yyyy is the pattern string to identify the year in the SimpleDateFormat class.

Java 7 introduced YYYY as a new date pattern to identify the date week year.

An average year is exactly 52.1775 weeks long, which means that eventually a year might have either 52 or 53 weeks considering indivisible weeks.

Using YYYY unintendedly while formatting a date can cause severe issues in your Java application.

As an example:

    import java.util.Date;
    import java.text.SimpleDateFormat;

    public class DataExample {
        public static void main(String args[]) {
            try {
                String date_s = "2014-12-31";
                SimpleDateFormat dt = new SimpleDateFormat("yyyy-MM-dd");
                Date d = dt.parse(date_s);
                SimpleDateFormat dt1 = new SimpleDateFormat("YYYY");
                System.out.println("And the year is... " + dt1.format(d));
            } catch (Exception e) {

The snippet above prints “And the year is… 2015”, because 2015 week year started on 29/12/2014.

This issue seemed to be the root cause of the massive outage that Twitter suffered last year.

So double check if you really need to use YYYY while formatting your date, and in case of doubt… Better call Saul!!

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