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Tom Heady

NAME

DateTime::Format::Flexible - DateTime::Format::Flexible - Flexibly parse strings and turn them into DateTime objects.

SYNOPSIS

  use DateTime::Format::Flexible;
  my $dt = DateTime::Format::Flexible->parse_datetime(
      'January 8, 1999'
  );
  # $dt = a DateTime object set at 1999-01-08T00:00:00

DESCRIPTION

If you have ever had to use a program that made you type in the date a certain way and thought "Why can't the computer just figure out what date I wanted?", this module is for you.

DateTime::Format::Flexible attempts to take any string you give it and parse it into a DateTime object.

USAGE

This module uses DateTime::Format::Builder under the covers.

parse_datetime

Give it a string and it attempts to parse it and return a DateTime object.

If it cannot it will throw an exception.

 my $dt = DateTime::Format::Flexible->parse_datetime( $date );

 my $dt = DateTime::Format::Flexible->parse_datetime(
     $date,
     strip    => [qr{\.\z}],                  # optional, remove a trailing period
     tz_map   => {EDT => 'America/New_York'}, # optional, map the EDT timezone to America/New_York
     lang     => ['es'],                      # optional, only parse using spanish
     european => 1,                           # optional, catch some cases of DD-MM-YY
 );
  • base (optional)

    Does the same thing as the method base. Sets a base datetime for incomplete dates. Requires a valid DateTime object as an argument.

    example:

     my $base_dt = DateTime->new( year => 2005, month => 2, day => 1 );
     my $dt = DateTime::Format::Flexible->parse_datetime(
        '18 Mar',
         base => $base_dt,
     );
     # $dt is now 2005-03-18T00:00:00
  • strip (optional)

    Remove a substring from the string you are trying to parse. You can pass multiple regexes in an arrayref.

    example:

     my $dt = DateTime::Format::Flexible->parse_datetime(
         '2011-04-26 00:00:00 (registry time)',
         strip => [qr{\(registry time\)\z}],
     );
     # $dt is now 2011-04-26T00:00:00

    This is helpful if you have a load of dates you want to normalize and you know of some weird formatting beforehand.

  • tz_map (optional)

    Map a given timezone to another recognized timezone Values are given as a hashref.

    example:

     my $dt = DateTime::Format::Flexible->parse_datetime(
         '25-Jun-2009 EDT',
         tz_map => {EDT => 'America/New_York'},
     );
     # $dt is now 2009-06-25T00:00:00 with a timezone of America/New_York

    This is helpful if you have a load of dates that have timezones that are not recognized by DateTime::Timezone.

  • lang (optional)

    Specify the language map plugins to use.

    When DateTime::Format::Flexible parses a date with a string in it, it will search for a way to convert that string to a number. By default it will search through all the language plugins to search for a match.

    NOTE: as of 0.22, it will only do this search if it detects a string in the given date.

    Setting lang this lets you limit the scope of the search.

    example:

     my $dt = DateTime::Format::Flexible->parse_datetime(
         'Wed, Jun 10, 2009',
         lang => ['en'],
     );
     # $dt is now 2009-06-10T00:00:00

    Currently supported languages are english (en), spanish (es) and german (de). Contributions, corrections, requests and examples are VERY welcome.

    See the DateTime::Format::Flexible::lang::en, DateTime::Format::Flexible::lang::es, and DateTime::Format::Flexible::lang::de for examples of the plugins.

  • european (optional)

    If european is set to a true value, an attempt will be made to parse as a DD-MM-YYYY date instead of the default MM-DD-YYYY. There is a chance that this will not do the right thing due to ambiguity.

    example:

     my $dt = DateTime::Format::Flexible->parse_datetime(
         '16/06/2010' , european => 1,
     );
     # $dt is now 2010-06-16T00:00:00
  • MMYY (optional)

    By default, this module will parse 12/10 as December 10th of the current year (MM/DD).

    If you want it to parse this as MM/YY instead, you can enable the MMYY option.

    example:

     my $dt = DateTime::Format::Flexible->parse_datetime('12/10');
     # $dt is now [current year]-12-10T00:00:00
    
     my $dt = DateTime::Format::Flexible->parse_datetime(
         '12/10', MMYY => 1,
     );
     # $dt is now 2010-12-01T00:00:00

    This is useful if you know you are going to be parsing a credit card expiration date.

base

gets/sets the base DateTime for incomplete dates. Requires a valid DateTime object as an argument when setting. This defaults to DateTime->now.

example:

 DateTime::Format::Flexible->base( DateTime->new(
     year => 2009, month => 6, day => 22
 ));
 my $dt = DateTime::Format::Flexible->parse_datetime( '23:59' );
 # $dt is now 2009-06-22T23:59:00

build

an alias for parse_datetime

Example formats

A small list of supported formats:

YYYYMMDDTHHMMSS
YYYYMMDDTHHMM
YYYYMMDDTHH
YYYYMMDD
YYYYMM
MM-DD-YYYY
MM-D-YYYY
MM-DD-YY
M-DD-YY
YYYY/DD/MM
YYYY/M/DD
YYYY/MM/D
M-D
MM-D
M-D-Y
Month D, YYYY
Mon D, YYYY
Mon D, YYYY HH:MM:SS
... thousands more

there are 9000+ variations that are detected correctly in the test files (see t/data/* for most of them). If you can think of any that I do not cover, please let me know.

NOTES

As of version 0.11 you will get a DateTime::Infinite::Future object if the passed in date is 'infinity' and a DateTime::Infinite::Past object if the passed in date is '-infinity'. If you are expecting these types of strings, you might want to check for 'is_infinite()' from the object returned.

example:

 my $dt = DateTime::Format::Flexible->parse_datetime( 'infinity' );
 if ( $dt->is_infinite )
 {
      # you have a Infinite object.
 }

BUGS/LIMITATIONS

You cannot use a 1 or 2 digit year as the first field unless the year is > 31:

 YY-MM-DD # not supported if YY is <= 31
 Y-MM-DD  # not supported

It gets confused with MM-DD-YY

AUTHOR

Tom Heady <cpan@punch.net>

COPYRIGHT & LICENSE

Copyright 2007-2012 Tom Heady.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of either:

  • the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 1, or (at your option) any later version, or

  • the Artistic License.

SEE ALSO

DateTime::Format::Builder, DateTime::Timezone, DateTime::Format::Natural




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