RE: Dates in XML
Regarding the difficulty of writing a parser for arbitrary date formats, we propose using only one date format, specifically a profile of ISO 8601. This greatly aids interoperability. I've worked with Misha Wolf of your company on this a while back, and I think we both approve of this course. -----Original Message----- From: Peter_Masters@m... [mailto:Peter_Masters@m...] Sent: Wednesday, July 08, 1998 11:13 AM To: Andrew Layman Cc: xml-dev@i... Subject: RE: Dates in XML Andrew Layman <andrewl@m...> wrote (in part): One thing I notice in the example shown below is that the element contains the date twice, once in an easily-parsed form, once in what appears to be a display form. I would hope that the parsable form is all that is needed, with an application able to produce the appropriate display when needed. <some-date-element type="ISO 8601" value="19980708">July 8, 1998</some-date-value> While it is easy for an application (written in a Turing-complete language) to go from a canonical date representation to some (presumably localized) pretty-printed version, it is not clear to me how you would do this with the standard *ML style sheet mechanisms (either CSS or XSL). The benefit of the sample syntax is that the element content would be apparent, for example, to any HTML browser that latched on to it and which followed the rule that unknown tags are ignored, but their contents are processed. <asbestos-suit> I am aware that I am conflating HTML and XML here, and not everyone will be happy about it, but that is the subject for another, and much longer, message </asbestos-suit> This is the same general approach we've taken with Lotus eSuite's spreadsheet formulas, which typically look something like this: <TD FORMULA="@SUM(A2..A4)" LOTUS_VALUE="6.0" ALIGN="right">6</TD> There are certainly proposals on the table to add arbitrary processing capabilities to the rendering pipeline: Netscape's Action Sheets, for example (http://www.w3c.org/TR/NOTE-AS). While these in principal might support the generation of arbitrary displayable content from other information (such as the attribute values in an associated tag), I don't think this really represents a solution to the problem, for at least a couple of reasons: - it breaks the contract (implicit, I think, in both HTML and XML) that the text of the document is represented by the content of its elements - the amount of code needed to implement the desired transforms is essentially unbounded, as is the amount of computation required. While it might be practical to reformat dates with a script attached to an action sheet, I don't think anyone would suggest that a spreadsheet recalc engine is a good candidate for script implementation. xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev@i... Archived as: http://www.lists.ic.ac.uk/hypermail/xml-dev/ To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; (un)subscribe xml-dev To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo@i... the following message; subscribe xml-dev-digest List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa@i...)
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