casnu:detri

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Dates as used on the jbobau wikipedia are currently a mess. Some formats encountered:

  • 29 la remast ("29 Februaries")
  • 29 la jaurbeimast ("29 Februaries")
  • 29moi djedi jaurbeima'i (29th-day February)
  • 29moi jaurbeima'i djedi (29th-February day)
  • 29moi jaurbeima'i bo djedi (29th February-day)
  • 29moi jaurbeima'ibordei (29th February-day)
  • 29moi pi'e jaurbeima'i (29th out of - Februaries)
  • 2000 (2000 (number))
  • 2000moi nanca (2000th year)
  • 200moi na'ardekto (200th decade; 1990s)
  • 20moi na'acto (20th century; 1900s)

Only three of those examples translate to time intervals that include the 29th of February, 2000. The first example is currently the most common style, and isn't one of the three.

There are two competing systems of month-names: number based, and zodiac based. Almost all calendar systems have 12 months, so the number-based system is effectively culturally neutral. The zodiac names are taken from European constellation names, which are far from universal, and aren't used as month names in any natural language that I'm aware of. (The Chinese calendar uses a different zodiac.) I therefore propose the number-based system be used on this wiki.

The month names also vary between being cmene and selbri. The cmene forms are short, but are followed by mandatory pauses, can't be used in lujvo without "zei" or in tanru without "me la", and get translated, e.g. by jbofihe, as "NAME". The selbri forms are slightly longer than the cmene forms, which I think is bad, but can be spoken just as fast thanks to not requiring a pause, can easily be used in tanru, and can be automatically translated by most tools, e.g. as "2-month". The use of month names in tanru with years and days is so frequent that I propose the selbri forms of month names be used on this wiki.

The year-month-day date ordering (e.g. "la 2000moi relma'i 29moi") seems to be the most convenient form in Lojban, although "co" can be used to change the order. I therefore propose the year-month-day form be used on this wiki. (This proposal does not cover numbers being used as dates, e.g. "li 29 pi'e 2 pi'e 2000 detri".)

The "la 21moi ctona'a" ("21st century") style of numbering decades, centuries, millenia, etc., is prone to off-by-one errors caused by the lack of a "0th" decade, century, etc. The "lai 20xyxy moi" ("20XXths", "20 hundreds") style is also shorter. (Note that "lai" rather than "la" there is required, to refer to the whole century rather than some specific year within the century.) I therefore propose the "Xths" style be used on this wiki. Discussion about the best letterals to use would be welcome. E.g., should "lai 2vyxyzy moi", "lai 2bycydy moi", or some other system be used? Or is "lai 2xyxyxy moi" sufficient?

I hope to start converting all the articles covering dates to the proposed system in a week or two. Hopefully Warnock's Dilemma will not apply.

Hussell 15:59, 10 la zemast. 2009 (UTC)

Well, nobody has replied for a whole month. So I guess I'll start renaming the "29 la remast" type pages to "lai relma'i 29moi" style, and see if anyone notices. Hussell 12:57, 11 la bimast. 2009 (UTC)

The "lai relma'i 29moi" format is great! Thanks for working on this!

My thoughts[stika lo krasi]

Well first of all thank you for taking interest! I agree that this is currently a mess. I generally like your proposal. In particular not to use zodiac names for months. I have noticed, howver, that you have moved some date articles to names based on zodiac eg. 16moi lanma'i bo djedi. Also, several other things must be considered.

Firstly, although dates are usually shown with three diferent numbers: year, month, day, it is also necessary to be able to use any combination of theese. Eg.:year; month, day; year, month; and possibly: month; day (used the other numbers are given clearly from context). The complete space of theese day formats (asuming the order you've suggested) follows:


no day
no month with month
no year " " month
with year year year-month
with day
no month with month
no year day month-day
with year year-day year-month-day

Which gives 8 posibilities, all of which should be covered, except for " " and "year day".

Centuries are fine as you propose.

And there is also the issue of whether to continue the use of year pi'e month pi'e day and company.

In your proposal, you've used la and lai, but i think that since they use selbri and not names, it would make more sense to use "le" and "lei".

There are probably other things to be considered, but i can't think of them right now.--.i mu'o mi'e .omologos. 17:37, 20 la bimast. 2009 (UTC)

The move to 16moi lanma'i bo djedi was a revert, because changing "lanma'i" to "pavma'i" was incorrect. (The Ram is the first sign of the zodiac, but it doesn't occur during January. "lanma'i" is actually "vonma'i".) I plan to move that page to "lai vonma'i 16moi".
All six date formats are covered. See detri if you haven't already. Year-day occasionally makes sense, if the day is in the range 1-366, but it's a very rare format.
Number based date formats, like "li 29 pi'e 2 pi'e 2000" are usually day-month-year, thanks to the description of "detri" in the gi'uste. Without context, a number like that is just a number, not necessarily a date. For article titles, at least, I don't think it makes sense to use bare numbers unless the article is about the number, rather than some particular interpretation of it.
I think we're discussing names for particular days, not descriptions of definite day(s). I have no problem with using selbri in names, e.g. "la dansu kansa be lo labno". Most names started out as descriptions of some kind, but kept being applied long after they were no longer accurate (e.g., very few people named "Smith" are metalworkers now). Years, days, and, to a lesser extent, months, are real, countable things, but there's no obvious place to start counting. Technically, "la 2000moi" is "le 4ki'oki'oki'oji'imoi nanca", or some such. As such, I view calendar dates as, effectively, arbitrary names for particular time periods. I would translate "lo 2000moi", "le 2000moi", and "la 2000moi" as "some 2000th thing(s)", "the 2000th thing(s)", and "The 2000th". I hope that makes sense. Hussell 14:34, 21 la bimast. 2009 (UTC)
Ok, I agree now with everything. Except the order of the numbers. As you say, number based date formats are usually dd-mm-yyyy. Your proposal however, is yyyy-mm-dd. I think we should use dd-mm-yyyy then. Also, could you give examples for the six (seven?) formats i mentioned? --.i mu'o mi'e .omologos. 15:18, 21 la bimast. 2009 (UTC)
Alright, I'll copy examples from detri:
  • la 29moi ("The 29th", day, 1 or 2 digits)
  • la relma'i ("The 2-month", "February", month)
  • la 2000moi ("The 2000th", year, almost always 4 digits)
  • la relma'i 29moi ("The 2-month [type-of] 29th", "February 29th", month-day)
  • la 2000moi relma'i ("The 2000th 2-month", "February, 2000", year-month)
  • la 2000moi relma'i 29moi ("The 2000th 2-month [type-of] 29th", "29th of February, 2000", year-month-day)
  • la 2000moi 60moi ("The 2000th 60th", "60th day of the year 2000", year-day, up to 3 digit day, unusual)
Order can be changed with "co" (e.g., "la 29moi co relma'i"), but it's more convenient not to. Hussell 02:42, 22 la bimast. 2009 (UTC)
Well, that doesn't follow the dd-mm-yyyy convention does it? I'll take some time tomorrow to think of another proposal. --.i mu'o mi'e .omologos. 04:42, 22 la bimast. 2009 (UTC)
No, it doesn't. However, there are some advantages to using year-month-day. The dates will be sorted better in indexes. (Not perfectly, unless yyyy pi'e mm pi'e dd is used, but better than sorting by day first.) By default, most constructs in Lojban are left-grouping, so it will almost always be easier to do ((year month) day) than (day of (month of year)). Ideally, the default behavior of "detri" would be changed to year-month-day (note that "tcika" is already in the correct order, most-significant first). Since that isn't going to happen (not quickly enough, at least), I think we can use year-month-day in selbri form and day-month-year in number form without causing an enormous headache. Hussell 13:44, 22 la bimast. 2009 (UTC) (P.S.: <- that date, ideally, would be "di'e li 2009 pi'e 08 pi'e 22 ti'u li 13 pi'e 44", but I don't know how to alter it (much less have the authority to do so))
I agree with having different orders for selbri and number format. I have I will enumerate the options for each of the 7 combinations, so we can argue in favour of each. Please add in here if you can see more posibilities. Please bear in mind that I will not include the use of "la" I will show only date selbri. Also, I well exclude zeros to the left:


  • la relma'i (Lujvo are practical for months since there are (usually) only 12 months to make lujvo) however, since there are no rafsi for "dau,fei,gau" , "pavnonma'i", "pavypavma'i", "pavrelma'i", and "pavycibma'i" must be used.
  • la 2000moi (Here I disagree. This will be particularly ambiguous while talking of early dates (29moi could be either the 29th of january or the year 29). I would suggest "2000moi nanca", Or else, let's use "2000moi for years", and "29moi djedi" for days, as it will be more usual to speak about years without days than days without years
All combinations other than [day] and [year-day] could be, thus writen as combinations of:
2000moi relma'i 29moi
for the 29th of january we might say: "29moi djedi". And for the 29th of january of the year 429: "429moi 29moi djedi". None of this combinations need wikipedia articles, which means only the first convention would be needed for titles. I also think we should not use "la" in the titles of these articles, although it would not afect the indexing, it would make them less readable. And also, I would like to stick to the convention that titles in this wiki be either selbri or cmevla, never sumti. --.i mu'o mi'e .omologos. 17:34, 30 la bimast. 2009 (UTC)
I question the logic of using selbri or cmene for article titles. First, most articles are about nouns (sumti), not verbs (selbri). Second, stand-alone selbri, in Lojban, form an observative bridi, in effect saying "I observe something which fits the x1 of this selbri", which doesn't make sense as an article title. Third, without the LE/LA particle, certain important distinctions can't be made, such as whether the article is about some particular things or about an entire group of things, e.g., "lai 19xyxymoi" ("The 1990s") vs "la 19xyxymoi" ("some year in the 1990s"). Fourth, cmene almost never appear without a preceding LA, DOI, or COI. That preceding particle is there specifically to tell you to expect cmene ahead, since cmene can otherwise only be identified by looking at their final character.
In short, I think most article titles should begin with "la" or "loi", as appropriate, with the occasional "lai" or "lo'e" as necessary. This applies to articles about events too, which should start with "la nu" or "loi nu" most of the time (assuming there's no name for the event). I agree that the indexes will be less readable this way, since almost everything will be grouped under 'L', but I think correct usage should come first. This is an inevitable consequence of the way Lojban forms all its noun-like things from verb-like things.
On the use of "nanca" and "djedi", I see no reason why "la 10moi" should ever mean "la 10moi djedi" as an article title. An article about the 10th would be "lai 10moi", although I can't see any reason to write such an article. (A list of all important events that occurred on the 10th of any month? Why?) In any event, the first sentence or two of any article should make it clear exactly what the article is about, and may provide a link to a disambiguation page. -- Hussell 18:16, 31 la bimast. 2009 (UTC)
I think your dates convention is good. On the issue of article titles however, I don't think adding gadri is such a good idea. I doubt that a floating sumti is any more "logical" than a floating selbri or a floating cmevla as an article title, and it would only add unnecessary and repetitive words. (BTW, the difference between a lV and a lVi form of a sumti is only relevant when something is predicated of the sumti, not when it is there by itself. The difference has to do with whether the predicate applies collectively or not to the sumti, and normally a wiki article will include both collective and non-collective properties of whatever things it is about.) Xorxes 17:31, 1 la somast. 2009 (UTC)
I'll answer to the dates issue first. I actually said no article should refer to each day of any month, in fact, that is one of the reasons I think we should use "10moi djedi" to refer to the 10th day of a context-given month and year. That is because not only for titles but in all cases it will most surely be more common to speak of years without a specific month or day, than about a specific day with a tacit year and month. As to why use "djedi", it is because (as you pointed out) you may at some point want to speak of a specific day of a given year, (exaple: "the 88th day of 2008"). Saying "2008moi 88moi" would be confusing, even if not terribly so. In any case, it will not be needed for article names. The articles we need are of the form: 1988moi bivma'i 29moi.
As for gadri, I would say that a title like xamsi does make an assertion, but that is not wrong in anysense from my perspective. In fact, if you wonder what sea is being asserted, you may consider the whole article as your answer! they usually have the form (all written in one line):
xamsi ni'o lo xamsi cu broda .i brode li'o
I do admit however, that gadri do give some essential information that must be preserved in some cases. For example, there is a difference between "lo cevni" and "la cevni" (That is similar to whether you write "god" or "God"). In cases like this, i would recommend "cevni for the former, and "la cevni for the latter.
The main reason I suggested using only selbri or cmevla is that gadri get very repetitive and almost always do not provide relevant information. Also, it is easier to make links to articles with this convention. For example, if an article's name was "liste loi gugde", it would be needed to write le [[liste loi gugde|liste be loi gugde]] to link it using correct grammar (or le [[liste loi gugde|gugde liste]]. Whereas if the name was simply "gugde liste" all you'll have to do is la [[gugde liste]]. Then there's also the indexing issue that you pointed out.
And if the article title were "lo gugde liste" or "lo liste be lo'i gugde", one would only need write "[[lo gugde liste]]" or "[[lo liste be lo'i gugde]]". (I agree that an article title should never be like "liste lo'i gugde", though.) Your (and Xorxes') arguments are slowly bringing me around to your point of view, in that I'm now less concerned about dropping "lo" or "loi" from article titles. However, I still think that name titles, whether selbri names or cmene, should normally be preceded by a LA. (As per "cevni" vs "la cevni" above.) In particular, I still think dates are names, not veridical descriptions, and should therefore be preceded by a LA. Hussell 16:01, 2 la somast. 2009 (UTC)
I would like to see an actual example where "la" in an article title makes a useful distinction. I doubt there should be an article titled "la cevni", it would have to be redirected to a disambiguation page (which "God"?). For cmevla, which are the vast majority of name titles, "la" doesn't add anything. Xorxes 17:57, 2 la somast. 2009 (UTC)
P.S. I can make logobot redirect all the existing detri articles to titles with our convention once we are done. --.i mu'o mi'e .omologos. 01:44, 2 la somast. 2009 (UTC)
That would be wonderful. Can it also update the introductory statement in the redirected articles automatically? Also, should we delete redirects that are outright incorrect? I can understand keeping redirects for widespread and accepted variants (e.g. a redirect from "gugde liste" to "liste be lo'i gugde"), but redirects from oddities like 14moi pi'e jaurbeima'i seem like obfuscating and useless clutter to me, and 1 la pamast isn't much better. This would require updating all the pages which use those incorrect forms first, which is something that needs to be done anyway, but will be painfully boring without automation. Hussell 16:19, 2 la somast. 2009 (UTC)


Since this discussion has escaped the scope of dates, I moved it to plajva. Kindly respond there. --.i mu'o mi'e .omologos. 02:36, 3 la somast. 2009 (UTC)