[uf-discuss] Is this illegal? 1) dtends for yyyy or yyyy-mm. 2) Wikipedia vevents for birth and death.

Toby A Inkster mail at tobyinkster.co.uk
Thu Feb 19 03:10:24 PST 2009

JMesserly wrote:

> 1) On wikipedia, we have lots of dates where only years or months are
> specified  Eg. the ancient Korean kingdom in this article
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gojoseon  the last year of existence was
> 108BC.  The precision is year units so judging from the examples for
> whole days from the microformats book Brian edited, as well as in the
> hcalendar, iCalendar (RFC2445) documents,  the dtend for this date
> should be -0107. Similarly, if the battle end date is given as August,
> 1843 then the dtend should be 1843-09, and if the article says battle
> end date is August 19, 1843, then the dtend should be 1843-08-20.
> Correct?

Looks OK to me. You should be aware that many parsers will not have  
been tested with dates prior to 1 AD. If they're using decent ISO  
8601 parsing libraries, they should probably be OK, but if they've  
written their own parser for dates, they may not be safe. My own  
parser <http://buzzword.org.uk/swignition/> mostly deals with such  
dates OK. The following fragment is parsed correctly for instance:

<div class="vevent">
   <span class="summary">The death of Julius Caesar</span> occurred on
   <abbr class="dtstart" title="-0043-03-15">the Ides of March, 44BC</ 

> 2) hCalendar usage for death dates.  Consider article Ceasar Augustus:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:J_JMesserly/demo1.  We are aware of
> proposals for dday (death day) addition to hCard.  Some feel vEvent is
> perfectly suited to Life events.  My question:  Is the usage of
> vevent, dtstart and dtend in this example in any way officially
> deprecated  or ruled improper?

hCard officially has no way of marking up dates of death. hCard's  
properties are entirely taken from vCard 3.0. The IETF is currently  
drawing up drafts for vCard 4.0 - it looks like this next version of  
vCard will contain a property 'DDAY' for date of death. Whether hCard  
is ever updated to use the new vCard standard is another question  
though. However in my parser I support the proposed new vCard 4.0  
properties (which also include 'BIRTH' and 'DEATH' for marking up the  
places of birth and death) as an hCard extension. Until that time,  
hCalendar is the only "official" way of marking up dates of death  
using Microformats.

Looking at your example, it does seem a little odd to mark up  
Augustus' entire life as a single hCalendar event with a start and  
end date. Not strictly wrong, but unusual. A better way would be to  
mark up his birth and death as separate events - this has the  
advantage that you can mark up the locations of birth and death, and  
even categorise the events as murder, suicide, accidental, etc.

Toby A Inkster
<mailto:mail at tobyinkster.co.uk>

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