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Subject: RE: AW: ISO 8601 anyone?? And more on Parties. [AR][Forwarded Message from Aron Roberts]


* * *  FORWARDED MESSAGE FROM:  Aron Roberts...


In the message "RE: AW: ISO 8601 anyone?? And more on Parties.", 
dated 2001-04-19, John McClure wrote:

> Again, I think that both encodings -- a presentation encoding and
> an 8601 encoding -- are necessary. What's the problem with
> <instant value='2001-01-01'>New Year's Day</instant>
> <instant value='2001-10-03T14:00'>03 Oct 01 2PM</instant>
> <instant value='2001-10-03'>Oct. 3, 2001</instant>

   A better way would be to uniformly store and transmit dates and 
time values using ISO 8601 representations, then to programmatically 
transform these values as needed to meet one's specific presentation 

   This "as needed" transformation of data into presentation formats 
would reduce much of the overhead that would be required when 
transmitting and storing multiple formats, one intended for data, the 
other(s) for presentation.

   Doing so would also reduce the possibility of inconsistencies 
between data and presentation formats (where someone might 
erroneously identify a particular date as a holiday, for instance), 
and of variations, minor or otherwise, between multiple instances of 
the same presentation format ("New Year", "New Years' Day", "New 
Year's Day", and so on ...")

   As a possible suggestion for how these transformations might most 
effectively be carried out, one could readily envision 'date and time 
format conversion' Web services (accessible via XML Protocol/SOAP), 
either run in-house within one's unit or organization or available as 
free or commercial services elsewhere on the Internet.

   As an example, one might send '2001-01-01' as a string to a Web 
service that maintains a calendar of common names of holidays in the 
USA (for instance), which would in this case return a string such as 
"New Year's Day", suitable for presentation.

Aron Roberts  Workstation Software Support Group . 221 Evans Hall
               University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3808 USA
               voice  +1 510-642-5974.  fax  + 1 510-643-5385.


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