[uf-discuss] Using hCalendar to Create History Timelines
jeremyboggs at gmail.com
Fri Jun 16 06:37:13 PDT 2006
I'm new to the list and new to microformats, so I hope the list
doesn't mind an newbie inquiry.
I'm a web designer at the Center for History and New Media (http://
chnm.gmu.edu) at George Mason University, where we build scholarly,
educational, and exhibit-based websites related to history, as well
as a number of tools for educators and historians. One tool we're
creating is called Timeline Builder, which will be a simple way for
anyone to create and display historical timelines. The hCalendar
microformat seems perfect for this kind of tool. We're thinking of
making something like the hCard creator, where a teacher or student
could go fill out a form, adding events, and generating a timeline
they could use on their own website or save in a user account.
A few questions:
1. Is marking up events that happened decades or centuries ago with
hCalendar an abuse of the spec and/or the spirit of the hCalendar
format? I know the wiki page says its good for "writeups of past
events", but I'm wondering if events hundreds of years in the past is
what the spec has in mind.
2. Has someone does this already, or discussed it already? I've done
a few searches with no luck.
3. Is this something worth pursuing, and a good application of
microformats, or so problematic to make it futile?
My biggest concerns involve date parsing in general, various changes
in calendars and dating in the past (e.g. the switch from Julian to
Gregorian calendar in the 16th century), and accounting for dating
systems in other regions and cultures, present and past.
I've got lots more questions for the list, depending of course on the
answers to the questions I've posed above and related specifically to
how to mark up different kinds of historical events with hCalendar.
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