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[whatwg] Dates BCE

From: David Singer <singer@apple.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 2009 09:28:53 -0700
Message-ID: <p06240883c69777ecfc5c@[17.202.35.52]>
At 17:12  +0100 30/07/09, Sam Kuper wrote:
>2009/7/30 Tab Atkins Jr. <<mailto:jackalmage at gmail.com>jackalmage at gmail.com>
>
>On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 10:34 AM, Sam 
>Kuper<<mailto:sam.kuper at uclmail.net>sam.kuper at uclmail.net> wrote:
>
>  > 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-10762.html
>> 
>><http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/darwinletters/calendar/entry-295.html>http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/darwinletters/calendar/entry-295.html
>> 
>><http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/darwinletters/calendar/entry-6611f.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.
>
>Now, here's the million-dollar question: Why do you need <time> or
>something like it for these dates?  You seem to have them marked up
>quite fine as it is.
>
>
>1) Machine readability.
>2) Consistency across websites that mark up dates.

Quite.  We've had this debate before and Ian decided that it might be 
confusing to apply a dating system to days when that dating system 
was not in effect on those days, I think.  Against that, one has to 
realize that "the label of the day before X" is well-defined for the 
day before the introduction of the Gregorian calendar, and 
iteratively going back to year 1, year 0, year -1, and so on.  And it 
would be nice to have a standard way of labelling dates in historical 
documents so that they are comparable; I am reminded of Kilngaman's 
book in which he has parallel chapters for China and Rome in the 
first century CE 
<http://www.amazon.com/First-Century-Emporers-Gods-Everyman/dp/0785822569/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1248970679&sr=8-1>. 
It would be nice if one could determine that two events in separate 
documents were essentially contemporary, despite being labeled in the 
original text in different ways.

However, whether the spec. formally blesses using <time> like this 
may not be very relevant, as it can be done textually with or without 
the blessing.
-- 
David Singer
Multimedia Standards, Apple Inc.
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