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Subject: Re: ISO 8601 anyone??

On 2001-Apr-15 Eduardo Gutentag <Eduardo.Gutentag@eng.sun.com> wrote in

>>> May I ask a question? Why are we all using different date formats like
>>> D-M-Y and M-D-Y  when XML in general specifies only  Year-Month-Day

> That's an interesting assertion. Could you please send a pointer to where
> XML specifies such a thing? Or are you perhaps referring to a TLW other
> than XML?


In  <http://www.w3.org/TR/xmlschema-2/>:

>  XML Schema Part 2: Datatypes
>  W3C Proposed Recommendation  2001 March 30

the ISO 8601 standard is shown as the only defined date and time format.

It also turns up in the:

>  Dublin Core Metadata Initiative <http://purl.oclc.org/dc/> and
>  <http://purl.oclc.org/dc/documents/rec-dces-19990702.htm>.

and in many other W3C documents.

If we are going to use it (ISO 8601, that is) in our data, then why not
start using it right now, in our email, as well? If you're going to have a
seminar starting on '05/10/01' then the Europeans are going to turn up in
October, the US boys will be hammering on your door in mid July, and the
Japanese delegation will be over towards the end of the year 2005. Isn't
that the whole point of having International Standards?

Many W3C recommendations now incorporate or reference the ISO 8601 standard.
The place that it all may have started was in the note:

See  <http://www.qsl.net/g1smd/isoimp.htm> for the beginnings of a list of
participating countries for ISO 8601. China got missed off. It is defined in
the GB/T 7408-94 standard over there.

We are discussing defining the formats for data, for global acceptance and
unambiguity, but not bothering to use these formats ourselves. Most odd.

Some parts of NASA (for example <http://umbra.nascom.nasa.gov/> is one I
noticed) have decided to standardise on Year-Month-Day for everything. Thay
also use 24-hour format time, and normalise all data to the UTC Time Zone.
For Dates, shown on the Web Site, they use a selection of:
  2001-04-16  (or 2001/04/16)
and so on. Although this isn't XML, it shows a commitment to providing World
Readable unambiguous data, instead of the bad old days of '03/02/01' type
formats still seen in far too many places.






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