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Re: Times, dates, and related topics

From: Smylers <Smylers@stripey.com>
Date: Tue, 5 May 2009 22:51:51 +0100
To: public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <20090505215151.GB28003@stripey.com>
Jens Meiert writes:

> > > Thus, I think we can expect authors to use “time” for stuff like
> > > <time>500 BC</time>, <time>2 pm</time>, <time>2025</time>, and
> > > maybe even <time>yesterday</time>.
> >
> > Does that matter?
> 
> Well, I think it’s at least interesting that we’re so keen to include
> elements like e.g. “header” and “footer” to reflect common practice,
> but might fail anticipating future common practice when it comes to
> other elements.

Well at least once difference between "common practice" and "future
common practice" is that the former is supported by data showing how
widespread it actually is.  Once <time> is in the wild, HTML 6 could use
that experience to extend it.

> > Following the current spec, the preferred markup for each of the
> > above is simply not to use any tags at all -- which is effectively
> > how user agents will treat them anyway, since no valid date or time
> > can be parsed from them.  So users get the same experience either
> > way.
> 
> Actually, I’d rather take that as a point to remove the “time” element
> from the spec (which is not what I wanted to suggest). “Semantic
> fuzziness” of certain elements has already been a problem with former
> HTML specifications.

Is that a problem here?  HTML 5 specifies exactly what <time> can be.
It also specifies exactly how user-agents should parse it, so there is
no ambiguity about edge-cases or how to interpret any of your examples
above.

It _would_ be a problem if an author mis-understanding <time> gave it a
value which was syntactically valid but was intended to convey different
meaning from that ascribed by HTML 5.  But that seems very unlikely.

Cheers.

Smylers
Received on Tuesday, 5 May 2009 21:52:37 GMT

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