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HTML 4.0 draft: datetime and leap seconds

From: A. Grant <ag129@cam.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 15:21:41 +0100 (BST)
To: www-html-editor@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.3.96.971010150400.20261I-100000@taurus.cus.cam.ac.uk>
I have an application which uses HTTP to distribute daylight savings and
leap second information in computer-readable form.  Out of interest I had
a look at HTML 4.0's provision for accurate date and time specification.

I notice the 'datetime' format does not allow for leap seconds.  UTC (and
the civil time zones that follow it) allows the seconds value to be 60. 
An example can be seen in


Similarly, POSIX and other standards allow for the 'deconstructed' time
value to have a seconds field of 60, and some operating systems actually
use this (as opposed to drifting the clock).  Even if I don't use
'datetime' for my application, sooner or later something will generate an
HTML document with a seconds value of 60, so HTML should allow it.  
I do not know whether ISO8601 allows 60 but if not, I see no reason to
perpetuate this. 

Al Grant, Computer Laboratory, Cambridge University, UK
Received on Friday, 10 October 1997 10:22:01 UTC

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