Monday, November 29, 2010

WorkingWithTime - PythonInfo Wiki

WorkingWithTime - PythonInfo Wiki: "Working with Time

Notably missing from this page are the capabilities of the Python datetime module, which was introduced in 2.3 and is very powerful.

This page gives some basics of working with time in Python. More detail can be found in the time Module Documentation.

Formats

There are several ways to work with time:

format


Python

seconds since the 'Epoch'


time.time()

tuple


time.gmtime()

string


time.ctime()

The Epoch is January 1st, 1970, midnight, on UNIX systems. On other systems, look at the results of time.gmtime(0) to discover the date of the Epoch.

Measuring time in seconds since the Epoch is convenient for storage and comparing dates, because you only have a single number to consider.

The tuple contains several values, arranged the following way: year, month 1-12, day 1-31, hour 0-23, minutes 0-59, seconds 0-61, day 0-6 (Mon-Sun), day 1-366, and DST -1,0,+1. 'DST' means 'daylight savings time.' For more information, see time Module Documentation.

Using a tuple is convenient, because you can access particular numbers by index, and because you can easily compare dates. Remember that Python compares tuple data from front to back. The data is indexed so that comparing tuple times is intuitive.

The string format reads something like 'Mon Feb 16 16:04:25 2004'. You can't really compare these usefully, but they're what you need to display things to the user.

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