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DATETIME  May 2011

DATETIME May 2011

Subject:

New approach about question marks - a suggestion

From:

Saašha Metsärantala <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Mon, 9 May 2011 21:31:13 +0200

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (58 lines)

Hello!

In this e-mail, I suggest a new approach about the question marks, which 
could lead to an easier BNF and a more readable syntax. I try to stick to 
the previous versions of the EDTF drafts except regarding the question 
marks.

This other approach would be the following, based on praxis in the english 
language and other languages such as Swedish, for exxample. This e-mail 
focuses on this suggestion. Let's consider the following sentence:

"Would (not?) it be easier?"

Here, the question mark without a right parenthesis on its right side 
applies to everything on the left (of it). The question mark with a right 
parenthesis on its right side applies to what is inside of the 
parentheses. I consider this approach would be a good way to avoid 
mistakes when metadata is stored because it reminds of the use of 
parentheses as in several languages.

My suggestion is thus a syntax such as:

2011-05-09? (* "?" applies to the whole date *)

2011-05?-09 (* "?" applies to 2011-05 *)

2011?-05-09 (* "?" applies to 2011 *)

For short: A question mark without a right parenthesis immediately on its 
right side is applicable to everything on its left side within the 
expression. Easy, isn't it?

Let's consider parentheses, now!

2011-(05?)-09 (* "?" applies to 05 *)

2011-(05-09?) (* "?" applies to 05-09 *)

2011-05-(09?) (* "?" applies to 09 *)

For short: A question mark with a right parenthesis immediately on its 
right side is applicable to everything within the parentheses. Easy, isn't 
it?

These may be mixed in expressions such as:

2011?-05-(09?) (* The first "?" applies to 2011 and the second one applies 
to 09. In other words, only the month is "sure". *)

I consider that this would be quite straightforward and obvious to 
understand. Furthermore, it would be easy to formulate in the BNF (thanks 
to the placement of the parentheses) and easy to implement, too. It is not 
counter-intuitive, either.

Regards!

SaaĊĦha,

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