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

JMesserly swarmers at gmail.com
Thu Feb 19 09:15:24 PST 2009

Toby A Inkster  wrote:

> 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.

Thank you for your response.  I will interpret lack of responses to
this thread as acknowledgment that the techniques described are
regarded as acceptable in the microformats community.

To your point, no event is atomic.  All are divisible into separate
events, and the scope of divisibility is relative to the interest in
the subject matter.  What do I mean by this?  Consider the battle of
Gettysburg.  Maybe to you and I, it was a famous battle sometime
during the civil war and most would put the event somewhere between
1861 to 1865.  If we lived in Pennsylvania somewhere near the battle
site we might know the dates from our schooling- that the battle was
from July 1 to July 3, 1863.  Analogously to your "Better" suggestion,
should the beginning and end dates be described as separate events?
To a historian, and to Wikipedia and commons, even this granularity is
rather crude- on the Gettysburg battle we have a large volume of
microfomatable information on its constituent events.  There are a
half dozen articles on the subject.  Pickett's charge for example is
of historic importance because it foreshadowed the slaughter of World
War I due to the dominance of artillery and rapid fire rifles over
massed infantry techniques of the Napoleonic era.  Some of the events
are extremely fine grained, for example the
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Round_Top  article.  We even have
historic photos of particular portions of the event such as a fierce
conflict at the location known as "Slaughter Pen", that was part of
this particular batte.

Is the battle of Gettysburg one event, or a collection of thousands?
Can a Byzantine politician's lifetime be regarded as one event, or a
collection of thousands?  I see no semantic distinction between the
two, other than human vanity that our life events are somehow
different in kind than other types of events, all of which are also
aggregations of constituent events.

We shall be exposing this information via vevents aggregated onto a
web page.  If the microformats community sees some utility in
specifying additional structure between these events, we can deal with
this downstream.  I would hope that your community would carefully
consider general cases that are widely applicable, rather than special
cases that are applicable only to particular sets (such as life event
of living beings- hcards with ddays- okay maybe for horses- how about
battleships?- Ships are often treated as living beings.).

These theoretical matters are for you folks to settle, but that's my
two cents.  For now, large amounts of work can be done with the
existing standards.

Thanks go out to all in your community for your service to the
microformats initiative.

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