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DATETIME  February 2017

DATETIME February 2017

Subject:

Multi-Month Periods in EDTF, e.g. Seasons

From:

Christoph Päper <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 05:43:04 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (111 lines)

ISO 8601-2 is a “draft international standard” (DIS) right now, on ballot through March. In section 4.7 it is specifying seasons and other multi-month periods using the extension of the CCYY-MM format proposed by EDTF in <https://www.loc.gov/standards/datetime/pre-submission.html#season>. I believe this is ill-advised and although I prefer a different approach altogether I think this one could be improved to be useful. I’m planning to also submit this feedback through my national standards body (NSB).

- 21, 22, 23, 24 = ‘Spring’, ‘Summer’, ‘Autumn’ (or ‘Fall’), ‘Winter’ independent of hemisphere (or actual definition) – EDTF, ISO
- 25, 26, 27, 28 = (probably astronomic) ‘Spring’, ‘Summer’, ‘Autumn’ (or ‘Fall’), ‘Winter’ in the Northern hemisphere – ISO
- 29, 30, 31, 32 = (probably astronomic) ‘Spring’, ‘Summer’, ‘Autumn’ (or ‘Fall’), ‘Winter’ in the Souhern hemisphere – ISO
- 33, 34, 35, 36 = 4 trimesters or quarters of 3 months each – ISO
- 37, 38, 39 = 3 quad(ri)mesters of 4 months each – ISO
- 40, 41 = 2 semesters of 6 month each – ISO

This would be a quite arbitrary choice that blocked an informed one. I suggest to compose the two-digit ID for a multi-month period in the following way:

  <number of months><first month ordinal>

This, of course, only works directly for January through September starts, but there are viable solutions for October through December starts. Quarters or trimesters last for three months, hence their first digit should be ‘3’; likewise, bimesters are ‘2…’, quadmesters or quadrimesters ‘4…’ and semesters ‘6…’. Since ‘5…’, ‘7…’, ‘8…’ and ‘9…’ are not needed for subdivisions of the year, they can be harvested for missing values. If possible, the default alpha-numeric sort order should match the chronologic order.

Proposed MM codes
-----------------

- 20 bimester starting with preceding December  
   – meteorologic Central-European winter
- 21 bimester starting with January  
   – Q1, -1
- 22 bimester starting with February
- 23 bimester starting with March  
   – meteorologic Central-European spring
- 24 bimester starting with April  
   – Q2, -2
- 25 bimester starting with May
- 26 bimester starting with June  
   – meteorologic Central-European summer
- 27 bimester starting with July  
   – Q3, -3
- 28 bimester starting with August
- 29 bimester starting with September  
   – meteorologic Central-European autumn
- 80 bimester starting with October †  
   – Q4, -4
- 81 bimester starting with November †
- 82 bimester starting with December †  
   – meteorologic Central-European winter

- 19 trimester starting with preceding November  
   * clash with 89 → 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 00?
- 30 trimester starting with preceding December
- 31 trimester starting with January
- 32 trimester starting with February
- 33 trimester starting with March
- 34 trimester starting with April
- 35 trimester starting with May
- 36 trimester starting with June
- 37 trimester starting with July
- 38 trimester starting with August
- 39 trimester starting with September
- 90 trimester starting with October †
- 91 trimester starting with November †
- 92 trimester starting with December †

- 88 quadmester starting with preceding October  
   * doesn’t sort well → 18?
- 89 quadmester starting with preceding November  
   * doesn’t sort well → 19?
- 40 quadmester starting with preceding December
- 41 quadmester starting with January
- 42 quadmester starting with February
- 43 quadmester starting with March
- 44 quadmester starting with April
- 45 quadmester starting with May
- 46 quadmester starting with June
- 47 quadmester starting with July
- 48 quadmester starting with August
- 49 quadmester starting with September
- 50 quadmester starting with October
- 51 quadmester starting with November
- 52 quadmester starting with December

- 56 semester starting with preceding August
- 57 semester starting with preceding September
- 58 semester starting with preceding October
- 59 semester starting with preceding November
- 60 semester starting with preceding December
- 61 semester starting with January
- 62 semester starting with February
- 63 semester starting with March
- 64 semester starting with April
- 65 semester starting with May
- 66 semester starting with June
- 67 semester starting with July
- 68 semester starting with August
- 69 semester starting with September
- 70 semester starting with October
- 71 semester starting with November
- 72 semester starting with December

Unassigned MM codes
-------------------

- 00
- maybe 13…17, perhaps 18, probably not 19
- 53, 54, 55
- 73…79
- 83…87, maybe 88…89
- 93…99

These would be available for periods that don’t cover full months, e.g. astronomic/astrologic ~90-day seasons. Periods marked † could also be changed to use different, arbitrary codes.

Note: This proposal doesn’t leave a continuous span of 12 or 13 numbers for designating lunations/lunar months or zodiac signs.

Level 3
-------

EDTF and ISO/DIS 8601-2 only propose to repurpose the right-truncated CCYY-MM format for seasons etc., i.e. CCYY-SS, but for bimesters and trimesters (including classic seasons) overloading CCYY-MM-DD would also make intuitive sense, because they span less than 100 days each. Quadmesters and semesters would require a new CCYY-SS-DDD format which kind of defeats the purpose of extending existing syntax.

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