[uf-discuss] Human and machine readable data format

Scott Reynen Scott at randomchaos.com
Thu Jul 3 09:03:08 PDT 2008

On [Jul 2], at [ Jul 2] 4:37 , Bob Jonkman wrote:

>> The difference with ISO dates is we've previously defined them as
>> content; I'm suggesting that's a mistaken definition, as these dates
>> don't function as content in our reference standard iCalendar.
> I disagree.  In an appointment, the date IS the content.

*A* date is, but not the ISO date.  I think that's a subtle but  
important distinction we've overlooked too often.  You never see ISO  
dates presented to (nor entered by) people in applications that work  
with iCalendar.  They're only used to *produce* content.  I think HTML  
entities are probably the closest analogy.  The entities themselves  
are not the content; they're merely used to produce the content in  
various contexts (i.e. character sets).  We don't display entities; we  
only display the content they're used (by machines) to produce.  If we  
recognize that ISO dates are the same type of information ("metadata"  
or whatever you want to call it), then not displaying them isn't a  
compromise; it's just the obvious way to treat that type of  
information, the same way it's treated everywhere else.


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