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RE: HTML Time Zone proposal

From: Phillips, Addison <addison@lab126.com>
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2015 18:29:55 +0000
To: Cameron Jones <cmhjones@gmail.com>, "www-international@w3.org" <www-international@w3.org>
Message-ID: <7C0AF84C6D560544A17DDDEB68A9DFB52EBAC590@ex10-mbx-9007.ant.amazon.com>
Hi Cameron,

(this is a personal response; chair hat off)

I don't think that's a good idea. 

A user's time zone has nothing to do with their language or language preference. Similarly, the time zone a particular page author wants to use is independent of the language/localization of the page. In many cases the time zone is likely to be generated from user preferences on-the-fly, which would require parsing and regenerating the language attributes in the page, rather than directly setting or accessing the value. The zone information, when encoded this way, is not scriptable and not amenable to normal HTML/CSS/XML style interaction. Page authors would have a complex time managing the zone. And it would require HTML and CSS to describe specific parsing.

I'm aware of CLDR's zone identifiers. I oppose the use of their -tz subtags for open interchange of zone information and I'm mystified about what the CLDR folks are thinking these subtags are useful for in a language tag. I suspect this is so specific implementers can pass a single "bag of international preferences" to a formatter to get a fully formatted result. And I think that's fine for things like number formats or collation options that *are* language/locale related. But time zones are purely orthogonal and shouldn't participate in this. 

We discussed in earlier iterations of this wiki page allowing both zone identifiers and offsets in date or time values, but this would break existing implementations that do not expect the zone identifier. I'm open to different solutions, but I tend to think that extending unrelated attributes is not the answer.

Addison

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Cameron Jones [mailto:cmhjones@gmail.com]
> Sent: Monday, February 09, 2015 6:30 AM
> To: www-international@w3.org
> Subject: Re: HTML Time Zone proposal
> 
> On Thursday, August 14, 2014 19:47 +0000 "Phillips,
> Addison"<addison@lab126.com> wrote:
> 
> > All,
> >
> > Thanks to everyone who responded to the call for comments. I have
> > updated the document located here:
> >
> >    https://www.w3.org/International/wiki/HTML5TimeZone

> >
> > I hope that I have addressed everyone's comments fully.
> > Feedback is still welcome.
> 
> Could the time zone be defined through the HTML BCP-47 lang=""
> attribute using the Unicode -tz extensions instead of introducing a new
> attribute?
> 
> This would allow a time zone to be set according to the HTML language
> resolution algorithm which would allow a time zone to be applicable across
> the entire document, on specific elements, or even with fallback to HTTP
> headers.
> 
> It also allows for the flexibility of using time zone identifiers instead of fixed
> offsets.
> 
> Thanks,
> Cameron Jones

Received on Monday, 9 February 2015 18:30:31 UTC

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