[whatwg] <time>

Jim O'Donnell jim at eatyourgreens.org.uk
Thu Mar 12 17:45:59 PDT 2009

Hi Andy

On 12 Mar 2009, at 21:46, Andy Mabbett wrote:

> In message <CAAF25CF-1FBE-494C-8361-E6811B6C5EC3 at googlemail.com>,  
> Geoffrey Sneddon <foolistbar at googlemail.com> writes
>> 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 supports?
> What were the use-case(s) for ISO8601? If merely the exchange of  
> calendar information, it's unlikely that it took account of the pre- 
> Gregorian/ BCE/ imprecise situations under consideration here.
ISO8601 is already used by historians to mark up dates pre 1582 or  
BCE, or even uncertain dates. The proleptic Gregorian calendar is  
fine back to something like -10000BC, which covers pretty much all of  
recorded history. Uncertain dates of the form we deal with on a day- 
to-day basis in museums, like 'circa 1920' or 'late 20th century' can  
be encoded as '1915/1925' or '1951/2000' using ISO8601.

I think uncertain times encoded as ISO8601 date ranges in the  
datetime attribute will handle any reasonable markup of a historical  
date. Anyone who has a weird use case that falls outside this can  
fall back on RDFa.

Does anyone see a case for identifying the calendar of the date in  
the running text, or is that just me wearing my pedantic, semantic  
history markup hat?


Jim O'Donnell
jim at eatyourgreens.org.uk

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