LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for DATETIME Archives


DATETIME Archives

DATETIME Archives


DATETIME@C4VLPLISTSERV01.LOC.GOV


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

DATETIME Home

DATETIME Home

DATETIME  August 2012

DATETIME August 2012

Subject:

Re: Two questions about the draft

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, 30 Aug 2012 13:56:33 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (156 lines)

From: Go Sugimoto
> In the spec, the syntax "1980~" means approximately 1980, right?
> But, it looks (to me at least) like to mean "from the year 1980 onward"
> (i.e. 1980/open is the equivallent in the spec).
> It is also consuging to compare this with a local convention that people
> sometimes use(e.g. "1980-" often means 1980/open)

So you're saying that in a human-readable expression '~' might be confused
with '-' because they look similar.  

But we really don't have the luxury of choosing/excluding characters based
on their similarity to other characters. And I don't know of any precedent
for doing so. Otherwise, '~' would not have been adopted in mathematics as
the character representing "approximately" because '~1000' ("approximately
1980") might be confused with '-1000' ("negative 1000").   Furthermore, even
assuming the possibility of such confusion, while it is true that '1980-' is
suggestive of "the year 1980 onward", '1980-' is not valid in the dateTime
syntax, which, while it is intended to be human-friendly, is not intended as
a natural language syntax. 

> >>"'196x' has decade precision while '196u' has year precision".
> 
> Maybe I am not smart enough, ....

(nor am I)

> ...... but this is what I don't understand very well.
> The spc also says in the same paragraph "Both represent an unspecified
year
> during the 1960s, but for 196x the year is not supplied because it is
known
> only with decade precision..." So, fundamentally, both represents a year
> sometime during 1960s, doesn't it?

First let me say that that I think that the usage of 'x' and the
articulation of precision satisfy a specialized requirement that few
applications have, and that those who don't should use simply use 'u'.

Having said that, I am not sure it is accurate to say "both represent a
year" (even though that's what the spec currently implies); more accurate, I
think, is that '196x' represents "an event that occurred sometime during the
1960s" and '196u' represents "an event that occurred during some year in the
1960s, which may or may not be filled in later".  We will likely revisit
this during the next phase, but I am not going to attempt to revise or
correct it now.   However, I reiterate,  anyone who does not find this
distinction meaningful should ignore 'x' and use 'u'.


> >> You might want to look through the archive of the email discussion on
> this.
> 
> I will try. It would be great if you can give some hint (approximately
when
> it was discussed).

Well to start, go to: http://listserv.loc.gov/cgi-bin/wa?S1=datetime and in
the search box enter '196x'.  You'll get a long list of messages relevant to
this subject.  

--Ray




> -----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
> Van: Discussion of the Developing Date/Time Standards
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] Namens Ray Denenberg, Library of
> Congress
> Verzonden: woensdag 29 augustus 2012 23:45
> Aan: [log in to unmask]
> Onderwerp: Re: Two questions about the draft
> 
> Go - Thank's much for your comments.
> 
> From: Go Sugimoto
> > 1) Is ~ the only possiblity to express approximate date? For computer
> > processing, there is no problem, but thinking of human-usability, It
> > is rather confusing, because it looks like starting of period.
> > Wasn't it an option to use c/ca (circa) or a (approximate) or
> > something similar? As far as th terms like "unknown" and "open" are
> > introduced, I don't see the problem to use characters to be a bit more
> human-friendly.
> 
> I don't think there was ever any discussion or debate about what
> character(s) would represent approximate date. (There was much discussion
> and debate about what is meant by "approximate date", but not about how to
> represent it.)  So I can only tell you my view on why ~ was chosen.
Mainly,
> we wanted a one-character symbol. 'ca' is sufficiently suggestive of
> "approximate" but it is two characters. Neither 'c' nor 'a' is
sufficiently
> suggestive (nor would any single letter be). We wanted a one-character
> symbol because it is used in conjunction with other symbols (in contrast
> with "open" and "unknown"), as in for example "?~" and two characters for
> the approximation symbol would have increased parsing complexity.
> 
> I don't understand what you mean by saying that you find ~ "confusing,
> because it looks like starting of period."
> 
> 
> > 2) There is a paragraph about the use of x and u:
> >
> > Note the difference in semantics between 'x' and 'u'. '196x' has
> > decade precision while '196u' has year precision. Both represent an
> > unspecified year during the 1960s, but for 196x the year is not
> > supplied because it is known only with decade precision. In contrast,
> > for 196u the year is not supplied for reasons that are not specified
> > but there is some expectation (though no guarantee) that the year may
> > be supplied later; for 196x there is no such expectation.
> >
> > I am not very sure the diference comes from decade and year precision
> > (both seems to have exactly the same meaning: an unspecified year
> > during 1960's), but I would think that the intention is different.
> >
> > Maybe I am confused with the English phrases, but if I read between
> > the line, I might think this way: "expectation" may be a bit confusing
> > term in the paragraph.
> > For example, on one hand, in archaeology (Im originally an
> > archaeologist ;) ), it would be great if scientific analysis brings
> > more precise date of an object later, so there is expectation. In my
> > view, this is kind of normal situation and there is always a chance
> > for unexpected scientific of academic discovery and date can be found
> > later. On the other hand, if there is a photo dipicting some Rubik's
> > Cubes. A curator knows that they are all from 80's production, but
> > s/he does not need to specify more in order to display it as typical
> > 80's toy. Then, the date is 198x, and the point is that there is no
> > intention to investigate all the production dates in future; hence
> > there is no need to be precise. So what about this?
> >
> > Note the difference in semantics between 'x' and 'u'. Both represent
> > an unspecified year during the 1960s, but for 196x the year is not
> > supplied because there is no intention or need to be more specific. In
> > contrast,
> for
> > 196u the year is not supplied for reasons that are not specified but
> > there is some expectation or need (though no guarantee) that the year
> > may be supplied later.
> 
> The essence of the existing text is "'196x' has decade precision while
> '196u' has year precision". Your suggested revision eliminates that
> distinction (and introduces a different distinction). During discussion
and
> debate on this, there was only one participant who felt that this
> distinction is meaningful (or at least meaningful enough that it be
> represented in the spec). But for that one participant this distinction is
> critical. (Perhaps he will weigh in further.)  In fact crafting that text
> so that everyone was satisfied was possibly the most difficult part of the
> process of developing the spec. You might want to look through the archive
> of the email discussion on this.  But in any case, you will have the
> opportunity to revive this issue during the next phase, which I hope to
> have more information on soon.
> 
> Thanks again.
> 
> --Ray

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

August 2019
February 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
January 2018
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
August 2016
July 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
December 2014
November 2014
March 2014
September 2013
May 2013
February 2013
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
May 2012
March 2012
December 2011
November 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTSERV.LOC.GOV

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager