[whatwg] Expanding datetime

Ernest Cline ernestcline at mindspring.com
Thu Apr 24 10:58:08 PDT 2008

-----Original Message-----
>From: Lachlan Hunt <lachlan.hunt at lachy.id.au>
>Ernest Cline wrote:
>> From a practical viewpoint, being able to specify dates before 
>> January 1, 1 BC (Gregorian) would allow for historical dates not 
>> currently available to be specified in markup of documents concerning 
>> history.
>Such dates do not need to be published on the web in machine readable 
>readable formats.  How often to do you need to book a flight, or add an 
>event to your calendar that far back in the past?

So the web is now used only for business?  And we'll be able to predict exactly what uses users will want to make of it?

I think not.  The original reason for limiting years to a four digit format was that the relevant standard allowed only that.  That is no longer the case.  At minimum, with signed years now available as an optional part of ISO 8601, datetime should support ±YYYY-MM-DD dates, so as to cover historical dates which some users may find of use, though admittedly probably not business users.  Adding one or two additional digits would also enable a closer match with the range of time values allowed in the DOM representation, and would need to be added at the same time as the ± is added.

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