[whatwg] Dates BCE

Tab Atkins Jr. jackalmage at gmail.com
Thu Jul 30 08:37:22 PDT 2009

On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 10:34 AM, Sam Kuper<sam.kuper at uclmail.net> wrote:
> 2009/7/30 Bruce Lawson <brucel at opera.com>
>> On Thu, 30 Jul 2009 15:05:10 +0100, Sam Kuper <sam.kuper at uclmail.net>
>> wrote:
>>> I sure hope there are! Historians and classicists are increasingly
>>> publishing to the web, and being unable to mark up years BCE in HTML 5
>>> would
>>> hinder this. That said, marking up a year, say 1992 AD, (as opposed to a
>>> specific day within a specific month within a specific year, e.g. 3rd
>>> September 1992) also seems to be hard or impossible in HTML 5... unless
>>> I've
>>> misread the spec.
>> Orthodoxy has it that there is no use case for marking up an ancient date
>> or "fuzzy date" like "June 2009" using <time>. I disagree, and this has been
>> discussed many times before. Do you have any concrete use cases or examples
>> of how marking these up using <time> would be necessary?
> Not for BCE; I'm not working on that period at the moment, but excepting
> that, here are a couple of good examples with ranges:
> http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/darwinletters/calendar/entry-10762.html
> http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/darwinletters/calendar/entry-295.html
> http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/darwinletters/calendar/entry-6611f.html
> Now, either there should be markup available for ranges, or it should at
> least be possible to specify components of a date independently of each
> other, and to imply (at least for humans) a "range" spanning these different
> date elements as appropriate.

Now, here's the million-dollar question: Why do you need <time> or
something like it for these dates?  You seem to have them marked up
quite fine as it is.


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