Well, It’s about [time]

<time> will be back in HTML5 by next <time>tuesday 8th November</time> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2011Nov/0011.html #W3C

The decision to allow <time> back into the HTML5 fold has been made. Just like that, one element is restored. This recent dust-up still tells me that all the elements are always in peril.

You can read the full decision in the email archives. This section of the email describing the process is worthy of a blog post of its own, but I just don’t have the energy to trace it all out tonight:

This change is related to bug 13240 [1] which was never sent to the HTML WG since it used a possibly incorrect Bugzilla component. Since WG members were NOT notified of the creation of this bug the Chairs have decided that this change should be subject to the Enhanced Change Control rules in the WG Decision Policy [2]:

“Therefore during a pre-LC review, or during a Last Call, feature additions or removals should only be done with sufficient prior notice to the group, in the form of a bug, a WG decision, or an on-list discussion. This applies only to LC-track drafts and does not apply to drafts that may include material for future versions of HTML.”

We therefore ask for a revert of this change to be completed no later than the end of day on Tuesday 8th of November. If this revert is not complete by that time, we will instruct W3C staff to make this change.

You can also read the full bug report (filed because <time> was removed) along with the feedback.

If you are interested in tracking the process itself, you can also read the minutes for the meeting. The minutes don’t provide a clear resolution and include nuggets like this which only continue to concern me about the whole process:

mjs: asking for vote to not having time element vs having time element
1 vote to not have it…larger number of people (7) would like to have time element

mjs: asking for data element vs not having data element
… it seems that it’s clear (not full working group) favor having both elements <time> <data>

hixie: most of these use case are irrelevant

Yes, I cherry-picked that.

You can also read my other two posts on this topic if you need some context:

Also, don’t forget to see CSSquirrel’s cartoon: Can Hixie’s <Data>leks Exterminate <Time>? It’s funny because it’s true. And daleks.


Shortly after the decision came down regarding the return of <time>, Tantek Çelik put together a proposal for changes to the <time> element with the W3C:

Add the <time> element to HTML5 with all of the following

  • the functionality it had before removal
  • plus support for year-only dates per [1] (e.g. vCard4 RFC6350 / hCard ‘bday’ use-case)
  • plus support for year-month only dates per [2] (“”)
  • plus support for month-day only dates per [3] (“”)
  • timezone per [4]
  • duration per [5]

No comments? Be the first!

Leave a Comment or Response

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>