[whatwg] <time>

Tom Duhamel tom420.duhamel at gmail.com
Mon Mar 16 18:27:38 PDT 2009

On Mon, Mar 16, 2009 at 5:03 PM, Smylers <Smylers at stripey.com> wrote:

> Hi Tom.  I'd like you to clarify an aspect of your proposal:

Please don't see this as a proposal, but rather as a compilation of the
things people seem to have agreed on so far. My intention was to compile in
one post what has been discussed in several posts lately. I thought it would
be easier to discuss the topic as a whole, but of course we will discuss
each items separately where we do not agree.

> > <time>2009-03-16</time>
> > Printing directly on the page, no tool tip: "March 16, 2009"
> Because the author wrote a date in ISO 8601 format, a browser should
> rewrite it the user's local date format, such that it is
> indistinguishable from if the author had typed it that way in the first
> place?
> (Obviously pre-HTML-5 browsers will still display the raw 2009-03-16.)
> Suppose I'm a UK user who happens to've configured my computer's date
> format to DD/MM/YYYY (which is common over here) and I see an American
> conference's website American give its date as 04/07/2009.  I know that
> the USA date order is different from the UK's, so I'm used to having to
> remember to read that as April 7th.  You're suggesting that there should
> be two possibilities I have to take into account:
> * The author literally wrote "04/07/2009", and the conference is on April
>  7th.
> * The author literally wrote <time>2009-07-04</time>, my browser
>  converted that to my local format and displayed it as 04/07/2009, and
>  the conference is on July 4th
> And that as a reader I can't tell which of these it is, without viewing
> the document's source?  (And even to spot that there is an ambiguity
> I've got to be aware that my browser 'sometimes' changes dates, that it
> depends on my computer's configuration, and what config I picked.)
> Does the same apply to times?  Would they also be converted to the
> user's local timezone?
> > <time>16 mars 2009</time>
> > The user agent could, but is not required to, make an effort to
> > interpret the date and do whatever it likes with it. However, if the
> > date provided cannot be interpreted as ISO 8601 it could simply print
> > the content as is without any change. In this example, if the user
> > agent is able to understand this French date, the tool tip could be
> > "March 16, 2009"
> If a browser interprets a date in a different format, the localized
> version goes in the tooltip but the user sees exactly what the author
> typed?
> That is, which version (author-written or localized) the browser shows
> in the page depends on which format the author used?
> Smylers

I totally agree with you. That is something I haven't foreseen. I would go
with your proposal.

"2009-03-15" is displayed unaltered on the page, and the tooltip shows a
representation as set in my preferences, such as "March 15, 2009". If the
content cannot be interpreted by the user agent, then no tooltip is
displayed at all. (Of course a tooltip is a suggested mechanism, a user
agent could use another method.)
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