Convert dates BC/BCE into Old Era dates (similar to Holocene Calendar aka Human Era).
This extension converts BC/BCE dates into Old Era dates on Wikipedia and other websites. Old Era is 10,000 years before Christ (from 10,000 BC to 1 BC) that are numbered in chronological order.
Put history into perspective by using a year numbering system that counts years of history in ascending order.
This idea is not new. You may have heard about Holocene Calendar - a calendar reform proposal made in 1993 by Cesare Emiliani. Old Era can be viewed as the first 10,000 years of that calendar.
There was another calendar reform proposal in 1963 by E. R. Hope. He basically proposed an era identical to the Old Era, differing from it only by name. He called his one the Anterior Epoch.
I came up with the idea of the Old Era before I learned about the 1963 proposal, and I decided to keep the name Old Era, because it sounds simpler.
When using this extension set a goal of becoming comfortable with Old Era dates in a few days. Being comfortable means you should be able to understand year numbers without translating them back to BC dates. To achieve this you need to learn by heart a few OE dates of main historical events and read (or skim through) a bunch of articles on Wikipedia while using this extension.
Or at least try to familiarise yourself with just one century - 100th century OE (or 1st century BC). It starts in 9901 and ends in 10 000. It’s just a century that came right before the 1st century AD. If I tell you, for example, that Augustus reigned in 9974 - AD 14, you should easily understand the position of year 9974 on the timeline without converting it to a date BC. You can read articles about Cleopatra, Caesar, Spartacus, Caesar’s civil war, Gallic wars, etc. Basically, read whatever you can find that is related to the 100th century. This is the one century, dates in which you will understand immediately. By focusing on this century you can sort of dip your toes into using this timeline without too much effort. And then you can decide for yourself if this timeline is helpful or not.
This is how this extension works.
Most of the dates BC are detected and translated automatically. The extension can even detect ranges of dates. For example in this line “1274 - 1245 BC” both numbers would be identified as years BC and translated.
If some dates are not being translated by the extension, the reason most often is a missing BC label. On Wikipedia you can make such dates translatable by simply adding missing BC's where appropriate.
For situations where it's not possible or appropriate to add a “BC” to a date I use a server that stores positions of such dates in the surrounding text. But it currently works only for Wikipedia. And the information on the server is editable only by me. In the near future I will add another server that will work for all websites other than Wikipedia and the data on that server will be editable by anybody.
As for Wikipedia, I plan to propose a certain mark-up to Wikipedia community. It will be a universal markup for dates BC. Any extension or script will be able to use it no matter what timeline it will translate the dates into.
The mark-up will be used only for some dates, not all dates. It will be lightweight and invisible to Wikipedia readers. Once the markup is accepted by Wikipedia community, I will disconnect this extension from my first server. The server won't be needed any more because you'll be able to fix any date conversion issue right on Wikipedia.
Basically, the first goal is to enable anybody, who's interested in using Old Era, to fix any date conversion issue they may encounter themselves.
The next step will be to make sure that all the dates BC on Wikipedia and on the Web in general are translatable by adding missing BCs and the markup I just mentioned, or adding positions of dates in surrounding texts (for other websites). This will mean processing thousands of pages. I’m currently developing tools for this work.
FYI, there are only about 60,000 articles that contain dates BC on Wikipedia. That’s less than 1% of all the articles on Wikipedia. Probably most of them are translatable to begin with. Still, we have a lot of work to do. Months or even a few years worth of work, depending on how many people will be involved in the project.
This extension works by default on Wikipedia. But for all the other websites you'll have to manually activate it in the settings.
PS. If you don't like that Old Era starts in 10 000 BC, you can choose the first year of your preferred timeline in the settings. And you can also replace "OE" labels with whatever you want.