[whatwg] <time>

Andy Mabbett andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk
Thu Mar 12 14:51:14 PDT 2009

In message <p06240841c5deeed58fb1@[]>, David Singer
<singer at apple.com> writes

>At 17:53  +0100 12/03/09, Julian Reschke wrote:
>>Geoffrey Sneddon wrote:
>>>Ultimately, why is the Gregorian calendar good enough for the ISO but
>>>not us? I'm sure plenty of arguments were made to the ISO before
>>>ISO8601 was published, yet that still supports only the Gregorian
>>>calendar, having been revised twice since it's original publication
>>>in 1988. Is there really any need to go beyond what ISO 8601
>>We aren't the subject matter experts on calendars and date formats, so
>>why do we pretend we are?
>I agree.  As I said before, if we want a tag to express that a date is
>in a different calendar system, we are not going either to invent those
>tags or define the notation and conversion of those calendar systems
>here.  We can and should rely on groups like ISO.

If we're still discussing my proposal; I have not suggested "inventing
tags" nor "defining notations", merely allowing space for others (such
as ISO) to do so. What I wrote was:

        The issue of non-Gregorian (chiefly Julian) dates is a vexing
        one; and has already caused problems on Wikipedia. So far as I
        am aware, there is no ISO-, RFC- or similar standard for such
        dates, other than converting them to Gregorian dates. It is not
        the job of the HTML5 working group to solve this problem; but I
        think the group should recognise that at some point a solution
        must be forthcoming. One way to do so would be allow something

                <time schema="[schema-name]" datetime="[value]">[date in
                plain text]</time>

        where the schema defaults to ISO 8601 if not stated, and the
        whole element is treated as simply:

                [date in plain text]

        if the schema is unrecognised; thereby ensuring backwards
        compatibility. That way, if a hypothetical ISO- or other
        standard for Julian dates emerges in the future, authors may
        simply start to use it without any revision to HTML 5 being

Andy Mabbett
            Says  "NO! to compulsory UK ID Cards":  <http://www.no2id.net/>
            and:  "Free Our Data":  <http://www.freeourdata.org.uk>
                   (both also on Facebook)

More information about the whatwg mailing list