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DATETIME  May 2011

DATETIME May 2011

Subject:

Re: New approach about question marks - a suggestion

From:

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

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Fri, 13 May 2011 08:24:39 +0200

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On Thu, 12 May 2011 23:08:18 +0200, [UTF-8?]SaaÅ¡ha Metsärantala wrote
> Hello!
> 
> Thanks for the comment! Comments are very appreciated!
> 
> > the expressions
> 
> > 2011-05-09?
> 
> > 2011-05-(09)?
> 
> > 2011-(05-09)?
> 
> > are, I suggest, saying more or less the same thing.
> I do not agree. If a date is associated with some object, but we are not 
> really sure about which connection this date has to the object, then the 
> whole date (not only some part of it) is uncertain in which case we could 
> use:
> 
> 2011-05-09?

you are suggesting that (2001-05-09T12:33Z)? should be saying that the date 
is OK (and precise to minute) but you (the author of the metarecord entry) 
are not sure that its being  applied in the correct metadata field.
This, I suggest, is not a question of date expression but belief or 
certainty in the quality of data collection and editorial metadata creation.
If this is relevant  in your model then I would advise that one extend your 
metadata to include a data quality sub-element.
If an object in a collection has two date tags and one is not certain which 
of the two is the date of acquisition and which is the date of creation its, 
I think, foolish to mark both with "?" but rather to mark either these two 
fields as possibily switched or the whole record as "unconfirmed" (or some 
other status flag).
Its important, I think, not to confuse reliability issues on the level of 
the metadata with reliability issues on the level of data collection. Our 
emerging date format is about richly expressing dates and not about the 
metadata records in which they might be used. 

> 
> If, on the other hand, we are (almost) sure that this date applies, but 
> the interpretation of the handwriting of the day of the month is unsure, 
> then it is useful to be able to write something like
> 
> 2011-05-(09)?
> 
> or according to the syntax of my new suggestion
> 
> 2011-05-(09?)
> 
> in the metadata. I think it is important to remember that the EDTF is to 
> be useful to create metadata also for objects that are not born-digital, 
> such as handwritten documents and other analog-born objects.
> 
> > all this complexity
> If you want to make your comment even more valuable, we would really 
> welcome a clarification about WHAT is particularly complex in the 
> following two rules:
> 
> - A question mark without a right parenthesis immediately on its right 
> side is applicable to everything on its left side within the expression.
> 
> - A question mark with a right parenthesis immediately on its right side 
> is applicable to everything within the parentheses.
> 
> These two rules describe the central concept in my suggestion to a new 
> syntactic approach to solve the "approximation" problem. The rest of my 
> e-mail was just examples using these two rules and a way to show the 
> analogy with written languages.
> 
> I consider that the aim of creating EDTF is not only to solve the most 
> common situations in which dates need to be stored. There are already many 
> such solutions out there. Being able to handle more than the most common 
> situations is something that I do not consider a drawback. On the 
> contrary, it makes EDTF useful for more people, and thus, make it easier 
> for us to coordinate our efforts to document our cultural heritage.
> 
> In this e-mail, I answered to a few comments. In my next e-mail, I plan to 
> send comments about my re-reading of the EDTF specification and BNF.
> 
> Regards!
> 
> [UTF-8?]Saašha,


--

Edward C. Zimmermann, NONMONOTONIC LAB
http://www.nonmonotonic.net
Umsatz-St-ID: DE130492967

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