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Sorry if I haven't been paying close attention, but have we really
established that all this complexity is valuable an necessary? Why not
just (only) allow a trailing question mark that indicates whatever
date is uncertain?

I get nervous about loading up this spec too much and banishing its
use to a small corner of the library world.

On Mon, May 9, 2011 at 3:31 PM, Saašha Metsärantala <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 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!
>
> Saašha,
>