[whatwg] <time>

Tom Duhamel tom420.duhamel at gmail.com
Wed Mar 11 10:11:21 PDT 2009

> > My opinion is that all the following dates are precise:
> > 2009
> > 2009-03
> > 2009-03-09
> >
> > The later is more precise, but the three are all precise in my
> > opinion.
> Being precise means having a small granularity.  Obviously that's
> subjective, but in many cases granularity of a year would be deemed
> quite large.

I think I wasn't clear. Here is one more attempt at expressing my idea.

I think any moment which can be defined in a way which does not require any
calculation is a precise date/time. Any moment described in a way in which
you need other information in order to calculate a precise moment is not
precise. Take the following example. Suppose this is a quote in the middle
of a newspaper article:

"We expect this issue will be resolved in a week from now".

If the article was written this morning and the quote comes from a lady
which said this yesterday, that's all fine. But if the article was posted a
month ago and the quote was said a week earlier, then one needs to perform
some math in order to determine when the issue was expected to be resolved.
This is what I call an imprecise date. Now if the quote was:

"We expect this issue to be resolved by the end of February 2009."

Now this is precise. Whenever the article was posted, at the moment you read
it, you already now what the moment is. You don't even need to know when the
article was written.

Now, we could use HTML in a useful way:

"We expect this issue will be resolved <time datetime="2009-02-28">in a week
from now</time>".

When I hover the mouse over the marked up date, I would expect the browser
to pop up a tool tip indicating the date of 2009-02-28 in the format I have
configured in that browser (which could be the format stored in my OS).

I hope I made my point about what I think is the meaning of "precise dates".
Of course you are not required to accept my definition :)
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