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Use Timespans in Ruby :)

Will calculate time diff between two dates, then allow you to get the time difference in some time unit as a number.

    t = =>, :duration => 3.days.ago)
    t.to_days # => 3
    t.to_weeks # => 0
    t.to_secs # => 259200
    t.to_hours = 10800

  t ="2 days") # from today
  t = # from today
  t = # 200 secs from today
  t = 2.days) # specific use of :duration option

  t ="3 hrs").from(2.days.from_now)

  t = => 2.days.ago)

  t = => 4.days.from_now)

    t = =>, :to => "6 weeks from now")    

    t = =>, :duration => "7 weeks 3 days")    
    t = => 2.days.ago, :duration => "5 months and 2 weeks")  

See specs for more examples of usage


timespan.between?(2.days.ago, 1.minute.from_now)
timespan.between?(1.days, 3.days)
timespan < 3.days


3_days_more = timespan + 3.days
day_less = timespan -1


Internally Timespan uses Spanner to parse duration strings.

`Spanner.parse('23 hours 12 minutes')

Duration (ruby-duration) => #<Duration: minutes=1, seconds=40, total=100> => 5, :minutes => 70) => #<Duration: hours=6, minutes=10, total=22200> => 3, :days => 1).format("%w %~w and %d %~d") => "3 weeks and 1 day" => 1, :days => 20).format("%w %~w and %d %~d") => "3 weeks and 6 days"

Duration locale file

    second: sekond
    seconds: sekonder
    minute: minut
    minutes: minutter
    hour: time
    hours: timer
    day: dag
    days: dage
    week: uge
    weeks: uges
    month: måned
    months: måneder
    year: år
    years: år

Duration datatype for Mongoid

require 'duration/mongoid'

class MyModel
  include Mongoid::Document
  field :duration, type => Duration

Timespan i18n

Timespan locale file

    from: fra
    to: til
    lasting: der varer ialt

Timespan for Mongoid

Tested and works with Mongoid 2.4 and 3.0.0.rc

Custom Timespan datatype

require 'timespan/mongoid'

class Account
  include Mongoid::Document
  include Mongoid::Timespanned

  field :period, :type => TimeSpan

  timespan_methods :period

Mongoid::Timespanned adds the following class level macros:

  • timespan_methods name
  • timespan_delegates name
  • timespan_setters name

Usage example:

account = Account.create :period => {:duration => '2 days', :from => }

account.period.duration # => Duration

account.period_start = tomorrow
account.period_end = 5.days.from_now

account.start_date == tomorrow
account.end_date == tomorrow

Searching periods

Account.where(:'period.from'.lt => 6.days.ago.to_i)
Account.where(:'period.from'.gt => 3.days.ago.to_i)

# in range
Account.where(:'period.from'.gt => 3.days.ago.to_i, :''.lt =>

Make it easier by introducing a class helper:

class Account
  include Mongoid::Document
  field :period, :type => TimeSpan

  def self.between from, to
    Account.where(:'period.from'.gt => from.to_i, :''.lte => to.to_i)


Alternatively auto-generate a #between helper for the field:

class Account
  include Mongoid::Document
  field :period, :type => TimeSpan, :between => true


See the mongoid_search_spec.rb for examples:

Chronic duration

Is used to parse duration strings if Spanner can't be handle it

`ChronicDuration.parse('4 minutes and 30 seconds')


Use the 'endure' gem based on the old "days_and_times".

See: days_and_times

Currently it also uses Duration, which conflicts with the 'ruby-duration' gem. #=> A duration of 1 day
  7.days #=> A duration of 7 days
  1.week #=> A duration of 1 week
  1.week - 2.days #=> A duration of 5 days
  1.week.from(Now()) #=> The time of 1 week from this moment
  1.week.from(Today()) #=> The time of 1 week from the beginning of today
  3.minutes.ago.until(7.minutes.from(Now())) #=> duration 3 minutes ago to 7 minutes from now
  3.minutes.ago.until(7.minutes.from(Now())) - 2.minutes #=> duration 3 minutes ago to 5 minutes from now
  4.weeks.from(2.days.from(Now())).until(8.weeks.from(Yesterday())) #=> A duration, starting in 4 weeks and 2 days, and ending 8 weeks from yesterday
  1.week - 1.second #=> A duration of 6 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 59 seconds
  4.weeks / 2 #=> A duration of 2 weeks
  4.weeks / 2.weeks #=> The integer 2
  8.weeks.each {|week| ...} #=> Runs code for each week contained in the duration (of 8 weeks)
  8.weeks.starting(Now()).each {|week| ...} #=> Runs code for each week in the duration, but each week is also anchored to a starting time, in sequence through the duration.
  1.week.each {|week| ...} #=> Automatically chooses week as its iterator
  7.days.each {|day| ...} #=> Automatically chooses day as its iterator
  1.week.each_day {|day| ...} #=> Forcing the week to iterate through days
  1.week.each(10.hours) {|ten_hour_segment| ...} #=> Using a custom iterator of 10 hours. There would be 17 of them, but notice that the last iteration will only be 8 hours.

## Configuration and overrides

Timespan by default uses `` to set the current time, fx used when either `end_date` or `start_date` otherwise would be nil. This is used in order to work with Mongoid (see [issue #400](

You can customize `now` to return fx ``, `` or whatever suits you.

class Timespan
  def now # or

By default the TimeSpan is stored using :from and :to for the start and end times. This can be customized as follows:

TimeSpan.start_field = :start
TimeSpan.end_field = :end

Contributing to Timespan

  • Check out the latest master to make sure the feature hasn't been implemented or the bug hasn't been fixed yet.
  • Check out the issue tracker to make sure someone already hasn't requested it and/or contributed it.
  • Fork the project.
  • Start a feature/bugfix branch.
  • Commit and push until you are happy with your contribution.
  • Make sure to add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.
  • Please try not to mess with the Rakefile, version, or history. If you want to have your own version, or is otherwise necessary, that is fine, but please isolate to its own commit so I can cherry-pick around it.


Copyright (c) 2012 Kristian Mandrup. See LICENSE.txt for further details.

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