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A python durations parsing library.

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A python durations parsing library, providing a straight-forward API to parse duration string representations such as 1d, 1 day 2 hours or 2 days 3h 26m 52s and convert them to numeric values.

What and Why

It's easier and more straight forward to read a duration expressed in natural language (at least for a human), as an expression rather than an amount. When writing configuration files for example:

interval: 3 hours

is easier to understand for a human than

interval: 10800  # seconds


durations_nlp can be installed via pip:

$ pip install durations_nlp


To parse a duration string representation, just instantiate a Duration object and let it work for you. A Duration representation is composed of as many <value><scale> pairs as you need to express it:

  • A value is an integer amount.
  • A scale is a duration unit in it's short or long form (both singular and plural).
  • Duration pairs can be separated with sep characters and expressions such as , or and

Example Input

  • 1d
  • 2 days
  • 2 days and 4 hours
  • 4M, 22d and 6hours

Scales Reference

  • Century: c, century, centuries
  • Decade: D, decade, decades
  • Year: y, year, Year
  • Month: M, month, months
  • Week: w, week, weeks
  • Day: d, day, days
  • Hour: h, hour, hours
  • Minute:m, minute, minutes
  • Second: s, second, seconds
  • Millisecond: ms, millisecond, milliseconds

Usage Example

from durations_nlp import Duration

one_hour = "1hour"

one_hour_duration = Duration(one_hour)
# >>> 3600.0
# >>> 60.0

# You can even compose durations in their short
# and long variations
two_days_three_hours = "2 days, 3h"
two_days_three_hours_duration = Duration(two_days_three_hours)
# >>> 183600.0
# >>> 51.0

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