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Originally posted October 9 2004 at 01:10 under Web. 0 Comments. Trackbacks Disabled.

Semantic Time

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Just thinking aloud here really. I found myself earlier today writing a web page which included various time periods (in this case a range of years but I’m thinking in more general terms than that). Now I wanted to style the time differently to the surrounding content, so needed a hook for my styles. Of course I immediatly began wondering what would be the best hook to use; what would be semantically correct in this case (surely the fact that this is a date is semantic information). And I couldn’t come up with anything. There isn’t really a semantic tag in HTML to deal with time in anyway. Which is a pity. In the end its surrounded in a span with class=”period” but I wasn’t very happy at putting what I felt to be semantic information into the styling. I’m a little too tired, it seems, to construct a good Google search to investigate this properly to see what if others have come up with some thoughts about this. I recall seeing some discussion in various places about marking up a calendar using a table or sequence of ordered lists but I don’t want a whole calendar. I know Tantek has noted there’s no XHTML markup for time. There’s TimeML, a Markup Language for Temporal and Event Expressions but that’s much too complex for what I want. What I really wish is that there were a date tag which took something like a format attribute so I could define how the date or period was formated. Ah well. End of thinking aloud.

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This Crazy Fool

Dr Ian Scott
Croydon (and Gateshead), United Kingdom
Bullding Services Engineer (EngDesign), PhD in Physics (University of York), football fanatic (Newcastle United), open source enthusiast (mainly Mozilla)

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