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DATETIME  January 2011

DATETIME January 2011

Subject:

"User input" (was dual representations)

From:

Gerard Ashton <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Thu, 20 Jan 2011 07:33:03 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (21 lines)

Considering all the subtle problems we have been discussing, I would
think that some people will want to take advantage of the format as a
way to originally record information on paper with a pen, or in a simple
computer program such as Wordpad or EMACS. This might be particularly
helpful for people in a multi-cultural environment where subtle
distinctions of spelled-out words like "weekdays" might be
misinterpreted. So I think the format should, as much as possible, be
suitable for direct human use with no computer intermediary. Certainly
some aspects of ISO 8601 are used in this way (or maybe ISO 8601 adopted
what some people were already handwriting, I don't know).

It follows that some expressions will be regarded as wrong when read by
humans, and the people will contact the author to determine the correct
value. The date-time 2011-01-19T25:29Z is likely to generate a phone
call if it was written by a person, no matter what the spec says, just
as Friday, January 20, 2011 would. So one wonders whether values should
be allowed that would be rejected if read directly rather than through a
software intermediary.

Gerry Ashton

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