like my yearly ticket that expires end Feb (i.e. Today). I didn't happen to go through an automatic validator this morning, but I'll have to go through several later to collect my 2008 ticket.
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Unread 29-02-2008, 11:23   #5
Mark Gleeson
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Never had reports of problems with IE tickets and the 29th
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Unread 29-02-2008, 11:34   #6
Colm R
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A leap year happens every 4 years except?

No googling!

Going to have to get my future Grand Children to keep an eye on it when it come around!!
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Unread 29-02-2008, 11:43   #7
Mark Gleeson
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When its 1900

It must be divisible by 4, but if divisible by 100 its not a leap year unless also divisible by 400

Hence 2000 is good, 1900 is not, this also explains why computer clocks like 1904 since it bypasses the complexities, the original mac clock started in 1904 as does that used inside excel.

Since the strange rules don't apply to 2008 clearly the code within has no comprehension of leap years

Curiously enough I can't understand how the smart card in single journey mode is worried about the actual date

Last edited by Mark Gleeson : 29-02-2008 at 11:46.
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Unread 29-02-2008, 11:49   #8
Thomas J Stamp
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every 200 years, in order to do something or other to do with something.
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Unread 29-02-2008, 13:07   #9
Mark Gleeson
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Entire smartcard system has been disabled
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Unread 29-02-2008, 14:16   #10
Colm R
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Nothing on the Luas website. Anything on the media.
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Unread 29-02-2008, 14:18   #11
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Nothing
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Unread 29-02-2008, 14:26   #12
James Shields
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So what's the rule if you show up with a valid smart card and the validator isn't working? Can you travel with your unvalidated smartcard, or must you queue up to buy a ticket?
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Unread 29-02-2008, 14:39   #13
Mark Gleeson
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You must always have a valid ticket, if all the machines are out you can't board
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Unread 29-02-2008, 15:46   #14
Colm R
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Hypothetical situation:

I'm hoping to catch the 17:45 train to Westport (last train). I'm working near the Kylemore Luas stop. I am going to make my way there for 16:15, I have no cash on me, but I have a Smart Card with plenty of credit.

I am not aware of any ATM nearby. I have checked the Luas website, just to make sure everything is running ok, and at 15 hours and 50 minutes into Feb 29th, there is nothing to indicate anything is wrong.

I proceed to the Luas stop, 15 minute walk, and with time to spare, should make it on time to Heuston and get my train to the West for a great weekend.

I've fulfilled my duties in making sure this happens. I even went to work early so I could get the latest possible train out of Dublin. I even checked the website.

----------------------------------------

Mark, I don't condone fare evasion. It is theft. But, there comes a point, when a person makes every effort, to fulfill their obligations in using Public Transport. When this happens, the providers of a service have to operate in the customers favour and fulfil their obligations in providing a service.
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Unread 29-02-2008, 15:48   #15
Mark Gleeson
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Letter of the law says you must have a valid ticket, we can't condone any illegal actions, no matter how stupid the situation is

I'd give you very good odds before a judge given the farcical nature of the mess, the key factor is the intent to defraud the company, that must be proven
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Unread 29-02-2008, 20:46   #16
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Mark H reported in the smart cards where back working again shortly after 6pm

We did a check and Busaras and Abbey Street where out of order at lunchtime, other reports indicate Jervis also confirmed out, that would suggest the whole system was down

It was featured on Newstalk, thanks to us dropping them a email. Plenty of texts in saying it was broken and a good go at Veoila and the RPA for not directly refunding people

No recording I'm afraid, I had to dash to make the studio
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Unread 29-02-2008, 21:27   #17
Colm Donoghue
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I was told by a ticket checker on the luas before that I had to check all 4 tag machines before I could get on without tagging on, suggesting that if the tagers wern't working the luas take the hit of no fare.

Irrespective of that, the fact that the rpa will only re-imburse their customers who complain and only by cheque, could leave them in hot water legally speaking. Advertising a price and charging more after the contract was agreed...
When the banks overcharged on forex, they repaid their customers in full, without customers needing to complain.

on the other hand if they couldn't manage this automatically, refunding customers is probably never gonna work.
It's not even excusable like y2k was, the programs affected by that were written for much limited machines and never expected to see the end of a century. not expecting the system to see a leap year though is a bit more short sighted....
there are several standards to define date handling, ISO 8601/IEEE P1003.1
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Unread 01-03-2008, 00:07   #18
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In fairness lads, Feb29 problems aren't just confined to the RPA, and although it's v easy to say that this is 1st year comp eng. stuff, you'd be surprised at how much simple stuff has failed today. I work in the airline IT industry.. we've been overloaded the last few weeks with bugs in our code which doesn't deal with FEB29... and this is written by VERY experienced developers. How many airline reservation systems thought today was March 1st! It's shocking really.
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Unread 01-03-2008, 09:19   #19
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Part of the problem is that the leap year problem is first year CS, but after first year you tend to be allowed to rely on libraries that have all the logic built in. So does the blame lie with the RPA for not testing the system thoroughly enough before accepting it, or the company they contracted to write the system for not testing the date library they bought properly, or the company whose date handling library they bought for not testing it properly in the first place?
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Unread 03-03-2008, 23:16   #20
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Wow, in this day and age with mobile phones being smarter than the lunar lander, you really would think they could factor in the 29th into the luas smart card system, and people pay slips.
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