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DATETIME  December 2010

DATETIME December 2010

Subject:

Re: 'x' notation - Discrete years vs. interval

From:

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

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Tue, 14 Dec 2010 09:49:13 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (75 lines)

On Mon, 13 Dec 2010 17:57:56 -0500, Denenberg, Ray wrote
> (See also related posting "multiple dates".)
> 
> On the issue of what does '196x' mean - does it mean "all of the 
> discrete years 1960 through 1969", as I proposed, or should it mean, 
> as Ed proposes, the continuous interval, and thus the decade, the 1960s?

Actually... I suggested that 196x is 1960s as a decade with the precision
of decade.

> I don't see too much harm in Ed's proposal, "continuous interval". 

A "continuous interval" covering a unit X in precision X is nothing more
than, I'd suggest, a discrete date with a precision of X.


>  And, from looking at recent discussion, my impression is that 
> nobody (besides Ed) cares much about the issue.

I'm not sure.. Even if people don't quite grasp why I still would suggest
there is nothing to loose by decoupling precision and accuracy--- as we
do in all scientific measurements.


> 
> I do see a the following issues, though.
> 
> first, it would follow that 19xx means 20th century. Or actually no, 
> I suppose it wouldn't really, since a century is defined to begin at 
> year 1 - the 20th century begins with year 1901. (This is as opposed 
> to the definition of a decade - a decade begins with a year ending 
> in 0.) The point I'm getting to is that there already is a syntax 
> for century prescribed in ISO 8601: '19' means 20th centtury (there 
> is no corresponding similar syntax for decade).  So, we would need

Correct. ISO 8601 has a large number of implicit precisions. 19 means
20th century, 1982 is in year precision, 1982-12 is in month precision,
1882-W12 is in week precision,  1981-12-12 is in day precision..

 
> to be very careful about all this. 196x would mean the decade of the 
> 1960s. 19xx would mean the interval 1900 through 1999 but it would 
> not mean the 20th century. Perhaps this really isn't a problem at 
> all, just a cautionary note.
> 
> Second, we would then have three (!) syntaxes for an interval (for a 
> decade, for example).  The 1960s would be (1) 1960/1969 (2) 1960-
> -1960 (3) 196x.

1) 1960/1969 is an interval with precision of year.
2) I'm not sure what it is
3) Its, I've suggested, the decade of the 1960s with the precision of decade--
the missing link.

19xx and 19 are, I think, semantically equivalent.

 
> Third, there is a possible utility in allowing the x notation for 
> multiple dates, but see related posting "multiple dates".
> 
> Thoughts, please.
> 
> --Ray


--

Edward C. Zimmermann, NONMONOTONIC LAB
Basis Systeme netzwerk, Munich Ges. des buergerl. Rechts
Office Leo (R&D):
  Leopoldstrasse 53-55, D-80802 Munich,
  Federal Republic of Germany
http://www.nonmonotonic.net
Umsatz-St-ID: DE130492967

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