Twitpocalypse Points Out That There Is Signed Integer Cap For Tweets

Posted Jun 12, 2009 claims that Twitter will hit a standstill soon.  The owner of the website claims that the issue that Twitter has works similar in nature as the Y2K bug.  Every tweet that is sent out has a unique numeric identifier and when that number hits 2,147,483,647, third party applications may crash because that is the limit that a signed integer has.  About 2,136,000,000 tweets have been sent out so far.

The crash was expected to take place tomorrow, but it turns out that the internal Twitter team wants to accelerate the process by creating more artificial signed integers.  This ensures that they’ll be in the office to resolve the issue.  The actual expected time for the incident to take place was going to be around 3AM Pacific Time tonight.  Who wants to be in the office at 3AM on a Friday night?

“The responses to @twitterapi and all discussions internally show a preference to not waiting until the middle of the night. The current plan is to force this issue at 21:00 GMT (2:00pm Pacific/5:00pm Eastern for those in the US). This will let us make sure we have all staff available in the unlikely event something goes wrong on our end. We?ll also be available when people who don?t follow the twitter-dev-talk list start reporting errors. While we did warn developers about the Twitpocalypse I?m sorry we didn?t think about setting a drop-dead date and scheduling this previously. We?ll keep trying to improve on warnings like this. Good night, and good luck,” wrote Twitter engineer Matt Sanford on a Google Groups thread.

[via TechCrunch]