From W3C Wiki
drop pubdate attribute change proposal
Drop the pubdate attribute and associated interface(s) from the HTML5 time element.
Dropping the pubdate attribute was discussed in the HTML Working Group on 2011-11-03, and there was a rough consensus in support of dropping it.
This is a change proposal to address:
The pubdate attribute is a vestigial piece of markup left-over from the attempt to provide automatic HTML5 to Atom conversion, and in practice is either not used, or typically used in conjunction with the hAtom microformat which supersets its functionality.
- drop 'pubdate' attribute from the definition of the <time> element
- drop DOM attribute 'pubDate' from the definition of the <time> element
- Simplifies the language by removing an attribute.
- Completes the removal of the Atom conversion algorithm which hasn't been a part of the W3C HTML5 specification for over a year: http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2010Jun/0000.html
- In practice, none. 'pubdate' functionality is provided by the hAtom microformat (per the 'published' property), and in practice publishers (and consumers) use / support hAtom, e.g. Readability.com Authoring Publishing Guidelines.
As defined by the editor.
Rebuttals to other proposals:
- keep pubdate change proposal
- exaggerated claim: "pubdate attribute is already in widespread use" - no citations provided, and prose mentions (e.g. Wordpress 'Twenty Eleven' theme) already use hAtom and therefore have no need for 'pubdate' (i.e. such examples fail to justify keeping pubdate because the far more well-established and widespread hAtom markup already handles the functionality). Bottom line: no evidence for "widespread" 'pubdate' and no evidence for non-trivial use of 'pubdate' *by itself*.
- postpone new and unnecessary
moddateattribute - the proposed moddate attribute is a new feature and even discussion of which at this point should be postponed to after HTML5. However, even then it is also unnecessary for the same reasons that pubdate is unnecessary: hAtom has an "updated" property that is already in use by those who wish to publish that kind of information.
References are inline.