[whatwg] Expanding datetime

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis bhawkeslewis at googlemail.com
Thu Jul 31 06:46:24 PDT 2008

Henri Sivonen wrote:
> What use case is served by marking up Walt Disney's birthday as bday?
> Surely people aren't supposed to export Walt Disney's contact 
> information to their address book app and have it remind them to 
> congratulate Walt on his birthday.

Again, you're thinking entirely in terms of social networking and not in 
terms of education and intellectual curiosity.

I'd imagine more probable applications would be building (or searching) 
collections of biographical or event data from multiple sources.

Let's say you have an application for constructing chronologies, and 
you're constructing a chronology of (say) the history of animation. You 
could drag and drop Walt's birthday onto the chronology.

Look at this lesson plan for example:

"Have a collection of images of famous people use as a resource show to 
the children and discuss who they are and why they are famous. Have a 
selection of people from the past and present. Use www.Google.co.uk to 
find images. You could see if they could try and put them in a timeline."


(If you look around, you'll find plenty of timeline-oriented approaches 
to the past.)

Or, maybe you're building a database of animators with film samples. You 
could pull microformatted biographical information out from across the 
web and add it to your page.

Or, maybe you're a journalist who needs to construct an "on this day" 
article. You search for stuff that happened on Disney's birthday, and 
come across Disney's biography that way.

Anyhow, whether such applications of microformats fits how you imagine 
or would like to dictate how people use microformatted data, TIME as 
defined cannot cover how microformats are already applied, so let us not 
pretend that it does. You're free to argue that trying to encode such 
information is pointless, but that's an argument you'd want to take up 
with the microformats community and one I cannot support.

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis

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