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Re: obs-date, was: [apps-discuss] APPSDIR review of draft-ietf-httpbis-p2-semantics-24

From: John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2013 10:22:21 -0400
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, S Moonesamy <sm+ietf@elandsys.com>, apps-discuss@ietf.org, draft-ietf-httpbis-p2-semantics.all@tools.ietf.org
cc: ietf@ietf.org, iesg@ietf.org, ietf-http-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <751EE3ED19D0A62BD858585C@JcK-HP8200.jck.com>
--On Monday, October 28, 2013 15:00 +0100 Julian Reschke
<julian.reschke@gmx.de> wrote:

> On 2013-10-28 09:07, S Moonesamy wrote:
>> ...
>> In Section 7.1.1:
>>    "The preferred format is a fixed-length and single-zone
>>    subset of the date and time specification used by the
>>     Internet Message Format [RFC5322]"
> Actually, HTTPbis has its own obs-date:
> 	obs-date     = rfc850-date / asctime-date
> <http://greenbytes.de/tech/webdav/draft-ietf-httpbis-p2-semant
> ics-24.html#rfc.section.>


I've been reluctant to step into this mess, but, having had
another bad experience over the weekend, and with the
understanding that we already have multiple "obsolete" forms
floating around that implementations are supposed to recognize,
I'd like to see if it is still possible to think about moving to
an ISO-compatible "preferred form" that would eliminate the
difficulty in handling and ambiguities in month names (and the
frequent violations where they are made upper-case or translated
into local languages).   Doing so, and getting rid of "GMT"
(which about half the world's population seems to think is a
synonym for whatever time is being used around Greenwich), in
favor of UT (which no one who has any understanding at all seems
to think might change in the summer), would save a lot of
problems long-term.  That would make the preferred form

  [day-name ","] year "-" monthNumber "-" day SP time-of-day SP

   monthNumber = 2DIGIT

   	obs-date = rfc850-date / asctime-date / IMF-fixdate
if that is necessary.

I don't care whether day-name is optional or not, but there
would be some small i18n charm in saying "either write it the
way the spec says or leave it out" rather than the current rule,
which is effectively "use those English-based abbreviations no
matter how obnoxious they are in your environment".

It is obviously late to be suggesting this, but it was also late
a dozen years ago and will be a lot later five or ten years

Received on Monday, 28 October 2013 14:22:58 UTC

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