[microformats-discuss] International date formats

Tantek Ç elik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Mon Jul 25 10:14:30 PDT 2005

On 7/25/05 9:57 AM, "Dr. Ernie Prabhakar" <drernie at opendarwin.org> wrote:

> I also like the idea of a elemental microformat (nanoformat?) for dates.

I've been thinking about this a while too, but I'm not sure there is enough
of a "problem" that needs to be solved to require a separate elemental
microformat for dates.

Rather, for now, I see this use of <abbr> as a microformat design pattern
that should be utilized in other microformats, any time a date or time is

> I presume the official designation would be an "ISO_8601" date in the
> title, but the 'recommended' practice would be, with a space and
> timezone:
>> <abbr title="YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM[:SS]+-Z">

I would prefer to point to the W3C Note on Date Time for recommended
practice for now.

Which does ask for the "T" date time separator to be used.

> Of course, Robert (unintentionally, I suspect) raised another point:
>> But with <abbr title="2004-02-07T22:30">02/07/2005 11:30 pm</abbr>, I
>> simply move the mouse cursor over it and my browser will display the
>> date in an unambiguous notation.
> Alas, "unambiguous" is an unfortunate term: is that 2004 or 2005?
> That is the price of multiple representations; unfortunately, I can't
> think of any way around it.   Ideally I suspect a parser should use
> in the human-readable date as normative, if it could read it, but
> that leads to inconsistent results. :-(

I thought his point was deliberate, given the *two* inconsistencies:

1. 2004 vs. 2005

2. 22:30 (10:30pm) vs. 11:30pm (23:30)



> On Jul 25, 2005, at 4:54 AM, fantasai wrote:
>> Robert Bachmann wrote:
>>> Ryan King wrote:
>>>> As many have noticed, the <abbr> for date/time gets reused
>>>> alot...so,
>>>> I think it could stand to be refactored out into its own elemental
>>>> microformat. What do you think?
>>> I think every date/time on the web should be expressed using
>>> <abbr title="YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM">...</abbr>.
>> Since ISO 8601 apparently allows replacing the 'T' with a space
>>   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_8601#Combined_representations
>> then the value of 'title', which is *supposed* to be human-readable
>> and which would not be otherwise ambiguous, should use a space,
>> not a 'T'.
>> ~fantasai
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