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Python Datemath


A date math (aka datemath) parser compatiable with the elasticsearch 'date math' format


Working with date objects in python has always been interesting. Having a background in php, I have been looking for quite some time ( no pun intended ) for a way to do date time interpolation similar to php's strtotime() function. While the arrow module comes close, I needed something that could turn date math type strings into datetime objects for use in and other projects I use in elasticsearch. I have found even more uses for it, including AWS cloudwatch and various other projects and hopefully you will too.

What is date math?

Date Math is the short hand arithmetic to find relative time to fixed moments in date and time. Similar to the SOLR date math format, Elasticsearch has its own built in format for short hand date math and this module aims to support that same coverage in python.

Documentation from elasticsearch:

The date type supports using date math expression when using it in a query/filter (mainly makes sense in range query/filter).

The expression starts with an "anchor" date, which can be either now or a date string (in the applicable format) ending with ||.

It can then follow by a math expression, supporting +, - and / (rounding).

The units supported are y (year), M (month), w (week), d (day), h (hour), m (minute), and s (second).

Here are some samples: now+1h, now+1h+1m, now+1h/d, 2012-01-01||+1M/d.

Note, when doing range type searches, and the upper value is inclusive, the rounding will properly be rounded to the ceiling instead of flooring it.

Unit Maps

y or Y      =   'year'
M           =   'month'
m           =   'minute'
d or D      =   'day'
w           =   'week'
h or H      =   'hour'
s or S      =   'second'


pip install python-datemath


Assuming our datetime is currently: 2016-01-01T00:00:00-00:00

Expression:                 Result:
now-1h                      2015-12-31T23:00:00+00:00
now-1y                      2015-01-01T00:00:00+00:00
now+1y+2d                   2017-01-03T00:00:00+00:00
now+12h                     2016-01-01T12:00:00+00:00
now+1d/d                    2016-01-03T00:00:00+00:00
now-2.5h                    2015-12-31T21:30:00+00:00
+2h                         2016-01-01T02:00:00+00:00
+1h/h                       2016-01-01T02:00:00+00:00
now+1w/w                    2016-01-11T00:00:00+00:00
now/d+7d+12h                2016-01-08T12:00:00+00:00
2016-01-01||+1d             2016-01-02T00:00:00+00:00
2015-01-01||+2w             2015-01-15T00:00:00+00:00

# Using the roundDown=False option
now/d                       2016-01-01T23:59:59+00:00
now/Y                       2016-12-31T23:59:59+00:00


By default datemath return an arrow date object representing your timestamp.

>>> from datemath import dm
>>> dm('now+1h')
<Arrow [2016-01-01T01:00:00+00:00]>
>>> dm('now+1h+1m')
<Arrow [2016-01-01T01:01:00+00:00]>
>>> dm('now+1h/d')
<Arrow [2016-01-02T00:00:00+00:00]>
>>> dm('now-1d')
<Arrow [2015-12-31T00:00:00+00:00]>
>>> dm('2016-01-01||+1/d')
<Arrow [2016-01-02T00:00:00+00:00]>
>>> dm('now/d+2h+3m')
<Arrow [2016-01-01T02:03:00+00:00]>
>>> dm('now+/d', roundDown=False)
<Arrow [2016-01-01T23:59:00+00:00]>
>>> dm('now/d')
<Arrow [2016-01-01T00:00:00+00:00]>
>>> dm(1451610061) # Timestamp in epoch/unix as int (Please note, we do not support epoch millisecond at this time.  Please convert your epoch millis to the nearest second. i.e. 1451610061000/1000)
<Arrow [2016-01-01T01:01:01+00:00]>
>>> dm('1451610061') # Timestamp in epoch/unix as string
<Arrow [2016-01-01T01:01:01+00:00]>

If you would rather have a string, you can use arrow's .format() method.

For for info on string formatting, check out arrows tokens section:

>>> from datemath import dm
>>> src_timestamp = dm('2016-01-01')
>>> print src_timestamp
>>> new_timestamp = dm('-2w', now=src_timestamp)
>>> print new_timestamp
>>> new_timestamp.format('YYYY.MM.DD')

Rather have a python datetime object instead? Just pass along the 'datetime' type

from datemath import dm
>>> dm('now', type='datetime')
datetime.datetime(2016, 1, 22, 22, 58, 28, 338060, tzinfo=tzutc())
>>> dm('now+2d-1m', type='datetime')
datetime.datetime(2016, 1, 24, 22, 57, 45, 394470, tzinfo=tzutc())

Or you can just import the datemath module, this will always give us a native datetime object

>>> from datemath import datemath
>>> datemath('2016-01-01T16:20:00||/d', roundDown=False)
datetime.datetime(2016, 1, 1, 23, 59, 59, 999999, tzinfo=tzutc())
>>> # roundDown=True is default and implied
>>> datemath('2016-01-01T16:20:00||/d')
datetime.datetime(2016, 1, 1, 0, 0, tzinfo=tzutc())

If you want a Epoch timestamp back instead, we can do that.

>>> dm('now+2d-1m', type='timestamp')

What timezone are my objects in?

By default all object returned by datemath are in UTC.

If you want them them back in a different timezone, just pass along the tz argument. Timezone list can be found here:

If you provide a timezone offset in your timestring, datemath will return your time object as that timezone offset in the string.

Note - currently timestrings with a timezone offset and the usage of the tz argument will result in the time object being returned with the timezone of what was in the timezone offset in the original string

>>> from datemath import dm 
>>> dm('now')
<Arrow [2016-01-26T01:00:53.601088+00:00]>
>>> dm('now', tz='US/Eastern')
<Arrow [2016-01-25T20:01:05.976880-05:00]>
>>> dm('now', tz='US/Pacific')
<Arrow [2016-01-25T17:01:18.456882-08:00]>
>>> dm('2017-10-20 09:15:20', tz='US/Pacific')
<Arrow [2017-10-20T09:15:20.000000-08:00]>
>>> # Timestring with TZ offset in the string (ISO8601 format only)
>>> dm('2016-01-01T00:00:00-05:00')
<Arrow [2016-01-01T00:00:00-05:00]>
>>> # Timestring with TZ offset with datemath added (again, TS must be in ISO8601)
>>> dm('2016-01-01T00:00:00-05:00||+2d+3h+5m')
<Arrow [2016-01-03T03:05:00-05:00]>
>>> # Note, timestrings with TZ offsets will be returned as the timezone of the offset in the string even if the "tz" option is used. 
>>> dm('2016-01-01T00:00:00-05:00', tz='US/Central')
<Arrow [2016-01-01T00:00:00-05:00]>


If you would like more verbose output to debug the process of what datemath is doing, simply set export DATEMATH_DEBUG=true in your shell then run some datemath tests. To stop debugging, run unset DATEMATH_DEBUG.



Happy date math'ing!