[whatwg] Issues relating to the syntax of dates and times

Pentasis pentasis at lavabit.com
Wed Nov 26 01:11:00 PST 2008

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ian Hickson" <ian at hixie.ch>
To: "Pentasis" <pentasis at lavabit.com>
Cc: <whatwg at lists.whatwg.org>
Sent: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 12:32 AM
Subject: Re: [whatwg] Issues relating to the syntax of dates and times

> On Tue, 25 Nov 2008, Pentasis wrote:
>> But the way it is described now still creates a difference in *possible*
>> markup between:
>> The battle of waterloo was fought on <time datetime="1815-06-18">Sunday
>> 18 June 1815</time>
>> and:
>> Julius Ceasar was assassinated on the ides of march in the year 44BC.
>> The spec allows us to use the time-element in the first case but not in
>> the second, while the type of information and semantics of the sentence
>> are the same in both cases and both dates are known dates and agreed
>> upon to be true. I can imagine this to be confusing for authors/users.
> Could you, for both cases, give the precise number of seconds from the day
> of the event in question until now? My impression is that we would not be
> able to give the precise number of seconds since a date on the Roman
> calendar. For example, were the years after 44BC regular or intercalary?
> As I said before, I think before we start supporting other calendars (like
> the Roman calendar, or even the more recent Julian calendar), we should
> support non-Gregorian calendars that are in active use today. But I don't
> propose to do this at this time, as that is an inordinately complicated
> problem and we don't yet know if <time> is going to be widely used or not.

No, I understand. That was not the point I was making. I mean it the other 
way around.
I am *not* saying that the second example (44BC) should be able to be 
marked-up like this, but that -because we can't mark that one up- neither 
shoudl we mark up the second example. In other words the spec should be 
clear on the fact that it is not intended for this kind of use either.
Perhaps it should be more of a "time-stamp"? (like the address-element is 
actually only used for the author of the article/page/site so this element 
is like that?)

I hope I make myself clear?


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