I just stumbled upon the following reference: Three month ago a PhD 
thesis was just finished at the Berkeley school of information:

Ryan Shaw. Events and Periods as Concepts for Organizing Historical 
Knowledge. Ph.D. dissertation. Advisor: Michael Buckland. University of 
California, Berkeley. 2010.

I have not had a look at it, but anyway - this philosophical discussions 
are interesting and important to highlight implicit assumptions and 
problems. But if we want to find practical solutions, we definitely need 
a kind of central issue/bug-tracking system, a formal grammar, and a 
reference implementation. I started to hack something in Haskell 
(, but sure there are easier 
tools, that you are more familiar with.

A simple wiki or collective google docs document would also help,
but just a discussion list will not lead to a final standard.


P.S: The only BNF grammar of ISO 8601, that I found so far is

Jakob Vo▀ <[log in to unmask]>, skype: nichtich
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