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186Re: [ISO8601] Re: Clarifications:

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  • Pete Forman
    Jul 16, 2001
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      P A Hill & E V Goodall writes:
      > [snip]
      > In fact, the standard before the first truncated format in the
      > opening paragraph of says "In each case hyphens that
      > indicate components should be used only as indicated or shall be
      > omitted."
      > That to me hints that some of choices are arbitrary, so don't play
      > around with them. Also, there is no place that states that all
      > formats are mutually unambiguous from each other. As I was reading
      > I was looking for just such a statement or examples that violated
      > the idea. I found neither, but that is no proof.

      How about the last paragraph in 4.1.

      I agree that the choices seem arbitrary. There may be some logic
      behind it though. My guess is that the rules are something like

      Replace an omitted component in a truncated format with a hyphen.
      Component may be century (first two digits of a four digit year)
      or decade (first three digits of a four digit year) or last two
      digits of the year or month or week. The term component is not
      defined as such but the components are listed for each of the
      truncated representations.

      Remove hyphens if the result is unambiguous.
      4.6 para 1 states that a hyphen may be necessary to represent an
      omitted component. That implies to me that the hyphen should not
      be used if possible.

      (The above two rules may also be expressed as: Components may be
      omitted, if the result is ambiguous then use a hyphen to stand for
      the omitted component.)

      Add hyphens where a format is ambiguous. This is bound to be
      arbitrary: if two formats collide one must be chosen to get the
      extra hyphen.

      Note that omitting hyphens by these rules is a separate issue to I take the latter to mean that the communicating parties
      agree that, for example, two digits alone mean a month rather than
      using four characters of proper.
      Pete Forman -./\.- Disclaimer: This post is originated
      WesternGeco -./\.- by myself and does not represent
      pete.forman@... -./\.- opinion of Schlumberger, Baker
      http://www.crosswinds.net/~petef -./\.- Hughes or their divisions.
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