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Date-Time


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Date-Time



Why have a tutorial just on dates and times?Because they are a surprisingly complex and rich subject matter. And very useful, especially since Delphi provides extensive support for calculations, conversions and names.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

The TDateTime data typeDate and time processing depends on the TDateTime variable. It is used to hold a date and time combination. It is also used to hold just date or time values - the time and date value is ignored respectively. TDateTime is defined in the System unit. Date constants and routines are defined in SysUtils and DateUtils units.
Let us look at some simple examples of assigning a value to a TDateTime variable:
var
date1, date2, date3 : TDateTime; // TDateTime variables
begin
date1 := Yesterday;// Set to the start of yesterday
date2 := Date; // Set to the start of the current day
date3 := Tomorrow; // Set to the start of tomorrow
date4 := Now;// Set to the current day and time
end;

date1 is set to something like 12/12/2002 00:00:00
date2 is set to something like 13/12/2002 00:00:00
date3 is set to something like 14/12/2002 00:00:00
date4 is set to something like 13/12/2002 08:15:45

Note : the start of the day is often called midnight in Delphi documentation, but this is misleading, since it would be midnight of the wrong day.

Some named date valuesDelphi provides some useful day and month names, saving you the tedium of defining them in your own code. Here they are:
Short and long month names Note that these month name arrays start with index = 1.
var
month : Integer;
begin
for month := 1 to 12 do // Display the short and long month names
begin
ShowMessage ShortMonthNames[month]);
ShowMessage LongMonthNames[month]);
end;
end;

The ShowMessage routine display the following information:

Jan
January
Feb
February
Mar
March
Apr
April
May
May
Jun
June
Jul
July
Aug
August
Sep
September
Oct
October
Nov
November
Dec
December

Short and long day namesIt is important to note that these day arrays start with index 1 = Sunday. This is not a good standard (it is not ISO 8601 compliant), so be careful when using with ISO 8601 compliant routines such as DayOfTheWeek
var
day : Integer;
begin
for day := 1 to 12 do // Display the short and long day names
begin
ShowMessage(ShortDayNames[day]);
ShowMessage(LongDayNames[day]);
end;
end;

The ShowMessage routine display the following information:

Sun
Sunday
Mon
Monday
Tue
Tuesday
Wed
Wednesday
Thu
Thursday
Fri
Friday
Sat
Saturday


Date and time calculationsThe largest benefit of TDateTime is the range of calculations Delphi can do for you. These can be found on the Delphi Basics home page, in the Dates and Times/Calculations option.
In the following examples, click on the name to learn more:
DayOfTheMonthGives the day of month index for a TDateTime value
DaysBetweenGives the whole number of days between 2 dates
DaysInAMonth Gives the number of days in a month
DaysInAYearGives the number of days in a year
DecodeDate Extracts the year, month, day values from a TDateTime var.
EncodeDate Build a TDateTime value from year, month and day values
IncDay Increments a TDateTime variable by + or - number of days
IsLeapYear Returns true if a given calendar year is a leap year
MinsPerDay Gives the number of minutes in a day


Displaying date and time valuesThere are a number of routines that convert date and or time values to strings for display or file storage purposes, such as dateTimeToStr and TimeToString. But the most important is the FormatDateTime. It provides comprehensive formatting control, as illustrated by the following examples.
var
myDate : TDateTime;

begin
// Set up our TDateTime variable with a full date and time :
// 09/02/2000 at 05:06:07.008 (.008 milli-seconds)
myDate := EncodeDateTime(2000, 2, 9, 5, 6, 7, 8);

// Date only - numeric values with no leading zeroes (except year)
ShowMessage('d/m/y = '+
FormatDateTime('d/m/y', myDate));

// Date only - numeric values with leading zeroes
ShowMessage(' dd/mm/yy = '+
FormatDateTime('dd/mm/yy', myDate));

// Use short names for the day, month, and add freeform text ('of')
ShowMessage('ddd d of mmm yyyy = '+
);

// Use long names for the day and month
ShowMessage('dddd d of mmmm yyyy = );

// Use the ShortDateFormat settings only
ShowMessage('ddddd = '+
FormatDateTime('ddddd', myDate));

// Use the LongDateFormat settings only
ShowMessage(' dddddd = ' );

ShowMessage('');

// Time only - numeric values with no leading zeroes
);

// Time only - numeric values with leading zeroes
ShowMessage(' hh:nn:ss.zzz =);

// Use the ShortTimeFormat settings only
ShowMessage('t = );

// Use the LongTimeFormat settings only
ShowMessage(' tt = ')

// Use the ShortDateFormat + LongTimeFormat settings
ShowMessage('c = '+
end;

The ShowMessage routine shows the following outputs :

d/m/y = 9/2/00
dd/mm/yy = 09/02/00
ddd d of mmm yyyy = Wed 9 of Feb 2000
dddd d of mmmm yyyy = Wednesday 9 of February 2000
ddddd = 09/02/2000
dddddd = 09 February 2000
c = 09/02/2000 01:02:03

h:n:s.z = 1:2:3.4
hh:nn:ss.zzz = 01:02:03.004
t = 01:02
tt = 01:02:03
c = 09/02/2000 01:02:03


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Keywords: delphi pointers,delphi programming,delphi files,delphi datatypes,delphi text,delphi graphics,delphi records,delphi text printing

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