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Time Specifications

TWiki recognizes the following formats for date/time strings. For all strings the time is optional.

  • 31 Dec 2001 - 23:59
  • 2001/12/31 23:59:59
  • 2001.
  • 2001/12/31 23:59
  • 2001.
  • 2001-12-31T23:59:59 (ISO 8601 format)

ISO dates may have a timezone specifier, either Z (for GMT) or a signed difference in hh:mm format. Examples:

  • 2001-12-31T23:59:59+01:00
  • 2001-12-31T23:59Z

Time Intervals

Some features of TWiki, such as searches, permit the specification of time intervals. A time interval is a period of time, such as "1337 to 1451" (the Hundred Years War) or "9th February 2005 to 26th March 2005" (the Christian season of Lent).

The recognized format is a restricted interpretation of the ISO standard 8601.

A string is accepted as a valid time interval string if it conforms to the following grammar:

interval ::= date
           | date '/' date
           | 'P' duration '/' date
           | date '/' 'P' duration

date ::= year ('-' month ('-' day ('T' hour (':' minute (':' second)))))
       | '$today'
       | '$now'

duration ::= NUM unit
           | duration NUM unit

unit ::= 'y' | 'm' | 'w' | 'd' | 'h' | 'M' | 'S'

year, month, day, hour, minute, second ::= NUM

An incompletely specified date will be completed by including as much time as possible.

For example, if the start of a date range is specified by just a year, e.g. 1999/2006, it will be interpreted as starting at January 1st 1999, at zero hours zero minutes zero seconds. Similarly for the end of the range; 2006 will be interpreted as the last second of 2006.

If only one date is specified (e.g. the interval string is 1999) it will be treated as if the same date were the start and the end i.e. 1999-1999. Thus 1999 is interpreted as the whole of the year 1999.

You write You mean
2003 the whole year 2003
2003-03-28T/2003-05-15 from March 28th to May 15th of the year 2003
P3w/$today three weeks until today
2003-12-12 12th Dec 2003, from 0:00 to 23:59:59
2003 any time in the year 2003
2003/P20w the first 20 weeks of the year 2003
P20w/2003 the last 20 weeks of the year 2003
$today any second during the present day
P2d/$today today and yesterday
P1d/$now the last 24 hours
$now/P50y the next 50 years


If you are entering a date at both ends of the time interval string, the end date must include all leading fields, even if these are the same as in the start date. This limitation forms a proper restriction to the ISO8601 standard. i.e. ISO 8601 specifies that 2003-12-12/14 means 12th Dec 2003 00:00 to 14th Dec 2003 23:59:59. However this shorthand is not supported by TWiki and must be written as 2003-12-12/2003-12-14.

Related topics: QuerySearch, TWikiScripts, VarGMTIME2, VarSEARCH, UserDocumentationCategory, AdminDocumentationCategory

-- Contributors: TWiki:Main/CrawfordCurrie, TWiki:Main/PeterThoeny

Comments & Questions about this Distribution Document Topic

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Topic revision: r3 - 2010-06-19 - PeterThoeny
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