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A simple Ruby natural language parser for elapsed time
Ruby
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README.rdoc

Chronic Duration

A simple Ruby natural language parser for elapsed time. (For example, 4 hours and 30 minutes, 6 minutes 4 seconds, 3 days, etc.) Returns all results in seconds. Will return an integer unless you get tricky and need a float. (4 minutes and 13.47 seconds, for example.)

The reverse can also be accomplished with the output method. So pass in seconds and you can get strings like 4 mins 31.51 secs (default format), 4h 3m 30s, or 4:01:29.

Installation

$ sudo gem sources -a http://gemcutter.org
$ sudo gem install chronic_duration

Usage

>> require 'chronic_duration'
=> true
>> ChronicDuration.parse('4 minutes and 30 seconds')
=> 270
>> ChronicDuration.output(270)
=> 4 mins 30 secs
>> ChronicDuration.output(270, :format => :short)
=> 4m 30s
>> ChronicDuration.output(270, :format => :long)
=> 4 minutes 30 seconds
>> ChronicDuration.output(270, :format => :chrono)
=> 4:30

Nil is returned if the string can't be parsed

Examples of parse-able strings:

  • '12.4 secs'

  • '1:20'

  • '1:20.51'

  • '4:01:01'

  • '3 mins 4 sec'

  • '2 hrs 20 min'

  • '2h20min'

  • '6 mos 1 day'

  • '47 yrs 6 mos and 4d'

  • 'two hours and twenty minutes'

  • '3 weeks and 2 days'

ChronicDuration.raise_exceptions can be set to true to raise exceptions when the string can't be parsed.

>> ChronicDuration.raise_exceptions = true
=> true
>> ChronicDuration.parse('4 elephants and 3 Astroids')
ChronicDuration::DurationParseError: An invalid word "elephants" was used in the string to be parsed.

Contributors

brianjlandau, jduff, olauzon, roboman, ianlevesque

TODO

  • Benchmark, optimize

  • Context specific matching (E.g., for '4m30s', assume 'm' is minutes not months)

  • Smartly parse vacation-like durations (E.g., '4 days and 3 nights')

  • :chrono output option should probably change to something like 4 days 4:00:12 instead of 4:04:00:12

  • Other locale support

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