Complexity of date/time issues (was Re: DR 10-0001...)

Norbert Bollow nb at
Sat May 1 10:48:20 CEST 2010

Chris Rae <Chris.Rae at> wrote:

> WG4 are currently working simultaneously on:
> * Removing 8601 dates from transitional (DR 09-0275)
> * Removing the leap year bug from strict (DR 10-0001)
> * Profiling 8601 dates (project JTC 1.34.29500.
> Unfortunately all of these involve complex edits made to the same
> sections of text and (as Gareth's changes to the document on this
> thread demonstrate) it is becoming difficult to track the work
> independently and we're increasingly opening the risk of mistakes
> when we eventually integrate these DRs into the standard. It's more
> than just a different word here and there - for example, some of
> these changes involve many edits to text which another change is
> removing entirely.

Another complication to consider here is that "Removing 8601 dates
from transitional" will re-open timezone-related concerns such as
those raised by Switzerland back in 2007 during the DIS ballot. In
particular, it has been the Swiss position that it must be possible
to associate timezone information to spreadsheet date-time data,
and that there must be support for correctly handling the transition
to daylight-saving time and back. These issues were addressed to our
satisfaction by the mandatory adoption of the ISO8601 format, and if
we're now moving away from the ISO8601 format for documents of the
Transitional conformance class, I would expect that Switzerland, and
probably other countries too, would probably insist these concerns
would have to be correctly addressed in some other way.


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