Skip to main content

W3C restores "time" element to HTML5

Last week we reported on the <time> element being dropped from the HTML5 spec. The spec’s editor, Ian Hickson, decided to ditch the <time> element, arguing its ability to make styling dates and times from CSS didn't have much traction, nor did providing a means to mark up the publication time/date for an article. Devs went nuts, not least due to the element’s increasing use in Wordpress and Github.

In the minutes of November 3’s HTML WG meeting, the chairs decided against adding a <data> element and the dropping of <time>, and elik commented that the <time> element would be improved.

We spoke to Opera’s Bruce Lawson about the latest developments in the saga. “It's right that the <time> element has been reinstated. Most web developers were opposed to its removal, because it was easy to understand, standardised a format for times and dates – information that is on a huge percentage of blogs, news and information sites – and was already being used in the wild by millions of sites,” he said.

Lawson added that he’s hopeful the element will now have uses added that should have been there from the start, such as ‘fuzzy dates’ (something Lawson himself has wanted from as far back as March 2009), but he warned that he’s not popping champagne corks just yet: “It remains to be seen whether the <time> element will be reinstated in both the W3C spec and the WHATWG versions of the spec. It could be reinstated in the former [and not] the latter, which would fork the spec.”

Ian Hickson did not return .net’s request for comment.