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Subject: RE: [office-formula] serial number? Don't we mean serial date?

I had been calling them ORDINAL DATES, but I realize they are really ordinal
DAYS.  You can call them SERIAL DAYS (but not dates).  I think that would be

They are not dates, they are just intervals of days (including fractions

I think these only become dates when taken with an origin date and the
calendar mapping that goes with that origin date.  Since different hostings
will have different defaults for this, and some will allow selection among a
variety of origin dates and calendar mappings (usually document-global and
not changeable except at serious risk).  

The value of a cell holding such an ordinal day may be displayed in a number
of ways (hh:mm is a format I use regularly, as is yyyy-mm-dd) as specified
for the presentation format of the cell.  The second (yyyy-mm-dd) requires
an understood origin date and calendar mapping.  In the spreadsheets I work
with regularly, the cell value is still a Number and it may even be
determined by a formula.

The value of a cell having specific type date (or date-time) will presumably
use any associated origin date and calendar mapping to make an ISO 8601 or
other standard date-time representation for its value, with that conversion
done as required by the OpenFormula hosting.  Likewise, values of cells of
type date, and constants of date form (not sure OpenFormula has those),
would be automatically convertible to serial days by reference to the
prevailing origin date and calendar mapping.

 - Dennis

-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick Durusau [mailto:patrick@durusau.net] 
Sent: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 10:50
To: office-formula@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: [office-formula] serial number? Don't we mean serial date?


I am doing triage on the data types and keep running into date being 
referred to as a serial number?

Surely we mean serial date?

But it happens so often that I wanted to ask before changing it.

Hope everyone is having a great day!


Patrick Durusau
Chair, V1 - US TAG to JTC 1/SC 34
Convener, JTC 1/SC 34/WG 3 (Topic Maps)
Editor, OpenDocument Format TC (OASIS), Project Editor ISO/IEC 26300
Co-Editor, ISO/IEC 13250-1, 13250-5 (Topic Maps)

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