[uf-discuss] Using hCalendar to Create History Timelines

brian suda brian.suda at gmail.com
Fri Jun 16 07:24:12 PDT 2006

We discussed briefly the issues with ISO Dates on the Dev  List

Recently, at reboot 8, which was all about the 14th century renaissance,
there has been use of vevents to describe events that took place
hundreds of years ago[1,2].

Because hCalendar uses ISO Dates we are limited. We can't switch easily
between gregorian and julian, as well as describe BCE dates, or circa 1492.


[1] - http://adactio.com/articles/1132/
[2] - http://adactio.com/journal/1141/

Jeremy Boggs wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> 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.
> Thanks!
> Jeremy Boggs
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