[whatwg] [html5] datetime attribute

Jonathan Leighton turnip at turnipspatch.com
Fri Jun 17 03:42:29 PDT 2005

I was talking to Anne van Kesteren[1] about this, and he suggested I
posted to the mailing list.

[1] http://annevankesteren.nl/

I think it would be sensible if detail was allowed to be omitted from
the datetime attribute. The HTML4 specification says[2] that "If a
generating application does not know the time to the second, it may use
the value "00" for the seconds (and minutes and hours if necessary)".
The WHATWG spec[3] doesn't say anything regarding what to do if detail
is not known or needed or wanted, but in my opinion detail should be
allowed to be left out. I'd like all the formats in the W3C note on Date
and Time Formats[4] to be permitted. Writing "00" when a value is not
known seems a bad idea to me because instead of telling the UA that the
value is not known, it tells the UA that the value is zero. Leaving the
value out entirely would save file size (albeit only a few bytes) and
the UA would be able to differentiate between an unspecified value and a
value of zero.

[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/types.html#h-6.11
[3] http://whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#datetime
[4] http://www.w3.org/TR/1998/NOTE-datetime-19980827

Kind Regards

Jonathan Leighton aka. Turnip
http://turnipspatch.com/ | http://digital-proof.org/

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