[microformats-discuss] International date formats

Sam Deane lists at elegantchaos.com
Tue Jul 26 16:50:58 PDT 2005

On 26 Jul 2005, at 17:02, Tantek Çelik wrote:

> Why not? (or rather, why do you consider it "resort"ing?)  As long  
> as the
> markup is valid, there is something to be said for going with a simple
> solution that works.  There is nothing inherently wrong with  
> javascript and
> tool tips.

Sorry - maybe that sounded a bit harsh. There's nothing wrong with  
Javascript of course, but it would be nice if authors didn't have to  
add custom code to each page, or users install a plug-in of some sort  
on their browser, just to get locally formatted dates.

I do think there's something wrong from a user interface point of  
view with having to roll over a date to get a tool-tip, just to see  
the locally formatted date. However, as has been pointed out, similar  
code could probably inject the local format back between the <abbr>  
tags, making the tool tip solution unnecessary.

Incidentally, I think it might be preferable if the design pattern  
recommended using ISO8601 dates between the <abbr> tags as well as in  
the title attribute (maybe using a space instead of a "T" between the  
tags). This may not be quite as readable as the author's chosen  
"human-friendly" representation, but it does have the advantage of  
being fairly unambiguous, whereas other choices are more likely to  
cause confusion. I can see that there will be cases where the date  
needs to be specified more informally, so ISO8601 wouldn't be  
appropriate, but there are also lots of cases where the exact  
representation chosen doesn't matter very much, and in these cases it  
would help if the default choice was a good one.

I am speaking as a Brit who is easily (and often) confused by  
Americans writing the month before the day with no other context to  
indicate that I'm reading American and not English!

Mind you, I am speaking as a Brit who is easily confused, full stop. ;)

Or should that be "easily confused, period"?

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