[whatwg] brief question on 2.4.5 Dates and times

On Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 9:51 AM, Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:

> On Wed, 26 Aug 2009, Silvia Pfeiffer wrote:
> >
> > I am trying to use the specification of Dates and times given in section
> > 2.4.5.
> How? That section is just introducing concepts for the rest of the spec.

I was looking at harmonising the way in which time is specified in W3C Media
Fragment URIs with the way in which we are doing it in HTML5. Therefore,
there is no relationship to any HTML5 elements.

> > I was surprised to find that there is a specification of a valid month
> > string, but not of a valid year string or a valid day string. Is that an
> > oversight?
> No, nothing in the spec uses the term "valid year string" or "valid day
> string", so I didn't need to define them.

As I realised that, I understood why it's been done the way it is. So, while
I believe it's a hard to read section if all you're looking for is to
understand the date format, I now also understand why it is done the way it

> On Thu, 27 Aug 2009, Silvia Pfeiffer wrote:
> >
> > I was trying to find out what restrictions we are putting on the year
> > part of the string. E.g. are we allowing years before the year 0 and
> > how.
> In what context? <time>? <input type=date>? <ins datetime>? Something
> else? (The answer is the same for all of them, but the answer is much
> easier to find if you start from a concrete question, and then follow the
> definitions back.)

My concrete question is independent of a particular element and is not even
based in HTML directly.

> It's all there, and it's all fully defined by recursive definition of
> > the parts that are being re-used (e.g. date reuses month (which is
> > month-year, but not just month). However, if you are trying to look for
> > something, it's rather confusing not to have e.g. year and day exposed
> > in the contents, while month is.
> If you're looking for something, start at the start. Don't try to
> short-circuit the spec and jump half-way through your answer; if you do
> that you might miss restrictions that apply to particular cases.

For my particular case, I started at the start, which is the specification
of the date string concept. Also, if somebody wants to understand the
principle of how time is specified in HTML, this is the place to start and
not in the particular elements. I don't think one can prescribe how somebody
must read a spec. Rather, a spec should be easy to read no matter which
section somebody is interested in.

In any case, it's not a major headache and hardly worth further worrying
about. There are more important things to take care of.

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Received on Tuesday, 1 September 2009 21:24:40 UTC