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DATETIME  January 2010

DATETIME January 2010

Subject:

Re: syntax of date ranges

From:

"Edward C. Zimmermann" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Discussion of the Developing Date/Time Standards <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 27 Jan 2010 17:02:43 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (42 lines)

On Tue, 26 Jan 2010 15:11:38 -0500, Ray Denenberg, Library of Congress wrote
> Well,  the fundamental premise of this work is compatibility with 
> ISO 8601, thus any feature that is part of this dateTime spec, which 
> is also a feature of 8601, should be compatible with 8601.


Looking at:  http://www.loc.gov/standards/datetime/proposals.html
I'd be put off to events. When, for example, is WW-II? When is the "Big Bang"?
WW-II is, I think, a good counter-example since its period is geographic and
political. From the perspective most ex-Soviet states today the war was from
22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945. The war excludes the period between 1 Sept. 1939
most commonly given for the start of WW-II as well as the period after
9 May 1945.  Some, however, include the so-called preludes such as the
Second ItaloľAbyssinian War (invasion of Ethiopia), Second Sino-Japanese War,
the annexation of Austria in 1938 or the invasion of Czechoslovakia 1939 as
the start, Named events can also be nasty. What's, as mentioned in my previous
mail, 9 Nov? When was Creation? When was the little ice age? 17th century or
starting as early as the 15th century and ending in the mid 19th..?
When was Jesus (Joshua ben Joseph) born? Sure named events, especially for
times we can't completely resolve--- such as those I've mentioned--- can
be useful but, I'd argue, only with a controlled vocabulary, in other words
part of the standard would include a registry for named events. The problem
still remains: comparison. Is the date 12 May 1820 contained in the date
range defined by the "little ice age"? In all of these the question is
answerable "according to XYZ". Without the "authority" we can't answer the
question. When did the kingdom of Edom (descendants of Esau) exist? 6th
centuries BCE? 10 century BCE? When was the "Big Bang"? Was there even
a "Big Bang" (its a model after all and not a measurable event). 13 to 14
billion years ago,  5770 years ago or ?
Seems like a horrible box I'd don't think we'd want to open!

Instead of throwing this kind of nasty stuff-- horribly bloating and
"expensive" features--- in I'd consider throwing bits from ISO 8601 out to
reduce the footprint. 

--

Edward C. Zimmermann, NONMONOTONIC LAB
Basis Systeme netzwerk, Munich Ges. des buergerl. Rechts
http://www.nonmonotonic.net
Umsatz-St-ID: DE130492967

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