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Subject: DOCBOOK: RFE: Date Format


  Additional Sub Element

  Elimination of International Date Format Issues


Add the following elements to <date>:

numerical, from 1 to 31 inclusive

numerical, from 0 to infinity (I guess)

numerical, from 1 to 12 inclusive
 - it is possible that this could be PCDATA or numerical



Technical Comments:

Either this would need to be added in addition to the current <!ELEMENT
date>, or marked as a backwards incompatible change to be implemented in
DocBook V6.0 (I think). Parsing a date specified as in the example
should not present any problems to DSSSL or XSL. You could also add a
new element called (say) ISODATE which would render as ISO8601 date


A recent, rather lengthy debate at the LDP has highlighted the cultural,
linguistic differences date formats have. For example, is 1/4/1975, 1
April 1975 _or_ 4 January 1975. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to
resolve and I believe that passing the problem to the stylesheets is the
correct way to handle this situation. SGML/XML mark up ideas and a local
stylesheet can cater for local, cultural differences.

For example, in Norm Walsh's stylesheets one could add a %date_format
parameter that took values of "ISO8601", "AMERICAN" or "EUROPEAN" or
whatever would be most appropriate. I believe that DSSSL could actually
cope with values of "YYYY-MM-DD" and parse the years into YYYY, month
into MM and DD but I'm not sure whether XSL could do this easily.

Please e-mail me directly for comments or if I've sent this to the wrong
place (if you are reading this because you are on the LDP list, please
do not tell me that I've sent it to the wrong place - I've CC'ed it to
you for your information).

I am not "officially" affiliated with the LDP and they have not
explicity authorised me to request this enhancement. Nonetheless, it is
my opinion that an enhancement such as I have proposed will, in the
future, help cater for their needs and everyone's cultural expectations.


The new century begins at the end of this month;
 let the celebrations be brought forth
 let the people rejoice
God Bless the Queen!

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