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Subject: Re: DOCBOOK: [ #456174 ] Req: a <YearRange> within <copyright>

Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com> writes 
> Yann Dirson suggests that a yearrange element be added to copyright.
> [...] what have other people elected to do when faced with this problem?

> Another obvious possibility is to let the stylesheet take care of
> the collation.
This would make it straightforward  for odd combinations (see below).  The
years of copyright are unambiguous then, and it's up to the stylesheet
(customizable?) to concoct the proper format.

Bob Stayton <bobs@caldera.com> replies:
>Is further structure really necessary here?
>Would a yearrange look something like this:
>Seems like overkill, IMHO.
>I like the simplicity of permitting <year>1999-2001</year>.
>Its meaning is quite clear, in all languages.
True.  I very much like it for that reason as well.

However, now that the decade (century/milleneum) has passed (if the last
decade was any indicator) it won't be uncommon to see abbreviations or
shorthand notation for the closing year, such as:

These may need to be handled as well.

I have no idea if anyone ever has things where years are skipped, such as
  COPYRIGHT (C) 1994-6, 1998-2001
(nothing changed in 1997) or if this is typically mashed together into:
  COPYRIGHT (C) 1994-2001.

(Unfortunately) listing the individual years is about the only way to
guarantee that one can generate the first form of this correctly, unless
one allowed for multiple ranges within the yearrange element.

>I'm sure there are XML applications that may be expecting a 4-digit year,
>but perhaps the burden should be on those applications to parse a range
>into individual years.
I'm not sure I can think up why an application would want to extract
individual years from a range, but there probably are some--maybe for
searching by copyright date???  

Personally, I like Bob's proposal of allowing arbitrary ranges within the
<year></year> pair, due to its simplicity.  My (uneducated) guess is that
would cover the majority of use cases well.


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