W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-device-apis@w3.org > March 2010

Calendaring I18N

From: Robin Berjon <robin@robineko.com>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 11:46:01 +0100
Message-Id: <F296637B-18A9-43A6-A9FF-6C632F9326ED@robineko.com>
Cc: public-device-apis@w3.org
To: public-i18n-core@w3.org
Dear I18N WG,

as part of its work, the DAP WG is creating a Calendar API that is intended to be used by Web applications in order to interact with calendar data. The current editors' draft can be found at http://dev.w3.org/2009/dap/calendar/.

Our first instinct was to turn to iCalendar (RFC 5545) and other related specifications in order to rely on tried and true practice in the field. However, in the process of applying that information to our work it surfaced that no existing standard that we have come across to date seems to capture information relating to non-Gregorian calendars.

As you know likely better than we do, non-Gregorian calendars are in common use throughout much of the world, and as far as we know it is always possible to convert between them and Gregorian dates  which makes the latter fine for internal storage. However, capturing the calendaring system intended by the user when entering the date is important as it may convey important semantics and will have impacts on recurrence if for instance the specified non-Gregorian date does not map to the same Gregorian day each year.

Our current plan is to store dates as Gregorian, and use an additional field to capture the user-intended calendar. The points on which we would like to solicit your help are:

  1) Is this a good and sane approach that will work?
  2) Is there a list of calendars that we could use to provide a definitive list of calendar names that implementations would be expected to recognise? Wikipedia has a list [0] (from which presumably we'd only take the "In current use" ones) but we'd like to have some degree of certainty that it's complete and correct.

Further, I would like to note that were it not for our Korean participants, the group would not have been aware of the problem regardless of how much we care about I18N. It seems to me that the information we need to get this right for our specification may benefit from being documented and shared with a wider readership.

We look forward to your input on this issue, and thank you in advance for any help!

[0] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_calendars

PS: Tracker, this takes care of ACTION-128.

Robin Berjon
  robineko  hired gun, higher standards
Received on Tuesday, 23 March 2010 10:46:35 UTC

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