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

/ Matthew Braun <mbraun@urbana.css.mot.com> was heard to say:
| 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.

Done. :-) In CVS this morning there's a new parameter in the XSL
stylesheets ($make.year.ranges).  If non-zero (it is 0 by default),
consecutive years in a copyright statement will be collapsed into a
year range.


will be rendered as 1999-2001.

FYI: The template assumes that all the year elements contain only
decimal year numbers, that the elements are sorted in increasing
numerical order, that there are no duplicates, and that all the years
are expressed in full <quote>century+year</quote> (<quote>1999</quote>
not <quote>99</quote>) notation.

| 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:
| 	  2001-3
| 	  2008-12

Yuck! Not in any documents that I write or over which I have editorial
influence. :-)

| 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.

It is sometimes done. Usually for larger spans, e.g.:

  Copyright (C) 1956, 1962, 1998-2001

| >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???  

That's the only one I can think of; but the yearrange thing would be
almost as hard to use for that purpose as the explicit text range.

| 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.

For the record: you can already use <year>1999-2000</year> or any other
range that you want and there is no proposal on the table to attempt to
prevent this.

                                        Be seeing you,

Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>      | There is no excellent beauty that
http://www.oasis-open.org/docbook/ | hat not some strangeness in the
Chair, DocBook Technical Committee | proportion.--Sir Francis Bacon

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