Use TimeSpans in ruby
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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)
	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

For use with Mongoid

gem 'mongoid'
gem 'origin-selectable_ext'

gem 'timespan'


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 (xduration)

The type Duration is supported via the xduration gem, which extends ruby-duration with additional macros, specific time unit classes and supports longer duration time periods such as weeks, months and years. => #<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+ (also tested with Mongoid 4)

Custom Timespan datatype:

Mongoid::Timespanned adds the following class level macros:

  • timespan_methods target, *names

  • timespan_delegates target, *names

  • timespan_delegate name, target = :period

  • timespan_setters target, *names

  • timespan_setter target, name

  • timespan_container_delegates container, timespan_field, *names

  • timespan_container_delegate container, timespan_field, name

Note that all the macros, take an options Hash as the last argument, where you can set override: true in order to override any existing methods. Otherwise an ArgumentError exception will be raised, to warn you of a method name conflict!

require 'timespan/mongoid'

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

  field :period, :type => Timespan

  timespan_methods :period

  embeds_one :time_period
  timespan_container_delegates :time_period, :dates, :start, :end  

class TimePeriod
  include Mongoid::Document
  include Mongoid::Timespanned

  field :dates, :type => ::Timespan, :between => true

  embedded_in :account

  timespan_methods :dates

Note: See mongoid_timespan_spec.rb for more examples of usage, and also see the ClassMethods module in timespanned.rb :)

Usage example:

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

account.period.duration # => Duration

# using timespan setters defined by timespan_methods
account.period_start = tomorrow
account.period_end = 5.days.from_now

# using timespan delegates defined by timespan_methods
account.start_date == tomorrow
account.end_date == tomorrow

# using timespan_container_delegates on time_period
account.start_date = tomorrow
account.end_date = tomorrow + 5.days

Factory method

Timespan now has the class level factory methods #from and #untill.


account = Account.create :period => Timespan.from :tomorrow, 7.days

# today
Timespan.from :today, 7.days

# now
Timespan.from :asap, 7.days
Timespan.from :now, 7.days

# now
Timespan.from :today, 7.days

# starting one week from today
Timespan.from :next_week, 7.days

# starting first day next week
Timespan.from :next_week, 7.days, start: true

# starting first day next month
Timespan.from :next_month, 7.days, start: true


Creates timespan from until the time specified.

Timespan.untill :tomorrow
Timespan.untill :next_week
Timespan.untill :next_month, start: true
Timespan.untill 2.days.from_now

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:

Time lord

This gem can be used in combination with Time lord, which has a lot of functionality for time periods, conversions, calculations and outputting to strings etc.

Some initial support for time-lord has been added, but not yet tested. Please help out ;)

Since integration with time-lord is not yet complete and tested, to use the experimental features, use:

require 'timespan/extensions/time_lord'

There are known issues with time_lord so that:

4.days.from_now returns a date far into the future!

I hope this gets fixed soon!

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


A Range can be converted into either a Timespan or a DurationRange


dr = (1..5).days # => DurationRange 1..5, :days
ts =(1..5).days(:timespan) # => Timespan start_date:, end_date: 5.days.from_now

dr.between?(4.days) # => true

You can also use Range#intersect from sugar-high gem to test intersection of time ranges ;)


date_range.intersect(other_date_range).should == intersecting_range
subject.intersect(other).should == nil # if no intersection

The duration range by default supports the following units: [seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years]

You can subclass the DurationRange to supply your own list of time units to fit your particular scenario.

This gem comes with two subclasses:

ShortDurationRange and LongDurationRange

They both override the method #allowed_units to provide a particular list:

ShortDurationRange supports time ranges less than a day, whereas LongDurationRange only supports time ranges of a day or more.

To create a LongDurationRange or ShortDurationRange from a range, you can use the macros:

long_time_range = (1..5).days(:long)

# or simply

long_time_range = (1..5).days!

# and for short time range

long_time_range = (1..5).minutes(:short)
short_time_range = (1..5).hours!

Client side helpers

This gem now includes som javascript assets to assist in performing date and timespan (duration) calculations on the client side also:

  • moment.js (1.7.2)
  • date_ext.js DP_DateExtensions
  • timespan.js

Example usage

Date.timeleft("12/10/2012", "07/05/2013");
Date.timeleft(Date.create("12/10/2012"), "07/05/2013");

Aliases for timeleft are: duration and timespan.

See the javascript source for the full API or check out and

Note: timeleft was extracted from (

To use these assets with the Asset pipeline, simply add this to your application.js or similar manifest file :) (after jquery which is required!)

//= require moment.js
//= require date_ext.js
//= require timespan.js


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.