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[whatwg] Dates BCE

From: Sam Kuper <sam.kuper@uclmail.net>
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 2009 16:34:23 +0100
Message-ID: <4126b3450907300834p3fa8fd17u35e25c3ea2745ede@mail.gmail.com>
2009/7/30 Bruce Lawson <brucel at opera.com>

> On Thu, 30 Jul 2009 15:05:10 +0100, Sam Kuper <sam.kuper at uclmail.net>
> wrote:
>
>>
>> I sure hope there are! Historians and classicists are increasingly
>> publishing to the web, and being unable to mark up years BCE in HTML 5
>> would
>> hinder this. That said, marking up a year, say 1992 AD, (as opposed to a
>> specific day within a specific month within a specific year, e.g. 3rd
>> September 1992) also seems to be hard or impossible in HTML 5... unless
>> I've
>> misread the spec.
>>
>
> Orthodoxy has it that there is no use case for marking up an ancient date
> or "fuzzy date" like "June 2009" using <time>. I disagree, and this has been
> discussed many times before. Do you have any concrete use cases or examples
> of how marking these up using <time> would be necessary?


Not for BCE; I'm not working on that period at the moment, but excepting
that, here are a couple of good examples with ranges:

http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/darwinletters/calendar/entry-10762.html
http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/darwinletters/calendar/entry-295.html
http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/darwinletters/calendar/entry-6611f.html

Now, either there should be markup available for ranges, or it should at
least be possible to specify components of a date independently of each
other, and to imply (at least for humans) a "range" spanning these different
date elements as appropriate.

Exactly the same sort of situation could easily arise when marking up BCE
materials, although in this case one would likely have even less information
(if any) about which day of the year was being used, so it would be even
more crucial to be able to mark up dates in a way that just specifies the
year but leaves the month and day undefined.

Flexibility is crucial here and since it need not come at the expense of
parseability, it should be provided for.

Best,

Sam
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