The local-time Manual

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local-time

Copyright © 2012 Daniel Lowe <dlowe dlowe.net>
Copyright © 2012 Attila Lendvai <attila.lendvai gmail.com>

This manual describes the local-time Common Lisp library which is based on Erik Naggum’s The Long, Painful History of Time [NaggumPaper] paper.


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1 Introduction

The local-time library is a Common Lisp library for the manipulation of dates, times and intervals. It was originally based almost entirely upon Erik Naggum’s paper The Long Painful History of Time [NaggumPaper]. Many of the core concepts originated from this paper, such as the seperation of days and seconds, the choice of 2000-03-01 as the standard epoch, and the timestring format.


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1.1 Portability

This implementation assumes that time zone information is stored in the tzfile format. The default timezone is loaded from /etc/localtime. On non-POSIX systems, this will certainly give different results than the system time handling.

local-time currently supports subsecond precision clocks with allegro, cmucl, sbcl, and non-Windows ccl. All others will be able to retrieve the time with second precision using get-universal-time. You may add support for your own implementation by implementing the clock generic protocol documented here.


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2 Public API


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2.1 Types

It’s a good idea to treat all values as immutable objects. local-time will not modify any object it was given unless explicitly asked to by the :into keyword argument.

Class: timestamp day sec nsec

timestamp values can represent either a date, a daytime or a time value. It has the following slots:

(defclass timestamp ()
  ((day :type integer)
   (sec :type integer)
   (nsec :type (integer 0 999999999))))

The following constraints apply to the specific types:

Struct: timezone path name loaded

timezone objects represent timezones - local and political modifications to the time representation. Timezones are responsible for storing offsets from GMT, abbreviations for different sub-timezones, and the times each sub-timezone is to be in effect.


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2.2 Timezones

Default: *default-timezone*

The variable *default-timezone* contains the timezone that will be used by default if none is specified. It is loaded from /etc/localtime when the library is loaded. If /etc/localtime is not present, it will default to UTC.

Constant: +utc-zone+

The variable +utc-zone+ contains a timezone corresponding to UTC.

Macro: define-timezone zone-name zone-file &key (load nil)

Define zone-name (a symbol or a string) as a new timezone, lazy-loaded from zone-file (a pathname designator relative to the zoneinfo directory on this system. If load is true, load immediately.

Function: find-timezone-by-location-name name

Returns the timezone found at the location name (such as US/Eastern). reread-timezone-repository must be called before this function is used.

Function: reread-timezone-repository &key (timezone-repository *default-timezone-repository-path*)

Walks the current repository, reading all tzinfo files updating indexes. The default timezone repository is set to the zoneinfo/ directory of the local-time system.


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2.3 Creating timestamp Objects

Function: universal-to-timestamp universal &key (nsec 0)

Produces a timestamp instance from the provided universal time universal. Universal time is defined in the Common Lisp Specification as the number of seconds since 1900-01-01T00:00:00Z.

Function: unix-to-timestamp unix &key (nsec 0)

Produces a timestamp instance from the provided unix time unix. Unix time is defined by POSIX as the number of seconds since 1970-01-01T00:00:00Z.

Function: now

Produces a timestamp instance with the current time. Under sbcl, the new timestamp will be precise to the microsecond. Otherwise, the precision is limited to the second.

Function: today

Produces a timestamp instance that corresponds to today’s date, which is the midnight of the current day in the UTC zone.

Function: encode-timestamp nsec sec minute hour day month year &key timezone offset into

Returns a new timestamp instance corresponding to the specified time elements. The offset is the number of seconds offset from UTC of the locale. If offset is not specified, the offset will be guessed from the timezone. If a timestamp is passed as the into argument, its value will be set and that timestamp will be returned. Otherwise, a new timestamp is created.

Macro: make-timestamp &key :day :sec :nsec

Expands to an expression that creates an instance of a timestamp exactly as specified.

Macro: clone-timestamp timestamp

Expands to an expression that creates another copy of timestamp that is timestamp= to it.


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2.4 Querying timestamp Objects

Function: day-of timestamp

Returns the day component of timestamp. Although Naggum’s paper specifies that the day should be a signed fixnum, it is left unbounded for flexibility reasons.

Function: sec-of timestamp

Returns the ’seconds’ component of the time. Valid values for the seconds range from 0 to 86399.

Function: nsec-of timestamp

Returns the ’microseconds’ component of the time. Valid values for the nanoseconds range from 0 to 999999999.

Function: timestamp-to-universal timestamp

This returns the date/time specified in timestamp encoded as the number of seconds since January 1st, 1900 12:00am UTC.

Function: timestamp-to-unix timestamp

This returns the date/time specified in timestamp encoded as the number of seconds since January 1st, 1970 12:00am UTC. It corresponds with the time received from the POSIX call time().

Function: timestamp-subtimezone timestamp timezone

Returns as multiple values the time zone applicable at the given time as the number of seconds east of UTC, a boolean daylight-saving-p, and the customary abbreviation of the timezone.

Macro: with-decoded-timestamp (&key nsec sec minute hour day month year day-of-week daylight-p timezone) timestamp &body body

This macro binds variables to the decoded elements of timestamp. The timezone argument is used for decoding the timestamp, and is not bound by the macro. The value of day-of-week starts from 0 which means Sunday.

Function: decode-timestamp timestamp

Returns the decoded time as (values ns ss mm hh day month year day-of-week daylight-saving-time-p timezone-offset timezone-abbreviation).

Function: timestamp< time-a time-b
Function: timestamp<= time-a time-b
Function: timestamp> time-a time-b
Function: timestamp>= time-a time-b
Function: timestamp= time-a time-b
Function: timestamp/= time-a time-b

These comparison functions act like their string and char counterparts.

Function: timestamp-minimum timestamp &rest timestamps

Returns the earliest timestamp passed to it.

Function: timestamp-maximum timestamp &rest timestamps

Returns the latest timestamp passed to it.

Function: timestamp-day-of-week timestamp

This returns the index of the day of the week, starting at 0 which means Sunday.

Note: ”Day of the week” is ambigous and locale dependent.

Function: universal-to-timestamp timestamp

Returns the UNIVERSAL-TIME corresponding to timestamp.

Note: Subsecond precision is not preserved.

Function: timestamp-millennium timestamp &key timezone
Function: timestamp-century timestamp &key timezone
Function: timestamp-decade timestamp &key timezone

Returns the ordinal millennium, century or decade upon which the timestamp falls. Ordinal time values start at 1, so the (timestamp-century (now)) will return 21.

Function: timestamp-year timestamp &key timezone
Function: timestamp-month timestamp &key timezone
Function: timestamp-day timestamp &key timezone
Function: timestamp-hour timestamp &key timezone
Function: timestamp-minute timestamp &key timezone
Function: timestamp-second timestamp &key timezone
Function: timestamp-millisecond timestamp &key timezone
Function: timestamp-microsecond timestamp &key timezone
Function: timestamp-microsecond timestamp &key timezone

Returns the decoded part of the timestamp.


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2.5 Manipulating Date and Time Values

Default: *use-political-time*

When political time is enabled, changes in timezone offset are considered when adjusting timestamp values. Adding 24 hours to a timestamp across a DST boundary will result in the same wall-clock time.

When scientific time is used, changes in timezone offset are not considered. Adding 24 hours to a timestamp across a DST boundary will result in a different wall-clock time.

Macro: with-scientific-time &rest body
Macro: with-political-time &rest body

These macros make it simple to temporarily select political or scientific time.

Function: timestamp+ time amount unit
Function: timestamp- time amount unit

Add or subtract the amount to the time using the specified unit. unit may be one of ( :nsec :sec :minute :hour :day :month :year). The value of the parts of the timestamp of higher resolution than the UNIT will never be touched. If you want a precise number of seconds from a time, you should specify the offset in seconds.

Function: timestamp-maximize-part timestamp part &key offset timezone into

Returns a timestamp with its parts maximized up to part. part can be any of (:nsec :sec :min :hour :day :month). If into is specified, it will be modified and returned, otherwise a new timestamp will be created.

Function: timestamp-minimize-part timestamp part &key offset timezone into

Returns a timestamp with its parts minimized up to part. part can be any of (:nsec :sec :min :hour :day :month). If into is specified, it will be modified and returned, otherwise a new timestamp will be created.

Macro: adjust-timestamp timestamp &body changes

Alters various parts of timestamp, given a list of changes. The changes are in the format (offset part value) and (set part value).

;; Return a new timestamp value that points to the previous Monday
(adjust-timestamp (today) (offset :day-of-week :monday))

;; Return a new timestamp value that points three days ahead from now
(adjust-timestamp (today) (offset :day 3))

Keep in mind that adjust-timestamp is not a mere setter for fields but instead it handles overflows and timezone conversions as expected. Also note that it’s possible to specify multiple commands.

The list of possible places to manipulate are: :nsec :sec :sec-of-day :minute :hour :day :day-of-month :month :year.

Macro: adjust-timestamp! timestamp &body changes

Just like adjust-timestamp, but instead of returning a freshly constructed value, it alters the provided timestamp value (and returns it).

Function: timestamp-whole-year-difference time-a time-b

Returns the number of whole years elapsed between time-a and time-b.

Note: This is useful for calculating anniversaries and birthdays.

Function: days-in-month month year

Returns the number of days in a given month of the specified year.


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2.6 Parsing and Formatting

Constant: +iso-8601-format+

The constant +iso-8601-format+ is bound to a description of the ISO 8601 format. An output with this format will look like this: ‘2008-03-01T19:42:34.608506+01:00’. This is the default format for the format-timestring function.

Constant: +asctime-format+

The constant +asctime-format+ is bound to a format mirroring the output of the POSIX asctime() function. An output with this format will look like this: ‘Sat Mar 1 19:42:34 2008’.

Constant: +rfc-1123-format+

The constant +rfc-1123-format+ is bound to a description of the format defined in RFC 1123 for Internet timestamps. An output with this format will look like this: ‘Sat, 01 Mar 2008 19:42:34 -0500’.

Constant: +iso-week-date-format+

The constant +iso-week-date-format+ is bound to a description of the ISO 8601 Week Date format. An output with this format will look like this: ‘2009-W53-5’.

Function: parse-timestring timestring &key (start 0) end (fail-on-error t) (offset 0)

Parses a timestring and returns the corresponding timestamp. Parsing begins at start and stops at the end position. If there are invalid characters within timestring and fail-on-error is T, then an invalid-timestring error is signaled, otherwise NIL is returned.

If there is no timezone specified in timestring then offset is used as the default timezone offset (in seconds).

Function: format-timestring (destination timestamp &key (format +iso-8601-format+) (timezone *default-timezone*))

Constructs a string representation of TIMESTAMP according to FORMAT and returns it. If destination is T, the string is written to *standard-output*. If destination is a stream, the string is written to the stream.

FORMAT is a list containing one or more of strings, characters, and keywords. Strings and characters are output literally, while keywords are replaced by the values here:

:year

*year

:month

*numeric month

:day

*day of month

:weekday

*numeric day of week, starting from 0 which means Sunday

:hour

*hour

:min

*minutes

:sec

*seconds

:msec

*milliseconds

:usec

*microseconds

:nsec

*nanoseconds

:iso-week-year

*year for ISO week date (can be different from regular calendar year)

:iso-week-number

*ISO week number (i.e. 1 through 53)

:iso-week-day

*ISO compatible weekday number (i.e. monday=1, sunday=7)

:ordinal-day

day of month as an ordinal (e.g. 1st, 23rd)

:long-weekday

long form of weekday (e.g. Sunday, Monday)

:short-weekday

short form of weekday (e.g. Sun, Mon)

:minimal-weekday

minimal form of weekday (e.g. Su, Mo)

:long-month

long form of month (e.g. January, February)

:short-month

short form of month (e.g. Jan, Feb)

:hour12

hour on a 12-hour clock

:ampm

am/pm marker in lowercase

:gmt-offset

the gmt-offset of the time, in +00:00 form

:gmt-offset-or-z

like :gmt-offset, but is Z when UTC

:gmt-offset-hhmm

like :gmt-offset, but in +0000 form

:timezone

timezone abbrevation for the time

Elements marked by * can be placed in a list in the form:

(:keyword padding &optional (padchar #\0))

The string representation of the value will be padded with the padchar.

You can see examples by examining the values in +iso-8601-format+, +asctime-format+, and +rfc-1123-format+.

Produces on stream the timestring corresponding to the timestamp with the given options. If stream is nil, only returns a string containing what would have been the output. If stream is t, prints the string to *standard-output*.

Example output:

LOCAL-TIME> (format-timestring nil (now))
"2008-03-01T19:42:34.608506+01:00"
Function: format-rfc3339-timestring (destination timestamp &key omit-date-part omit-time-part omit-timezone-part (use-zulu t))

Formats the time like format-timestring, but in RFC 3339 format. The options control valid options in the RFC.


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2.7 Clocks

Default: *clock*

We expose the *clock* special variable and the following generic functions so that applications may re-define the current time or date as required.

Function: clock-now (clock)

Specialize this generic function to re-define the present moment

Function: clock-today (clock)

Specialize this generic function to re-define the present day


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3 Other Features

3.1 Reader Macros

Function: enable-read-macros

Adds @TIMESTRING and #@UNIVERSAL-TIME as reader macros.

3.2 Support for non-Gregorian Calendars

Function: astronomical-julian-date timestamp

Returns the julian date of the date portion of timestamp.

Function: astronomical-julian-date timestamp

Returns the modified julian date of the date portion of timestamp.


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4 References


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Index

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A   C   D   E   F   M   N   P   R   S   T   U   W  
Index Entry  Section

*
*clock*: Clocks
*default-timezone*: Timezones
*default-timezone*: Timezones
*use-political-time*: Manipulating Date and Time Values
*use-political-time*: Manipulating Date and Time Values

+
+asctime-format+: Parsing and Formatting
+asctime-format+: Parsing and Formatting
+iso-8601-format+: Parsing and Formatting
+iso-8601-format+: Parsing and Formatting
+iso-week-date-format+: Parsing and Formatting
+iso-week-date-format+: Parsing and Formatting
+rfc-1123-format+: Parsing and Formatting
+rfc-1123-format+: Parsing and Formatting
+utc-zone+: Timezones
+utc-zone+: Timezones

A
adjust-timestamp: Manipulating Date and Time Values
adjust-timestamp!: Manipulating Date and Time Values
astronomical-julian-date: Other Features

C
clone-timestamp: Creating timestamp Objects

D
day-of: Querying timestamp Objects
days-in-month: Manipulating Date and Time Values
decode-timestamp: Querying timestamp Objects
define-timezone: Timezones

E
enable-read-macros: Other Features
encode-timestamp: Creating timestamp Objects

F
find-timezone-by-location-name: Timezones
format-rfc3339-timestring: Parsing and Formatting
format-timestring: Parsing and Formatting

M
make-timestamp: Creating timestamp Objects
modified-julian-date: Other Features

N
now: Creating timestamp Objects
nsec-of: Querying timestamp Objects

P
parse-timestring: Parsing and Formatting

R
reread-timezone-repository: Timezones

S
sec-of: Querying timestamp Objects

T
timestamp: Types
timestamp+: Manipulating Date and Time Values
timestamp-: Manipulating Date and Time Values
timestamp-century: Querying timestamp Objects
timestamp-day: Querying timestamp Objects
timestamp-day-of-week: Querying timestamp Objects
timestamp-decade: Querying timestamp Objects
timestamp-hour: Querying timestamp Objects
timestamp-maximize-part: Manipulating Date and Time Values
timestamp-maximum: Querying timestamp Objects
timestamp-microsecond: Querying timestamp Objects
timestamp-millennium: Querying timestamp Objects
timestamp-millisecond: Querying timestamp Objects
timestamp-minimize-part: Manipulating Date and Time Values
timestamp-minimum: Querying timestamp Objects
timestamp-minute: Querying timestamp Objects
timestamp-month: Querying timestamp Objects
timestamp-second: Querying timestamp Objects
timestamp-subtimezone: Querying timestamp Objects
timestamp-to-universal: Querying timestamp Objects
timestamp-to-unix: Querying timestamp Objects
timestamp-whole-year-difference: Manipulating Date and Time Values
timestamp-year: Querying timestamp Objects
timestamp/=: Querying timestamp Objects
timestamp<: Querying timestamp Objects
timestamp<=: Querying timestamp Objects
timestamp=: Querying timestamp Objects
timestamp>: Querying timestamp Objects
timestamp>=: Querying timestamp Objects
today: Creating timestamp Objects

U
universal-to-timestamp: Creating timestamp Objects
universal-to-timestamp: Querying timestamp Objects
unix-to-timestamp: Creating timestamp Objects

W
with-decoded-timestamp: Querying timestamp Objects

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