A summary of the issue:
Emperor Akihito of Japan is set to abdicate on 30 April 2019
This has ramifications for the EEYYDDMM date format, and a client was asking how ITX will be dealing with it.
(The name of the new Era has yet to be determined.)
ITX supports dates in two ways:
1. The Emperor names are in tables compiled into the core engine for the "deprecated" character sets, so an additional entry would need to be added to the table to support the new era. The code change cannot be made until the new Era name is set., and then we would need to build and test the product.
2. The ICU consortium provide releases of standard libraries to handle character set conversions (including Japanese Era code points). An ICU library update will be required once they have made their code changes. The code change cannot be made until the new Era name is set, and then they release the new libraries, which will be then incorporated into the next ITX build. After which, we would also need to test the product.
The Era name is expected early April. The ICU consortium are expected to integrate this change and release libraries soon after (exact time-scales unknown). The ITX software developers are aware of the tight time-scales, and have made every preparation to avoid undue delay.
I hope this helps to answer any questions.