KEP2: format datetime format suggestion (Re: Basic rationale of the KEP #2 design)

Bernhard Reiter bernhard at
Tue Mar 15 17:00:53 CET 2011

Am Montag, 14. März 2011 23:04:51 schrieb Jeroen van Meeuwen (Kolab Systems):
> First and fore-most, it seems to be a very bad idea to not allow RFC 3339
> compatible datetime notations just because parsers may not be readily
> available, only to then come up with a format rather exclusively applied,
> for which parsers possibly not being readily available can only be more
> prominent problem rather then less so.

I'd expect many libaries having functions trying (*)to read ISO 8601,
thus also being able to read RFC3339, which is a subset of ISO 8601.
I expect separate RFC3339 reading or writing functions 
to be present less often.

As an example I've looked into Qt 4.6.3 and 4.7.2, 
which matches the expectation above:
Iso reading function, no explicit read or write for RFC3339.
Qt 4.6.2 having a defect when reading RFC3339.

So if we'd use an iso compatible format, 
we can reuse the reading functions.
And writing is easy enough. 
So we avoid the problems hinted upon by Jeroen.

Here is the format I have proposed, with changes a few ABNF rules
of RFC3339 to get a simplified format without the offset ambiguity:

(*) according to RFC3339 the ISO 8601 is not well specified, so I guess 
parsing cannot be implemented precisely. 

Managing Director - Owner:       (Free Software Company)
Deputy Coordinator Germany: Board member:
Intevation GmbH, Osnabrück, DE; Amtsgericht Osnabrück, HRB 18998
Geschäftsführer Frank Koormann, Bernhard Reiter, Dr. Jan-Oliver Wagner
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