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'196' (currently) is not a valid 8601 expression.   "year 196" is expressed as '0196'.   All years less than four digits are zero filled to four digits (the exception is only by private agreement, which is out of scope for our purposes).   So there is no risk that '196' will be confused with the year 196.

But more to the point, '19' is already the 8601 expression for "the nineteen hundreds"

Ray

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Discussion of the Developing Date/Time Standards
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jarkko Hietaniemi
> Sent: Saturday, January 09, 2016 9:24 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [DATETIME] DATETIME Digest - 4 Dec 2015 to 5 Dec 2015 (#2015-
> 58)
> 
> I must have missed the discussion...
> 
> but please tell me I misunderstood that it has been suggested that three-
> digit and two-digit things like
> 
> 196
> 19
> 
> would mean 1900s and 1960s.  If this was not a misunderstanding, or a
> figment of the digest malformatting (the digest shows up to me as rather
> battered HTML), please reconsider that.  That would be a really bad decision.
> The most obvious one being that how would one then specify the year one
> hundread and ninety-six, for example?  Not just for ancient authors, but for
> specifying dates for any old events.
> 
> Rather, stick to specifying the uncertain parts with the "u", e.g.
> 
> 196u
> 19uu
> 
> I have written my share of date parsing and formatting software, and I simply
> cannot even start to describe how utterly bad an idea it would be to encode
> uncertainty by the absence of digits.