[uf-discuss] Human and machine readable data format

Guillaume Lebleu guillaume at lebleu.org
Tue Jul 1 09:01:33 PDT 2008

Glenn Jones wrote:
> As the exchange between Ben and Jeremy has shown what is human readable
> is up for debate. Having spent far too much time looking at the ISO date
> formats they are all readable to me, but I know that's not the case for
> everyone else.
> We need to expand the discussion and ask those involved in the
> accessibility area what is an acceptable human readable format. The
> format 2008-01-25 is a compromise and as such we need to ask the other
> party is it's an acceptable middle ground. For example would the BBC
> accept 2008-01-25 in the title of a abbr.
Since the BBC's request was specifically related to screen readers, we 
may want to distinguish "machine-readable", "human-readable" and 
"human-hearable". I think there is less debate re: what is 
"human-hearable" than there is debate re: what is "human-readable"

IMO, "2008-01-25" is indeed more human-readable than 
"2008-01-25T12:00:11", but it is still less "human-hearable" than the 
plain old English "January 25th, 2008", which is human-readable and 
machine-readable as long as it is written following precisely English US 
conventions and the locale can be deduced from a lang attribute (either 
global to the HTML document or local to the date).

Moreover, "January 25th, 2008" is indeed an expansion form of say "1/25" 
so, the following is correct HTML:

<abbr title="January 25th, 2008" class="dstart" lang="en-us">1/25</abbr>


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