HTML5 Time Tag Dropped then Restored
Written by David Conrad   
Monday, 07 November 2011

At the end of October the <time> element was dropped from HTML 5. This decision proved so unpopular that less than a week later <time> has had a reprieve. Proving that committees do listen to users.

The decision to drop <time>, a tag intended to designate timestamps and other time-related data on Web pages, and replace it by the more generic <data> was taken by Ian Hickson, editor of the HTML5 specification  who had originally proposed this change in July. 

While some people had supported this proposal, mainly because <time> had the problem of not covering every situation, others pointed to the fact that its loss led to their being no semantically meaningful way to specify publication dates in HTML5.

Moreover, while part of the argument for dropping it was that it hadn’t had much traction in microformats, those who wanted it to be reinstated pointed to its incorporation in the Opera web browser, its use on  Reddit and in the default WordPress theme.

In its statement reversing the decision and insisting that <time> be restored, the W3C makes it sound as though the decision to remove it hadn't gone through all the proper channels and there is obviously some friction surrounding this incident.

 

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