[whatwg] <time>

Smylers Smylers at stripey.com
Sat Mar 14 05:23:36 PDT 2009

Andy Mabbett writes:

> In message <20090314083450.GA30142 at stripey.com>, Smylers
> <Smylers at stripey.com> writes
> > 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,
> All true.
> > 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.
> I'm not clear on what basis you reach that conclusion from the
> undisputed facts above.
> > 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.
> ...yet.

Indeed.  Spending more time on this may well yield something useful and
acceptable to at least most of those with opinions.  When that has
happened the outcome can be incorporated in HTML 6.

> > 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.
> What advantage does deferring this problem give us, other than
> side-stepping  ...

Side-stepping _is_ the advantage.  HTML 5 has many improvements over
current specs, most of them not in the slightest bit related to dates,
eras, timezones, lunar cycles, or Popes.

> ... something which needs to be addressed?

It doesn't need to be addressed in order for people to benefit from the
other features, and improved interoperability, in HTML 5.  An HTML
standard which doesn't provide a completely general <time> element is
still a useful HTML standard.

I'm proposing that we don't hold up that standard while trying to solve
a hard problem.

(I'm still in favour of people working on it to solve it.  And if there
happened to be a consensus for a (partial) solution now I wouldn't be
against including it.  But that isn't where we are.)


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