[whatwg] Parsing RFC3339 constructs

Julian Reschke julian.reschke at gmx.de
Fri Jun 5 01:04:15 PDT 2009

Ian Hickson wrote:
> ...
>> Michael(tm) Smith wrote:
> ...
>>> It seems pretty clear that there isn't anything else to refer to for 
>>> the date/time parsing rules -- but to me at least, specifying those 
>>> rules seems orthogonal to specifying the date/time syntax, and I would 
>>> think the syntax could just be defined by making reference to the 
>>> productions[1] in RFC 3339 (instead of completely redefining them), 
>>> while stating any exceptions.
>>> [1] http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3339#section-5.6
>>> I think the exceptions might just amount to:
>>>   - the literal letters T and Z must be uppercase
>> Any technical reason why they have to?
> Not really. We just need a separator.

So why make it different from RFC 3339?

>>>   - a year must be four or more digits, and must be greater that zero
>> "a year must be four or more digits" -- sounds like an alternative 
>> format that an additional RFC, updating RFC 3339 could specify.
>> "must be greater that zero" -- that's not syntax :-)
>> So yes, I think referring to RFC 3339, even if it's just a narrative 
>> mention, would be good.
> Why?

Because it explains to readers how this is different. That is important
because it's natural to look for existing libraries to parse date formats.

>> Ian replied:
>>> I don't understand what that would gain us.
>> It would help people understand what the difference to RFC 3339 is.
> Why is that important or desirable? It seems that comparisons to other 
> specs would be better placed in other documents. HTML5 doesn't even 
> describe how it differs from its previous version (HTML4), why would it 
> include descriptions of differences from otherwise unrelated RFCs?

See above.

BR, Julian

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