It is possible for administrators to modify an article’s date of online publication (when this article is declared as "published online").
But how should SPIP behave when we set this date of online publication to a date value in the future? Should SPIP publish all the articles, whatever their publication date (risking an odd display with an article showing "31st of May 2002" while we are only on the 21st of May), or should it wait for the due date (31st of May in this case) before displaying this article on the public site?
- The main advantage of this operation is to be able to schedule the publication of a series of articles in advance. Practically speaking: the webmaster goes on holiday for a month; if he already wrote several articles, he can place them in the private area as "published online", but set for them publication dates spread over the month while he is absent. That way, rather than publishing online a bundle of articles in one go, then nothing for a month, the site will regularly publish "new" articles despite the absence of their author.
- As for a science fiction site publishing a Martian chronicle, it should find it desirable to disable this feature, unless it wants to wait for the year 2030 to publish its stories. The same thing applies to a monthly online publication when it publishes its April issue on the 20th of March.