[whatwg] <time>

Smylers Smylers at stripey.com
Sat Mar 14 01:34:50 PDT 2009

Robert J Burns writes:

> Hi David, On Mar 13, 2009, at 11:19 AM, David Singer wrote:
> > Can we drop this topic?  Apart from suggesting
> > a) that the fully delimited date format be required (extended format);
> > b) that year 0000 and before be allowed;
> > c) that parsing the body text as 8601 may be dangerous if it's notated 
> > the same way but not (possibly proleptic) Gregorian;

This thread appears to be proving that dates are very complicated and
that to get them right for the general case involves lots of subtleties,
which would be a reason for punting -- only doing the simplest possible
thing for now, acknowledging that that doesn't meet all desirable
scenarios, and leaving everything else for HTML 6.

Even attempts to produce a small list of changes that we have consensus
on yields others disputing them, showing that we don't have consensus.

> Right now we have a draft that: 2) allows 0000 without attaching
> sufficient meaning to it

I don't think that's the case; the algorithm for parsing a year requires
a number "greater than zero":


So my suggestion for a spec change is to replace "zero" with "1582".
That further reduces the set of dates that <time> can represent, but
avoids the complexity of pre-Gregorian dates, and avoids inadvertently
giving a meaning to them that hampers the efforts of a future version of
HTML to do all of this right.


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