Lotus SmartSuite and the year 2000

I stum­bled across this won­der­ful help doc­u­ment in Lotus Smart­Suite 9.8 and my head just shot right off.

All of the pro­grams in this release of Lotus Smart­Suite meet Lotus guide­lines for Year 2000 (Y2K) readi­ness. When used in accor­dance with its asso­ci­at­ed doc­u­men­ta­tion, each of the Smart­Suite pro­grams is capa­ble of cor­rect­ly pro­cess­ing, pro­vid­ing and/or receiv­ing date data with­in and between the 20th and 21st cen­turies, pro­vid­ed that all prod­ucts (for exam­ple, hard­ware, soft­ware and firmware) used with the pro­gram prop­er­ly exchange accu­rate date data with it.

A lit­tle back­ground infor­ma­tion
In the past, you have prob­a­bly entered a 2-dig­it num­ber to rep­re­sent the year in a date with the assump­tion that the year would fall between 1900 and 1999. For exam­ple, 4/10/02 was in 1902 and 5/8/47 was in 1947.

With the change to the year 2000, you should be aware that com­put­er pro­grams may now inter­pret dates you enter with 2-dig­it years to be in the 20th or the 21st cen­tu­ry depend­ing on the method the pro­gram uses to define a 2-dig­it year.

Smart­Suite pro­grams use a slid­ing (rolling) win­dow method to deter­mine the year when you enter only 2 dig­its to rep­re­sent the year in a date.


  • You can enter the year as 4 dig­its to make sure you get the results you want. For exam­ple, enter 1916 or 2016 instead of 16 for the year.
  • Although you can change how a pro­gram dis­plays a date by select­ing dif­fer­ent date for­mats, the pro­gram stores a con­stant val­ue for the date no mat­ter how you choose to dis­play it.

What is the slid­ing win­dow method?
In Smart­Suite, the slid­ing win­dow method defines a win­dow of 100 years around the cur­rent year (deter­mined by the sys­tem date on your com­put­er). When you enter a 2-dig­it year, the pro­gram com­pares the 2 dig­its you entered with the years that fall with­in this 100 year win­dow.
For exam­ple, enter­ing 25 for the year might be inter­pret­ed as 1925 but 04 might mean the year 2004.

The years that mark the begin­ning and end of this win­dow are defined by where the pro­gram splits the win­dow with the cur­rent year.
By default, 1–2-3, Approach, Free­lance Graph­ics, Orga­niz­er, and Word Pro use an 80/20 rule for this slid­ing win­dow — the win­dow begins 80 years before and ends 19 years after the cur­rent year.

How does the 80/20 rule work?
Sup­pose the cur­rent year is 1999. Using the 80/20 rule, a win­dow span­ning 100 years includes the years 1919 to 2018.

In 1999, any 2-dig­it year you enter from 19 to 99 will equal years from 1919 to 1999. Any 2-dig­it year you enter from 00 to 18 will equal years from 2000 to 2018. If you want to enter a date before 1919 or after 2018, you must enter 4 dig­its for the year.
For exam­ple, assume that the cur­rent year is 1999.
• If you enter 4/2/19, the year will be 1919.
• If you enter 4/2/72, the year will be 1972.
• If you enter 4/2/00, the year will be 2000.
• If you enter 4/2/17, the year will be 2017.
• If you enter 4/2/1917, the year will be 1917.
Every year this 100 year win­dow moves (slides) for­ward one year. Under the 80/20 rule, when the year changes to 2000, the win­dow will include the years 1920 to 2019. When the year changes to 2001, the win­dow will include the years 1921 to 2020, and so on.

How do you change the 80/20 default?
The 80/20 default for Smart­Suite is set through a sin­gle entry in the Win­dows reg­istry. You can change this reg­istry entry using the sam­ple scripts avail­able on the Web (www.lotus.com/smartsuitedev) and in the \Extra direc­to­ry on the CD ver­sion of Lotus Smart­Suite.
Cau­tion Chang­ing the default changes it for all of the pro­grams in Smart­Suite.

How do Smart­Suite pro­grams store dates?
All the Smart­Suite pro­grams store date val­ues with the ful­ly qual­i­fied year. There­fore, dates already stored in files are not affect­ed by the slid­ing win­dow. The slid­ing win­dow is used to inter­pret a date when you enter it using 2 dig­its to rep­re­sent the year.
Cau­tion If years are stored as sep­a­rate val­ues in a file, and scripts or macros inter­pret these dates as they run, the slid­ing win­dow rules will apply to those val­ues when only 2 dig­its are stored for the year.

For 1–2-3 users only
You can turn off the 80/20 slid­ing win­dow in 1–2-3 by chang­ing the date set­tings in the 1–2-3 Pref­er­ences dia­log box. You can also dis­play all dates with 4-dig­it years. For more infor­ma­tion on 1–2-3 and the year 2000, open Help in 1–2-3 and search on Year 2000 in the Help Index.

The infor­ma­tion regard­ing the Year 2000 readi­ness of Lotus prod­ucts is pro­vid­ed for infor­ma­tion­al pur­pos­es only and is not a war­ran­ty or an exten­sion or mod­i­fi­ca­tion to the terms of any applic­a­ble war­ran­ty. The lim­it­ed war­ran­ty for Lotus prod­ucts is sole­ly as con­tained in the soft­ware agree­ment gov­ern­ing your use of Lotus soft­ware. For the most com­plete and cur­rent infor­ma­tion about the Year 2000 readi­ness of the Smart­Suite prod­ucts and oth­er Lotus prod­ucts, please see the Lotus Year 2000 web site (http://www.lotus.com/year2000).