[whatwg] <time>

Mikko Rantalainen mikko.rantalainen at peda.net
Mon Mar 16 04:55:52 PDT 2009

Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
> Mikko Rantalainen 2009-03-13 11.33:
>> Andy Mabbett wrote:
>>> In message <CC3986D1-6DDC-4007-8BBA-42A5D4E398CA at eatyourgreens.org.uk>, 
>>> Jim O'Donnell <jim at eatyourgreens.org.uk> writes
> And <time> is also touted as an accessibilty feature. And this 
> Proleptic Gregorian calendar is, I hear, supposed to - 
> automatically - make everything good.

I thought that <time> was sematic web feature - making possible for
computers to make sense about date and/or time. Humans are quite good
deciphering the different date and time notations on the page already.

> I am concerned of the authors. And I am concerned that they do not 
> get a way to record what they need to record. I am concerned that 
> they will convert dates to Proleptic Gregorian, not realising that 
> readeres will read/hear that date in his modern day calender. I am 
> also concerned about how complicated it becomes for the author to 
> link the (proleptic) day he has recorded to the (julian) day in 
> history he is writing about.

Perhaps the spec should suggest that the rendering of the <time> element
should make it clear to the user that the time is in standard calendar
e.g. appending text " (Standard Calendar)" at the end of tooltip when
displaying the machine readable time. (I used the term "Standard"
instead of "Proleptic Gregorian" because that wouldn't say anything to
common man.)

If the author cannot convert the [whatever calendar] to Proleptic
Gregorian calendar, then I do not see much point using the <time> markup
at all. What's the point marking something as "time" if you don't have
the time? Is there a real difference between "<time>unknown</time>" and ""?

> I think, however, that even authors need - and are interested in - 
> linking historic dates to the modern calendar. And that it 
> therefore could work, if authors could record the date according 
> to the historic (aka Julian) calendar, noting in a second 
> attribute, how that date differs/relates to the One True calendar.

I don't understand how that follows. Why is this (using Julian calendar
in the attribute) requirement for using the <time> markup?

> So for example, Andy's date above
>>>> <date calendar="Julian" value="1732-02-22">Feb. 11, 1731.</date>
> could be noted like this:
> <date schema="11,1732" datetime="1731-02-11">Feb. 11, 1731.</date>
> Where the purpose of @datetime is to note the date in a format 
> that is universally recognisable, and where the purpose of @schema 
> is to note a) how many days this date differs from modern 
> calendar and b) if there is a year correction (because the 
> historic calendar considered another day the beginning of that year.
> This could work for the all calendars based on the Julian 
> calendar. I think that historians and hobby historians are quite 
> familiar with using lists that equiate historic dates to modern 
> dates. And it would, be very simple to maintain such lists.

The author has clearly the means to convert the 'value' attribute to
Proleptic Gregorian, but instead he opts to use different calendar
system and an offset. Why on earth? Is it because Julian calendar
happens to use somewhat similar counting system (days, months, years)?

How this would help the author or the user? Why is this any better than
always using Proleptic Gregorian calendar for datetime attribute, no
exceptions allowed?


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