tecznotes

Michal Migurski's notebook, listening post, and soapbox. Subscribe to this blog. Check out the rest of my site as well.

Dec 14, 2006 6:59am

specifying time

I've been trying to think of ways to denote points and ranges in time suitable for use in URL's. Notation should also be human-readable, free of URL "problem" characters (e.g. spaces, ampersands), guessable/hackable, and universally equivalent (i.e. no time zones!). One of the possible contexts is for use in Flash, which is aware of only two time zones: local and UTC. It and Javascript also have clumsy and primitive string support, so anything that requires regular expressions or a state machine is out.

Tom and I kicked around a few simple possibilities today:

  1. Point: 2006-12-01T06:12:01Z.
  2. Range, point-to-point: 2006-12-01T06:12:01Z/2006-12-02T06:12:01Z, a machine-friendly way to do ranges.
  3. Range, point-distance: 2006-12-01T06:12:01Z/1D00:00:00, a more human-readable way to do ranges like "one week".

WMS seems to do something similar, with the same RFC3339-derived stamps chosen for Atom. The distance part of the point-distance range syntax is similar to Python's timedelta string representation.

Too limited, or appropriately limited?

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