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[Bug 10318] New: time element shouldn't alter the display value

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Sun, 08 Aug 2010 22:19:49 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-ID: <bug-10318-2486@http.www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/>
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=10318

           Summary: time element shouldn't alter the display value
           Product: HTML WG
           Version: unspecified
          Platform: All
        OS/Version: All
            Status: NEW
          Severity: normal
          Priority: P2
         Component: HTML5 spec (editor: Ian Hickson)
        AssignedTo: ian@hixie.ch
        ReportedBy: stephen.brandwood@gmail.com
         QAContact: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
                CC: mike@w3.org, public-html@w3.org


I read through the specification for the time element and it seems that there
are two use cases that apply:
 1) Mark some text as a date in a machine-readable format, so that it can be
easily integrated with a calendar.
 2) Provide a date in a machine-readable format that will be translated to a
locale-specific date for display to the user.

The specification does not mention the format to be used for (2), so one would
assume it will be decided by the UA and the values will vary widely for
different UAs in different countries. I believe this would make it difficult
for content authors to properly mark up their articles.

For example, I wish to stress that a given date was a Saturday, I might write:
  ... on Saturday <time datetime="2010-08-07">7th August</time>
A UA might choose to display the date as follows:
  ... on Saturday Sat 7th Aug 2010

Furthermore allowing the browser to alter the display value prevents the
website providing relative times such as today, 1h ago, last week and such for
recent dates. The browser would not be able to do this itself and thus I would
write:
  <time pubdate datetime="2010-08-07" /> yesterday
separating the date from the human-readable value and breaking (1).

As a result of these two examples, I think it would be wise for browser not to
provide locale-specific dates as they damage the ability of content authors to
display times in the way they wish.

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Received on Sunday, 8 August 2010 22:19:50 UTC

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