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I’m a bit disappointed to learn that there’s not a standalone microformat for date, but that the date pattern has to be part of a larger microformat. I think it would be useful to be able to arbitrarily mark things up with a machine-readable date.
For instance, if I were writing a story that mentioned September 11th, it would seem handy to be able to put a span around it with a machine-readable date of 20010911. This is neither the publication nor modified date, but it is relevant to the content of the article.
If anybody has ideas on this, I’d love to hear them.