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<date>in July 2011</date>

Keep online articles up to date
  [vote for,

<syntax err#346> NEWS!!

The halfbakery revealed in July 2011 a new html tag to auto-update defunct references to recent dates in online news articles.

Many newswires find writing the entire date of an event into their copy too formal, detracting from the flow of the piece. But words like "today", "yesterday", "Wednesday", "last week", and "last month", etc, become outdated all too quickly.

Boffins at think-tank halfbakery.com have come up with an automatic html tag that converts a date in code to an appropriate phrase.

For example: <date>20/07/11</date> would, on the day it is posted, read "today", but once the day is over, it will automatically update to read "yesterday", and the following day to "on Wednesday", culminating years later with "in July 2011".

Copywriters and online editors have hailed the advancement as the greatest thing in html since
line breaks.

theleopard, Jul 20 2011

wc3schools: <time> tag http://www.w3school.../html5/tag_time.asp
Used to describe a date - either of publication, or for (presumably) the purposes outlined in the idea. [zen_tom, Jul 20 2011]

html5doctor.com: The Time Tag http://html5doctor.com/the-time-element/
More info on the time-tag. [zen_tom, Jul 20 2011]

Example http://www.guardian...caire-phone-hacking
Roy Gleenslade – WRONG [theleopard, Jul 21 2011]

Shameless elf-promotion ICML
"different audiences get different synonyms or idioms." said [pocmloc] [angel, Jul 22 2011]

Whynotime HTML5 time rant http://whynotime.com/
[Dub, Nov 10 2011]

For [Dub]: HTML5 Time Tag Dropped then Restored http://www.i-progra...-then-restored.html
[swimswim, Nov 10 2011]


       The entire article could be similarly parsed, so that different audiences get different synonyms or idioms. So, for example, //boffins// is a good word for a certain readership, but a shite one for others.
pocmloc, Jul 20 2011

       Funny, because, on *my* screen it reads "Innovators". You must have your web browser set to "Tabloid".
theleopard, Jul 20 2011

       [+] Nice.
VJW, Jul 20 2011

       On my screen it reads "Beardy overweight geeks with nothing better to do".   

       I must have my browser set to "Cynical sarcasm".
Twizz, Jul 20 2011

       Mine says... err... nevermind; must've accidentally set it to "Porn" again.   

       I'd settle for requiring articles to have a mouseover date so you could tell how recent it is.
FlyingToaster, Jul 20 2011

       //<date>20/07/11</date>// Presumably, it'd be sensitive to locale (or USians here will be confused by that date)
Dub, Jul 20 2011

       It could be programmed into a publishing house's content management system, so would be bespoke programming anyway. So yeah. The Americans can get it wrong as much as they like and they'll STILL get it right.
theleopard, Jul 20 2011

       Check out the HTML5 standards, which allows for dates to be represented pretty much exactly like this (though they only provide the markup, actual usage and implementation - i.e. any actual bespokage - is up to you) - as a means of winning a development argument, W3C is always your friend.
zen_tom, Jul 20 2011

       Can you stick a link on? I wonder if I could implement it at work...
theleopard, Jul 20 2011

       There you go Bubs - I'm still unsure what the actual status of HTML5 is these days - whether it's in wide usage or not seems to depend on who you're talking to. I think the general concensus is that it's going to be standard sometime in the next 10-50 years - either that, or at least until the majoriy of Windows users move off from Windows XP - whichever happens first.
zen_tom, Jul 20 2011

       From reading that, does it have the scope to have the web page think in the background <pubdate> + x days to <presentdate> = "last Friday" (for instance)?   

       It seems to be just for clarifying a page's publication date or for SEO.
theleopard, Jul 20 2011

       That's the tricky thing with <html>, <xml> and all the other ml's - in of themselves, they don't actually "do" anything - they're just an agreed way of talking about stuff.   

       Once we all agree how we're going to talk about and refer to things - then developers can start thinking about clever ways to build from these solid foundations, and start doing the types of things you are talking about.   

       So if, in the future, whenever anyone uses a date, or, in an appropriate context (i.e. not this one) uses the word "today", it could be encoded into the tag form <time datetime="2011-07-20"> today</time> and so-encoded, could be recognised by whatever html parser usually decodes the raw text into the prettyness you end up reading, and in the course of doing that, substitute the appropriate text. Other use-cases might be to, on-click, google, or run a database query for any other events that happened on the same date, or to import that date into your own personal calendar, with a link to the page being read - I'm sure there are other possible (but not yet implemented) ways you could use the tag - but despite relying on the tag being there for them to function, they are not themselves the same thing as the tag.   

       So while the tag is in existence, there's not yet any implementation of the specific use-case you've identified, that would have to be written into the browser, or content delivery system, or whatever it was you wanted to exhibit this behaviour. However, before all of that can happen, we need to agree on whether we're going to embed our dates within the date tag or not.   

       [psst] And [Dub] the nice people at w3c have already thought of that and generally adopt the yyyy-mm-dd (sometimes called the "Swiss" or ISO 8601 )format that (nearly) everyone can agree on.
zen_tom, Jul 20 2011

       Facebook post datestamps essentially work like this (foregoing "today" for more specific durations of seconds, minutes or hours ago). It'll show things posted "yesterday" or "Sunday". Beyond that it's just dates.   

       I believe Twitter does the same.
tatterdemalion, Jul 20 2011

       //Facebook post datestamps essentially work like this//   

       That's true, but they're specific time counters. What I propose is for something that updates text in an article in the same way. Take the third [linky] as an example... Posted on 20 July, speaking about 19 July, viewed on 21 July...   

       "Now, with James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks yesterday admitting the fact, through gritted teeth, to the media select committee, the company has announced the termination of an agreement with Mulcaire."   

       Using this date tag would have updated "yesterday" to "on Tuesday", and next week to "last week", keeping the article up to date.   

       Some exceptions and rules would have to be set down by the editors of these websites, as this method can't defend against errors in, for instance, superlatives. For instance, if the article reads, "Rebekah Brooks today became the highest profile casualty of the phone hacking scandal when a lorry full of News of the World back issues mysteriously appeared on her cranium"; if then an even higher-profile casualty is suffered, the article, though the date stamp is correct, will be erroneous.   

theleopard, Jul 21 2011

<humerous comment and optionally comical link>
<potentially modified vote>
Dub, Jul 21 2011

       <ProseStyle spellcheck="on"> rebuttal </ProseStyle>
pertinax, Jul 21 2011

       <sheepishly corrects typo>
Dub, Jul 21 2011

       [+] But I like reading a book written by my great great grandfather six generation back, where he tells me what he's doing TODAY. It gives me the feeling I'm with him although he wrote this in the 1780's.   

pashute, Jul 21 2011

       Nice idea [spotty] but isn't every date a <pubdate>?
gnomethang, Jul 21 2011

       //isn't every date a <pubdate>?//   

       When you work in the media, yes. Exhaustingly so.
theleopard, Jul 21 2011

       The Betty Botha Rebuttle:   

       Betty Botha bought a bottle, but said she the bottle's brittle. If I bat it with a paddle it may rebut bitterly. So 'twas that Betty Botha bought a better bottle for butter beer with pickles in brine, briefly bereaving the Bronfmans of anything better to bicker about. (The second bottle is the rebuttle one).
pashute, Jul 21 2011

       you would remove important historical context: how long after the event the article was published. Better keep the date.
Voice, Jul 23 2011

       [Voice] The idea, as proposed, reformats the date in the copy. Is the dateline considered part of the copy?
mouseposture, Jul 23 2011

       Yes, the date of the article would still be at the top.   

       Seems things like "Breaking News!" might have to be omitted from the outset, or placed in a separate tag that self-destructs once the news has been deemed "fixed".
theleopard, Jul 25 2011

       {Another one to animate on the Way Back Machine}
Dub, Jul 25 2011


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