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Times is a small, minimalistic, Python library for dealing with time conversions between universal time and arbitrary timezones.

Project Description

NOTE: This library will not be maintained any further. You probably want to use the excellent [Arrow]( library.

> “There should be one—and preferably only one—obvious way to do it.”

In fact, version 0.7 of times has been rewritten to be implemented on top of Arrow, so it still provides the Times interface, but you’ll already be using Arrow. You can probably easily replace your times function calls by Arrow objects.


Build status: [![Build Status](]( [![Coverage Status](](

Times is a small, minimalistic, Python library for dealing with time conversions to and from timezones, for once and for all.

Accepting time

Never work with _local_ times. Whenever you must accept local time input (e.g. from a user), convert it to universal time immediately:

`pycon >>> times.to_universal(local_time, 'Europe/Amsterdam') datetime.datetime(2012, 2, 1, 10, 31, 45, 781262) `

The second argument can be a pytz.timezone instance, or a timezone string.

If the local_time variable already holds timezone info, you _must_ leave out the source timezone from the call.

To enforce best practices, times will never implicitly convert times for you, even if that would technically be possible.

Date Strings

If you want to accepting datetime representations in string form (for example, from JSON APIs), you can convert them to universal datetimes easily:

`pycon >>> import time, times >>> print times.to_universal('2012-02-03 11:59:03-0500')   # auto-detects source timezone `

Times utilizes the string parsing routines available in [dateutil][1]. Note that the source timezone is auto-detected from the string. If the string contains a timezone offset, you are not allowed to explicitly specify one.

If the string does not contain any timezone offset, you _must_ specify the source timezone explicitly:

`pycon >>> print times.to_universal('2012-02-03 11:59:03', 'Europe/Amsterdam') `

This is the inverse of times.format().

POSIX timestamps

If you prefer working with UNIX (POSIX) timestamps, you can convert them to safe datetime representations easily:

`pycon >>> import time, times >>> print times.to_universal(time.time()) 2012-02-03 11:59:03.588419 `

Note that to_universal auto-detects that you give it a UNIX timestamp.

To get the UNIX timestamp representation of a universal datetime, use:

`pycon >>> print times.to_unix(universal_time) `

Current time

When you want to record the current time, you can use this convenience method:

`pycon >>> import times >>> print datetime.datetime(2012, 2, 1, 11, 51, 27, 621491) `

Presenting times

To _present_ times to the end user of your software, you should explicitly format your universal time to your user’s local timezone.

`pycon >>> import times >>> now = >>> print times.format(now, 'CET') 2012-02-01 21:32:10+0100 `

As with the to_universal function, the second argument may be either a timezone instance or a timezone string.

Note: It _is_ possible to convert universal times to local times, using to_local). However, you probably shouldn’t do it, unless you want to strftime() the resulting local date multiple times. In any other case, you are advised to use times.format() directly instead.


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