[whatwg] Dates BCE

Tab Atkins Jr. jackalmage at gmail.com
Thu Jul 30 09:50:48 PDT 2009

On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 11:34 AM, David Singer<singer at apple.com> wrote:
> At 11:16  -0500 30/07/09, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
>>  > 1) Machine readability.
>> This begs the question.
> raises the question.  begging questions is assuming the answer in the
> premise of the question.

I meant it in the sense you specify.  It begs the question by giving
machine readability as a reason for allowing it in <time>, when the
question is posed was "why do you need machine readability"?

>> Why do you need machine readability for the
>> dates in the Darwin journals?  More specifically, why do you need
>> machine readability in a standardized fashion currently expected to be
>> used primarily for adding dates to calendars?
> It allows you to build databases with timelines, that span documents on the
> web from diverse sources.

This seems like a decent use-case to consider.  You want to search the
web using temporal data as a search parameter in order to, for
instance, create a timeline.

>>>  2) Consistency across websites that mark up dates.
>> What form of consistency?  Date format consistency?  This varies by
>> use-case, region, and language.  Machine-format consistency?  You then
>> have to answer why such consistency is important - what does it let
>> you *do*?
> It would allow you to determine that *this* event reported in an arabic text
> with a date referring to a caliphate was actually almost certainly *before*
> this *other* event reported in a byzantine text with a date that is on the
> indiction cycle.  The experts in arabic and byzantine texts individually
> might well have the skills to convert these dates to a uniform day-labelling
> system, whereas the interested reader might have the skills in one or the
> other, but maybe not both (or perhaps even, neither).

All right, so another use-case:  you want to easily compare ancient
dates across the web, even if they're written in different and
possibly unfamiliar dating systems.


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