TEI P4 has four elements, <date>, <dateRange>, <time>,
and <timeRange> for encoding and normalizing text that
describes a point or period in time. (Not counting
<timeline> and <when> which are special purpose
elements for establishing synchronous points.)
The only difference between a date and a time is the
level of precision. The quick description of the
difference between a <date> or <time> and a <dateRange>
or <timeRange> is that the *Range describes a period
greater than the level of precision used.
Furthermore, in its discussion of attributes for these
elements, P4 conflates accuracy and precision (and
also, IIRC, confidence in the accuracy :-), and does
not address whether ranges are inclusive or exclusive.
Thus I am suggesting that this mix of elements and
attributes need some attention for P5. Some first
Since it is easy to indicate a range with the
international standard representation of dates and
times (ISO 8601:2000), the *Rnage elements are
unnecessary, and should be dropped from P5. The
following example (from P4 6.4.4, source is Virginia
Woolf's _Mrs._Dalloway_) demonstrates an encoding of a
range without <dateRange>.
| Those five years —
| <date value="1918/1923">1918 to 1923</date>
| — had been, he suspected,
| somehow very important.
The Guidelines should simply state that the range
specified on value= is inclusive. E.g.
| <date value="1067/1776-07-03">After 1066 but before
| American independance</date>
(Which, of course, could also be encoded
| After <date value="1066">1066</date> but before
| <date value="1776-07-04">American indenpendance</date>
with the same accuracy and precision)
| <date value="1869-10-02/1948-01-30">during the life
| of the Mahatma</date>
The exact= attribute of <*Range> should become the
accuracy= attribute of <date> and <time>. The precision
is indicated by the precision of value=.
Since a date and time indicate the same thing (albeit
with varying precision) and the normalized
representation (ISO 8601) can include both, the
Guidelines should explicitly state that <time> and
<date> are technically interchangeable.
The Guidelines should be explicit about whether a "T"
is to be specified between the date and time fields of
an ISO 8601 value=. (I.e., whether the contents of
value= is an ISO 8601 format date followed by
whitespace followed by an ISO 8601 time (e.g.
"2004-09-03 15:24Z") or an ISO 8601 time and date (e.g.
"2004-09-03T15:24Z"). I prefer the latter myself.
The Guidelines should explicitly prohibit the notation
"24:00" to represent midnight in the value of value=.
(This notation *is* premitted by ISO 8601, one of the
few indications that it was written by committee :-)
We can imagine two different uses of the value=
attribute of <date> (or <time>, I suppose):
1. regularize the content of <date> into a format which
can easily be searched, preferably one that can easily
be parsed and searched
2. normalize the content of <date> to a date along an
agreed upon timeline (aka calander system)
It might make sense, then, to separate these into two
separate attributes, as one may reasonably want
different values for these purposes. For example, one
might like to regularize the *format* of the Julian
dates in early modern printing, but may well rather not
be bothered trying to figure out what the Gregorian or
proleptic Gregorian (i.e., normalized) value would be.
| <docDate norm="1548-04-07"
reg="1548-03-28">The.xxviii.day | of <name>Marche</name>
| <lb/>the yere of our lorde.