[whatwg] Please consider adding a couple more datetime <input> types - type="year" and type="month-day"

Marshall Eubanks tme at americafree.tv
Mon Aug 9 08:03:29 PDT 2010

On Aug 8, 2010, at 9:49 PM, Jonathan Castello wrote:

> On Sun, Aug 8, 2010 at 6:42 PM, Andy Mabbett <andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk> wrote:
>> On Mon, August 9, 2010 02:19, Ben Schwarz wrote:
>>> While creating an input that works for every use case you can think of
>>> sounds like a good idea, I'd like to question weather a user would ever
>>> *enter
>>> a date* that would require the inclusion of BC/AD.
>>> I'm certain that there is a requirement to markup such text, but as for *
>>> entry* I'm strongly of the opinion that you're over cooking this.
>> It took only seconds to find:
>>   http://www.guernsey.net/~sgibbs/roman.html
>> which requires (for some dates) entry of 1, 2, and 3-figure and BC years.
>> Likewise:
>>   http://www.smart.net/~mmontes/ec-cal.html
>>   "Please enter a year after A.D. 325"
>> Consider also a site allowing a search of an archive of archaeological
>> finds by year of origin.
>> --
>> Andy Mabbett
>> @pigsonthewing
>> http://pigsonthewing.org.uk
> Couldn't the BC/AD case be handled intuitively by a dropdown right
> next to the year field that contains those two options?

I do not think that there is an easy solution for this and other dating issues. This field is
extraordinarily complex, with lots of "corner cases," some very erudite in nature. 

Note, for example, that there are three conventions in our calendar system for handling early dates - 
the BC/BCE one (where there is no year zero, and so 1 AD is preceded by 1 BC, and there are 9 years between 5 BC and 5 AD), a smoothly running one WITH a year zero (with 10 years between -5 and +5), and the "Before Present" one (where 1950 AD/CE is the reference epoch, i.e., the year zero). Radiocarbon dates are almost always Before Present (i.e., before 60 years in the past). 

When I was worrying about this sort of thing as an astronomer, I felt that the only really trustworthy way to describe dates were Julian Days, and I don't think you are going to make HTML5 run on Julian Days. (There is, of course, also the ISO 8601 standard on describing dates, which I don't think is going to help either - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_8601)

What I would recommend is, in addition to the datetime input types, an optional type=<Calendar> (e.g., type=""Gregorian"), which could be ignored or used, as the circumstances required.


> -- 
> ~Jonathan Castello
> P.S. I'm new to the list, don't kill me!

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