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DATETIME  April 2015

DATETIME April 2015

Subject:

Re: Regarding Season Qualifiers: hemispheres, etc.

From:

"Byrd, Donald A." <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Mon, 6 Apr 2015 17:28:25 +0000

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text/plain (35 lines)

On Apr 4, 2015, at 2:41 AM, Richard Tallent <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>> On Apr 3, 2015, at 11:21 PM, Byrd, Donald A. <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>> Your idea makes sense to me, i.e., there's on need for a string as qualifier _if_ we're talking specifically about Astronomical Season or specifically about Meteorological Season; otherwise a string might be necessary to clarify what kind of season is referred to.
> 
> I wasn’t present for the original discussions, but the qualifier appears to be a way of kicking the can down the road. It should definitely be either fleshed out or replaced during the ISO process.
> 
> Dates that have a resolution of "season" are already fairly imprecise, so I’m unconvinced that there is a need to qualify the season at all — just model the date as it is represented in the original source, and allow the data model that contains the date to deal with geography.
> If the “season” has a particular cultural context that should be preserved, it should be converted into an appropriate interval rather than overloading the “season” semantics. For example, if a date is “Spring 2001” and the context tells us it’s a date that follows the Gaelic calendar, we should render it not as 2001-21, but as [2001-02-01..2001-04-30]. We would not, after all, represent today’s date in the Hebrew calendar as 5775-01-15^Hebrew.

The problem with that is that, for example, saying something happened in the spring really is not identical to saying it happened between _this_ day and _that_ day. The latter suggests much more precision. In addition, the date a season begins and ends can vary, from (I believe) the 20th to the 22nd.


> The hemisphere problem is a bit harder, and I admit probably needs special attention.
> 
> One solution is to say that “21” means either Northern Hemisphere Spring or Southern Hemisphere Fall, etc. We’re talking about the same time period either way. The application would need to decide how to render the season name based on the user’s culture, as it does for month names.
> 
> Another solution (not as clean but still better than qualifiers IMHO) would be to leave 21-24 as the seasons for the Northern Hemisphere (or where the hemisphere is unknown/unspecified), and assign 25-28 as seasons specifically for the Southern Hemisphere. Again, I don’t prefer this option over the first, but I think it’s still simpler than dealing with the qualifiers.

These are interesting alternatives; certainly simpler than arbitrary string qualifiers.

--Don


> 
> —Richard

---
Donald Byrd
Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellow
Adjunct Associate Professor of Informatics
Visiting Scientist, Research Technologies
Indiana University Bloomington

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