# Re: Change Proposal for time element - add an era attribute

From: Leif Halvard Silli <xn--mlform-iua@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2012 00:51:45 +0200
To: Cameron Heavon-Jones <cmhjones@gmail.com>
Cc: Ian Devlin <ian@iandevlin.com>, public-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <20120414005145509059.5080e11a@xn--mlform-iua.no>
Cameron Heavon-Jones, Fri, 13 Apr 2012 13:53:37 +0100:

> The first is that ISO 8061 actually does cater for the encoding of
> BCE date\times, if you check section '3.5 Expansion':
>
> "…By mutual agreement of the partners in information interchange, it
> is permitted to expand the component identifying the calendar year,
> which is otherwise limited to four digits. This enables reference to
> dates and times in calendar years outside the range supported by
> complete representations, i.e. before the start of the year [0000] or
> after the end of the year [9999]."

+1 Yes, the basis for the CP is wrong: If one wants, then <time>
already allows one to solve the problem that this CP claims to solve.
But one could also add the following:

(1) Validity: ISO 8061 is not valid  - as a historical calendar - for
dates before 15 October 1582 (at the earliest). And thus, when it comes
to historians - which Ian cited ("BCE and CE have been adopted by
historians and academics"), they do probably not benefit from such an
era attribute anyway - they have enough with struggling to correlate
ISO 8061 to the historical dates they work with.

(2) Year zero: The calendar described in ISO 8061 operates with year 0
- or 0000. But when we talk about eras, then we don't usually operate
with the year "0". For instance: Year 1 Before Christ is equivalent to
year '0000' in ISO 8061. [1] Ian's change proposal claims to make up
for that. However, the use of CE and BCE as proposed by Ian, is in
conflict with what those terms mean elsewhere. Because, as Wikipedia
says: «Neither designation uses a year zero». [2] (To be read: Neither
Before Christ or Before Common Era operates with a year zero.)

So, as I see, this CP currently adds nothing - but confusion.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_zero

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Era#cite_ref-5

--
Leif H Silli
Received on Friday, 13 April 2012 22:52:20 UTC

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