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DATETIME  May 2011

DATETIME May 2011

Subject:

Question marks (part 1)

From:

"Ray Denenberg, Library of Congress" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Thu, 5 May 2011 12:38:47 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (53 lines)

From: Saašha Metsärantala
 Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2011 10:57 AM
 To: [log in to unmask]
 Subject: Re: [DATETIME] Some comments about the BNF

> [2] Question marks
> 
> > > If there is a semantic difference between
....
> > > 2011?-04
> 
> > > on the one hand and
> 
> > > (2011)?-04
> > The first is not intended to be valid.

> I think that the BNF would be more consistent and easier to write if we
> consider the SECOND as non-valid. My suggestion is not counter-
> intuitive at all: If a question mark comes directly after a year, it is
> quite obvious that the question mark refers to the year and I consider
> we do not need parentheses for that.

I'm not sure. If it comes directly after a year, as in 2011?-04 then it is obvious.  That's because the year is the first part of the string so with nothing before it there can be ambiguity.

What if it comes directly after a month as in 

(1) 2011-04? 

Or 

(2) 2011-04?-01  

For (1) Would you say:
(a) it applies to the year-month combination, because the rule is that if it is at the end of the string it applies to the whole string; or
(b) it applies to the month because it directly follows the month

For (2) would you say:
(a) it applies to the year-month combination, because it should apply to the portion of the string preceding it; or
(b) it applies to the month because it directly follows the month.


And what about 2011-04-01?  

Similar questions.
 
I'm sure we can craft rules, but I think those rules would be more complicated than saying:
- if it is at the end and there are no parenthesis, it applies to the whole string.
- if it applies to only part of the string, that part is enclosed in parenthesis. 

I'll get to the rest of the question mark comments later. 

--Ray

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