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NAME Date::Extract - extract probable dates from strings VERSION Version 0.02 released 13 Feb 08 SYNOPSIS my $parser = Date::Extract->new(); my $dt = $parser->extract($arbitrary_text) or die "No date found."; return $dt->ymd; MOTIVATION There are already a few modules for getting a date out of a string. DateTime::Format::Natural should be your first choice. There's also Time::ParseDate which fits some very specific formats. Finally, you can coerce Date::Manip to do your bidding. But I needed something that will take an arbitrary block of text, search it for something that looks like a date string, and build a DateTime object out of it. This module fills this niche. By design it will produce few false positives. This means it will not catch nearly everything that looks like a date string. So if you have the string "do homework for class 2019" it won't return a DateTime object with the year set to 2019. METHODS new PARAMHASH => "Date::Extract" arguments time_zone Forces a particular time zone to be set (this actually matters, as "Tuesday" on Monday at 11 PM means something different than "Tuesday" on Tuesday at 1 AM). By default it will use the "floating" time zone. See the documentation for DateTime. This controls both the input time zone and output time zone. prefers This argument decides what happens when an ambiguous date appears in the input. For example, "Friday" may refer to any number of Fridays. The valid options for this argument are: nearest Prefer the nearest date. This is the default. future Prefer the closest future date. past Prefer the closest past date. NOT YET SUPPORTED. returns If the text has multiple possible dates, then this argument determines which date will be returned. By default it's 'first'. first Returns the first date found in the string. last Returns the final date found in the string. earliest Returns the date found in the string that chronologically precedes any other date in the string. latest Returns the date found in the string that chronologically follows any other date in the string. all Returns all dates found in the string, in the order they were found in the strong. all_cron Returns all dates found in the string, in chronological order. This method will combine the arguments of parser->new and extract. Modify the "to" hash directly. extract, ARGS text => "DateTime"s Takes an arbitrary amount of text and extracts one or more dates from it. The return value will be zero or more "DateTime" objects. If called in scalar context, only one will be returned, even if the "returns" argument specifies multiple possible return values. See the documentation of "new" for the configuration of this method. Any arguments passed into this method will trump those from the parser. You may reuse a parser for multiple calls to "extract". You do not need to have an instantiated "Date::Extract" object to call this method. Just "Date::Extract->extract($foo)" will work. FORMATS HANDLED today; tomorrow; yesterday last Friday; next Monday; previous Sat Monday; Mon November 13th, 1986; Nov 13, 1986 November 13th; Nov 13 13 Nov; 13th November 1986/11/13; 1986-11-13 11-13-86; 11/13/1986 CAVEATS This module is *intentionally* very simple. Surprises are *not* welcome here. SEE ALSO DateTime::Format::Natural, Time::ParseDate, Date::Manip AUTHOR Shawn M Moore, "<sartak at gmail.com>" BUGS No known bugs at this point. Please report any bugs or feature requests to "bug-date-extract at rt.cpan.org", or through the web interface at <http://rt.cpan.org/NoAuth/ReportBug.html?Queue=Date-Extract>. I will be notified, and then you'll automatically be notified of progress on your bug as I make changes. SUPPORT You can find documentation for this module with the perldoc command. perldoc Date::Extract You can also look for information at: * AnnoCPAN: Annotated CPAN documentation <http://annocpan.org/dist/Date-Extract> * CPAN Ratings <http://cpanratings.perl.org/d/Date-Extract> * RT: CPAN's request tracker <http://rt.cpan.org/NoAuth/Bugs.html?Dist=Date-Extract> * Search CPAN <http://search.cpan.org/dist/Date-Extract> ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thanks to Steven Schubiger for writing the fine DateTime::Format::Natural. We still use it, but it doesn't quite fill all the particular needs we have. COPYRIGHT & LICENSE Copyright 2007 Best Practical Solutions. This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.