Re: W3C 'endorsement' of ISO 8601
- (Resending, with a correct subject line:)
Tex Texin wrote, in "Re: The EME Web Sites and the ISO 8601 Standard"
>re [Ian Galpin's assertion]:Tex is correct.
>>On the Web, the World Wide Web
>>Consortium (W3C), now recommend (on the
>>only the Year-Month-Day date format.
>To be clear this is just a note with no endorsement of the W3C.
>The opening statement of the note says exactly that.
>We shouldn't misconstrue its intent.
However, date and time representation standards derived from ISO
8601 are showing up with increasing frequency in the recommendations
of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) <URL:http://www.w3.org/>.
Some examples -- which include working drafts and other
'recommendation-track' documents at various stages -- include:
- XML Schema Datatypes
- Resource Description Framework (RDF),
via the optional incorporation of Dublin Core metadata
(as per the discussion in section 7.4)
- Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS) Labels
(The PICS format uses an incorrect separator between
date elements, which is corrected in the later PICSRules
- Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) 2.0
(specified in the "The SMIL 2.0 Timing and Synchronization Module")
Examples of other, similar standards or specifications for the Web
which have incorporated ISO 8601 in various forms, although not
carried out directly under the auspices of the W3C, include:
- Dublin Core Metadata Initiative
(specified via the metadata element set)
- RELAX (an XML schema language)
- News Industry Text Format
(specified via the DTD documentation)
- The Information and Content Exchange Protocol (ICE)
Like RELAX, TREX is yet another, emerging XML schema language. Its
author states that it may later "partner" with XML Schema datatypes,
above, which might potentially include the latter's ISO 8601-derived
date and time datatypes.
The inclusion of XML Schema, RELAX, and TREX on this list is of
considerable significance. These are the three leading,
next-generation schema languages for describing eXtensible Markup
Language (XML) document types.
If present trends hold, a significant portion of the world's
structured data will at some point in its transmission, use, or
storage be marked up in XML. By implication, dates and times
appearing in XML documents or data streams -- and which are
explicitly defined by one of these schema languages as date- or
time-related elements or attributes -- would thus need to conform to
datatypes derived from ISO 8601.
Of course, it will be a long time before we will know whether this
will actually transpire! ;-) Still, there is a reasonable
possibility that XML may prove to be something of a Trojan Horse,
becoming the primary mechanism -- albeit an indirect one -- through
which ISO 8601 date and time representations will come to be widely
used in data processing worldwide.
Aron Roberts Workstation Software Support Group . 221 Evans Hall
University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3808 USA
aron@... . +1 510-642-5974 . fax 510-643-5385