pbcoreAssetDate needs refinement…and this site needs revitalization

Written by Jack Brighton on Monday, August 05, 2013

So…lots going on in PBCoreland that hasn’t been reflected on pbcoreresources.org. I’ll get to that in another post. For the moment I want to mark something that is currently bugging me about PBCore 2.0: pbcoreAssetDate needs something to say what date formatting is being used. This is true for all other dates in a PBCore record.

I’m in the middle of building a PBCore export feature for WILL’s main website. This will allow exchange of pretty complete metadata with systems that can ingest PBCore, like the American Archive project (if it ever gets truly rolling) and the Popup Archive (which is rolling nicely). As I dive into the specifics, I want to return to and highlight those things about the PBCore 2.0 schema that remain…unfinished.

My concern is machine readability of dates and times. The PBCore 2.0 schema suggests, but does not require, ISO 8601 or the Library of Congress Extended Date/Time Format (EDTF) (and BTW the link on pbcore.org to EDTF is broken). Two big problems here:

  • The 2.0 schema doesn’t provide any way to specify date formatting at all
  • Even if it did, there’s a huge range of possible date formats within either IOS 8601 or EDTF

What’s a good solution? I don’t build parsers for a living, so I’m not sure, and thus this post. I’m tempted to say we should add a source attribute to PBCore dates, and specify the source of the date format we’re using. But is this specific enough? For example:

<pbcoreAssetDate dateType=“published” source=“ISO 8601”>2006-10-16T08:19:39-05:00</pbcoreAssetDate>


p.s. For a variety of reasons, I’m back on the job here as your editor/curator/muckraker of this site. It needs a rebuild, but first things first!


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