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Re: [whatwg] <time>

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Sun, 15 Mar 2009 11:38:50 +0100
Message-ID: <49BCDABA.7000005@malform.no>
To: whatwg@lists.whatwg.org, "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Smylers 2009-03-14 13.23:
> Andy Mabbett writes:
>> In message <20090314083450.GA30142@stripey.com>, Smylers
>> <Smylers@stripey.com> writes

>>> So my suggestion for a spec change is to replace "zero" with "1582".

1582.10.15.

> Side-stepping _is_ the advantage.  HTML 5 has many improvements over
> current specs, most of them not in the slightest bit related to dates,
> eras, timezones, lunar cycles, or Popes.

Sidestepping is an option - a way to take the problem seriously. 
Another option is to specify author usage in line with ISO 8601 = 
not before 1582 except by agreement.

>> ... something which needs to be addressed?
> 
> It doesn't need to be addressed in order for people to benefit from the
> other features, and improved interoperability, in HTML 5.  An HTML
> standard which doesn't provide a completely general <time> element is
> still a useful HTML standard.
> 
> I'm proposing that we don't hold up that standard while trying to solve
> a hard problem.
> 
> (I'm still in favour of people working on it to solve it.  And if there
> happened to be a consensus for a (partial) solution now I wouldn't be
> against including it.  But that isn't where we are.)

Much depends on how and for what @datetime is supposed to be used. 
Can someone explain when and how it is imagined that user agents 
reveal the time of the @datetime attribute? Will it be displayed 
as part of the title tooltip somehow?

In the mean time, here is my take:

The problem with the ABBR microformat design pattern was that the 
ISO format in the title attribute was automatically read or 
revealed to AT software users, or even that the @title tool-tip 
confused users. [1]

We can assume that this is what we want to avoid with <time> - the 
purpose of @datetime is to hide the ISO time better.

Thus if the user doesn't understand the written date, what should 
he do? If the date was a Julian date, then a tooltip or nearby 
info that said "Julian calendar" would be helpful. Only if the 
Gregorian date was interesting, would that date be looked up.

At that point, if the date was outside Georgian range, it could be 
presented with a warning about that fact. If there were a way that 
authors could trigger that warning (e.g. because the date was 
given in a non-Gregorian calendar even after 1582), then that 
would be good.

[1] 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/radiolabs/2008/06/removing_microformats_from_bbc.shtml
-- 
leif halvard silli
Received on Sunday, 15 March 2009 10:39:32 UTC

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