We like to think that times and dates just flow along, with constant repetition and no real room for surprises. However from time to time some great anomalies appear in our usage of date and time. (In the UK we tend to learn about most of the historical ones from programmes such as QI).
If your tests involve anything to do with Samoa, then you should be aware and take account of, their recent adventures with date and time.
For the past 119 years the International Date Line (IDL) has passed to the West of Samoa in an effort to try to strengthen trading with the USA. However as Australia and New Zealand have now become far more important trading partners, Samoa decided to move back across the IDL, so that they occupy the same time zone as Australia and New Zealand. The IDL therefore now passes to the East.
Which meant they had a lose a day and the day chosen was 30th December 2011. In other words, for the people of Samoa (and actually also the nearby island of Tokelau) they jumped from 29th to the 31st, missing out 30th all together.
So we need to be aware of this in our testing and make sure that it is handled correctly. For instance if the following is recorded :
|Place of Birth||Samoa|
|Date of Birth||30/12/2011|
then we need to make sure that something intelligent happens. The most obvious options being :
- An error message returned (i.e. “Invalid date for this location”) or more likely
- One day is added to the date (i.e. it becomes 31/12/2011).
So whatever the data, whether it involves dates of birth or legal entries or dates of incidents, be sure to add “The Samoan Test to your test routines.