[whatwg] proposal: extend <time> to markup durations
brucel at opera.com
Fri Jul 15 01:07:32 PDT 2011
On Fri, 15 Jul 2011 03:17:07 +0100, Tantek Çelik <tantek at cs.stanford.edu>
> On Thu, Jul 14, 2011 at 14:51, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage at gmail.com>
>> On Thu, Jul 14, 2011 at 2:36 PM, Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:
>>> I haven't studied the above yet, but I just wanted to bring up a trial
>>> balloon for a possible alternative solution: drop <time> and replace it
>>> with a generic solution.
>>> There are several use cases for <time>:
>>> A. Easier styling of dates and times from CSS.
>>> B. A way to mark up the publication date/time for an article (e.g. for
>>> conversion to Atom).
>>> C. A way to mark up machine-readable times and dates for use in
>>> Microformats or microdata.
>>> Use cases A and B do not seem to have much traction.
I think it's too early to tell whether there is "traction". I wonder
whether any of the new semantics (article, nav, section, header etc) have
much traction yet, simply because they don't yet have many obvious
"consumers" - eg, browsers, crawlers, search engines [as far as we know]
aren't making use of them yet. Also, developers are still understandably
getting used to the more whizzbang aspects of HTML like canvas, video etc.
>>> Proposal: we dump use cases A and B, and pivot <time> on use case C,
>>> changing it to <data> and making it like the <abbr> for
>>> data, primarily for use by Microformats and HTML's microdata feature.
Opera has just begun to support <time> in Opera 11.50 (demo
http://people.opera.com/miket/2011/5/time.html) [Disclosure: Opera is my
employer but I'm speaking for myself here, not representing them].
We're seeing <time> used "In the wild", for example on recipes
http://www.reddit.com/ ("submitted 5 hours ago"), http://smashsummit.com/,
the default 2011 WordPress theme
http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/twentyeleven/ and consequently many
We also see schema.org encouraging the use of <time>
http://schema.org/docs/gs.html#advanced_dates and given the importance of
Bing, Yahoo and Google it;s fair to assume that web developers will adopt
In my opinion, rather than dump <time>, we should consider changing the
spec so the schema.org use-cases such as time periods
<time itemprop="cookTime" datetime="PT1H30M">1 1/2 hrs</time>
and "fuzzy" dates like 2011-11 for November 2011 are acceptable: there
have been previous mails to the WG from wikipedia authors, genealogists
and those working on museum websites stating that the utility of the
current <time> element is diminished because of the requirement for
precise dates which isn't always possible for historians.
Hang loose and stay groovy,
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