Date::Manip::Config(3)User Contributed Perl DocumentatioDate::Manip::Config(3)NAMEDate::Manip::Config - Date::Manip configuration
This documents the configuration information which is stored in each
Date::Manip::Base object, how to modify this information, and how the
information is used in the other Date::Manip modules.
Date::Manip is a very configurable bundle of modules. Many of it's
behaviors can be modified to change how date operations are done. To
do this, a list of configuration variables may be set which define many
There are three ways to set config variables. The first two are to pass
them in when creating an object, or to pass them to the config method
after the object is created. All of the main Date::Manip modules
(Date::Manip::Base, Date::Manip::TZ, Date::Manip::Date,
Date::Manip::Delta, and Date::Manip::Recur) have the config method.
As an example, you can create and configure a Date::Manip::Date object
using the commands:
$date = new Date::Manip::Date;
This can be shortened to:
$date = new Date::Manip::Date [$var1,$val1,...];
The values of the config variables are stored in the Date::Manip::Base
object. So, if you have a Date::Manip::Date object, it has a
Date::Manip::Base object associated with it, and the configuration
information is stored there. The same Date::Manip::Base object may be
used by any number of higher objects, and all will share the same
configuration. If multiple Date::Manip::Date objects share the same
Date::Manip::Base object, setting a configuration variable on any of
them affects all of the Date::Manip::Date objects. If you need to work
with different configurations simultaneously, it is necessary to work
with multiple Date::Manip::Base objects. This is covered in the
The third way to set config variables is to store them in a config
file. The config file is read in by passing the appropriate values to
the config method as described below. A config file is a good way to
easily change a large number of settings. They are also necessary for
other purposes (such as events and holidays which are covered in the
One of the variables that can be passed to the config method is
"ConfigFile". The value of this variable is the path to a config file.
A description of the file format and contents is described below.
When any Date::Manip::* object is configured, any number of config
files may be read (and the config files can specify additional files to
The starting section of a config file contains general configuration
variables. A list of all config variables is given below.
Following this, any number of special sections may be included in the
config file. The special sections are used to specify other types of
information, such as a list of holidays or special events. These
special sections are described elsewhere in the documentation.
The syntax of the config file is very simple. Every line is of the
VAR = VAL
Blank lines and lines beginning with a pound sign (#) are ignored. All
whitespace is optional. Variables names in the main section and section
names are case insensitive (though values in the main section are
typically case sensitive). Strings in other sections (both variables
and values) are case sensitive.
The following is a sample config file:
DateFormat = US
Language = English
Dec 25 = Christmas
Jan 1 = New Year's
All config variables that may appear in the main part of a config file
are described in the next section. Other sections are described
elsewhere. The *Holidays and *Events sections are both described in
the Date::Manip::Holidays documentation.
A sample config file is included with the Date::Manip distribution.
Modify it as appropriate and copy it to some appropriate directory and
use the ConfigFile variable to access it. For example, if a config file
is stored in /home/foo/Manip.cnf, you can load it by:
NOTE: if you use business mode calculations, you must have a config
file since this is the only place where you can define holidays.
In the top section, only variables described below may be used. In
other sections, checking (if any) is done in the module that uses the
data from that section.
BASIC CONFIGURATION VARIABLES
This section describes the basic Date::Manip configuration variables
which can be used in a config file, or which may be passed in using the
appropriate functions for each module.
Variable names are case insensitive, both as arguments to the config
function and in the config file. The values are case sensitive except
where specified otherwise.
The value for this config variable is ignored. Whenever the
Defaults config variable is encountered, the defaults for all
config variables are restored, overriding ALL changes that have
In other words, in the following call:
the first option will end up being ignored since the Defaults
config variable will set the language back to it's default value
which is English.
The ConfigFile variable defines a config file which will be parsed
for configuration information. It may be included any number of
times, each one including the path to a single config file. The
value of this variable is a full path to a file.
An example call to the config function might be:
Config files are parsed immediately. So if the file '/tmp/file1'
contains the following lines:
ConfigFile = /tmp/file3
ConfigFile = /tmp/file4
the following sequence of events occur:
First, /tmp/file1 is opened. All options from it are parsed until
you get to the first ConfigFile line.
At that point, /tmp/file3 is parsed and all config variables stored
(and they override any previously stored from /tmp/file1).
Next, you continue with /tmp/file1 until the second ConfigFile line
is seen at which point /tmp/file4 is parsed.
Finally, any remaining lines in /tmp/file1 are parsed. Then
/tmp/file2 is parsed.
The path to the file may be specified in any way valid for the
operating system. If a file is not found, a warning will be issued,
but execution will continue.
Date::Manip can be used to parse dates in many different languages.
Currently, it contains translations for the following languages
(the version in which they added is included for historical
Dutch (5.32) aka Nederlands
To parse dates in a different language, just use the Language
config variable with the name of the language as the value.
Language names are case insensitive.
Additional languages may be added with the help of someone fluent
in English and the other language. If you are interested in
providing a translation for a new language, please refer to the
Date::Manip::Lang document for instructions.
Date::Manip has some support for handling date strings encoded in
alternate character encodings.
By default, input strings may be tested using multiple encodings
that are commonly used for the specific languages, as well as using
standard perl escape sequences, and output is done in UTF-8.
The input, output, or both can be overridden using the Encoding
Setting Encoding to the name of a single encoding (a name supported
by the Encoding perl module), will force all input and output to be
done in that encoding.
Encoding = iso-8859-1
means that all input and output will be in that encoding. The
encoding 'perl' has the special meaning of storing the string in
perl escape sequences.
Encoding can also be set to the name of two encoding (separated by
Encoding = iso-8859-1,utf-16
which means that all input is in iso-8859-1 encoding, but all
output will be utf-16.
Encoding may also be set as follows:
Encoding = iso-8859-1,
meaning that input is in iso-8859-1 and output is in the default
(i.e. UTF-8) encoding.
Encoding = ,utf-16
means to check the input in all of the encodings, but all output
will be in utf-16 encoding.
Note that any time you change languages, it will reset the
encodings, so you should set this config variable AFTER setting the
Different countries look at the date 12/10 as Dec 10 or Oct 12. In
the United States, the first is most common, but this certainly
doesn't hold true for other countries. Setting DateFormat to "US"
(case insensitive) forces the first behavior (Dec 10). Setting
DateFormat to anything else forces the second behavior (Oct 12).
The "US" setting is the default (sorry about that... I live in the
When parsing a date containing a 2-digit year, the year must be
converted to 4 digits. This config variable determines how this is
By default, a 2 digit year is treated as falling in the 100 year
period of CURR-89 to CURR+10. So in the year 2005, a two digit year
will be somewhere in the range 1916 to 2015.
YYtoYYYY may be set to any integer N to force a 2 digit year into
the period CURR-N to CURR+(99-N). A value of 0 forces the year to
be the current year or later. A value of 99 forces the year to be
the current year or earlier. Although the most common choice of
values will be somewhere between 0 and 99, there is no restriction
on N that forces it to be so. It can actually be any positive or
negative number you want to force it into any 100 year period
YYtoYYYY can also be set to "C" to force it into the current
century, or to "C##" to force it into a specific century. So, in
1998, "C" forces 2 digit years to be 1900-1999. "C18" would always
force a 2 digit year to be in the range 1800-1899. Note: I'm aware
that the actual definitions of century are 1901-2000, NOT
1900-1999, so for purists, treat this as the way to supply the
first two digits rather than as supplying a century.
It can also be set to the form "C####" to force it into a specific
100 year period. C1950 refers to 1950-2049.
It is sometimes necessary to know what day of week is regarded as
first. By default, this is set to Monday as that conforms to ISO
8601, but many countries and people will prefer Sunday (and in a
few cases, a different day may be desired). Set the FirstDay
variable to be the first day of the week (1=Monday, 7=Sunday).
ISO 8601 states that the first week of the year is the one which
contains Jan 4 (i.e. it is the first week in which most of the days
in that week fall in that year). This means that the first 3 days
of the year may be treated as belonging to the last week of the
previous year. If this is set to non-nil, the ISO 8601 standard
will be ignored and the first week of the year contains Jan 1.
Some commands may produce a printable version of a date. By
default, the printable version of the date is of the format:
Two other simple versions have been created. If the Printable
variable is set to 1, the format is:
If Printable is set to 2, the format is:
This config variable is present in order to maintain backward
compatibility, and may actually be deprecated at some point. As
such, additional formats will not be added. Instead, use the printf
method in the Date::Manip::Date module to extract information with
When a date is parsed from one of the formats listed in the "Common
date formats" or "Less common formats" sections of the
Date::Manip::Date document, and no time is explicitly included, the
default time can be determined by the value of this variable. The
two possible values are:
midnight the default time is 00:00:00
curr the default time is the current time
"midnight" is the default value.
NOTE: this only applies to dates parsed with the parse method.
Dates parsed using the parse_date method always default to
BUSINESS CONFIGURATION VARIABLES
These are configuration variables used to define work days and holidays
used in business mode calculations. Refer to the Date::Manip::Calc
documentation for details on these calculations.
The first and last days of the work week. These default to Monday
and Friday. Days are numbered from 1 (Monday) to 7 (Sunday).
WorkWeekBeg must come before WorkWeekEnd numerically so there is no
way to handle a work week of Sunday to Thursday using these
There is also no way to handle an odd work schedule such as 10 days
on, 4 days off.
However, both of these situations can be handled using a fairly
To handle a work week of Sunday to Thursday, just set WorkWeekBeg=1
and WorkWeekEnd=7 and defined a holiday that occurs every Friday
To handle a 10 days on, 4 days off schedule, do something similar
but defined a holiday that occurs on all of the 4 days off.
Both of these can be done using recurrences. Refer to the
Date::Manip::Recur documentation for details.
If WorkDay24Hr is non-zero, a work day is treated as being 24 hours
long. The WorkDayBeg and WorkDayEnd variables are ignored in this
By default, WorkDay24Hr is zero, and the work day is defined by the
WorkDayBeg and WorkDayEnd variables. These are the times when the
work day starts and ends respectively. WorkDayBeg must come before
WorkDayEnd (i.e. there is no way to handle the night shift where
the work day starts one day and ends another).
The time in both should be a valid time format (H, H:M, or H:M:S).
Note that setting WorkDay24Hr to a non-zero value automatically
sets WorkDayBeg and WorkDayEnd to "00:00:00" and "24:00:00"
respectively, so to switch back to a non-24 hour day, you will need
to reset both of those config variables.
Similarly, setting either the WorkDayBeg or WorkDayEnd variables
automatically turns off WorkDay24Hr.
Periodically, if a day is not a business day, we need to find the
nearest business day to it. By default, we'll look to "tomorrow"
first, but if this variable is set to 0, we'll look to "yesterday"
first. This is only used in the
Date::Manip::Date::nearest_business_day method (and the
Date_NearestWorkDay function) and is easily overridden (see
documentation for the nearest_business_day method).
If these variables are used (a value must be passed in, but is
ignored), the current list of defined holidays or events is erased.
A new set will be set the next time a config file is read in.
Although these variables are supported, the best way to have
multiple holiday or events lists will be to create multiple
Date::Manip::Base objects based on separate config files.
RECURRENCE CONFIGURATION VARIABLES
The following config variables help in the handling of recurrences.
When a recurrence is created, it begins with a default range (start
and end date). The range selected depends on the value of this
variable, and can be set to any of the following:
none no default range supplied
year the current year
month the current month
week the current week
day the current day
all Jan 2, 0001 to Dec 30, 9999
The default value is "none".
TIME ZONE RELATED CONFIGURATION VARIABLES
The following configuration variables may alter the current time zone.
As such, they are only available once the Date::Manip::TZ module is
available. An easy way to handle this is to only pass them to the
config method of a Date::Manip::TZ object or one of the high level
objects (Date::Manip::Date, Date::Manip::Delta, or Date::Manip::Recur).
Many of Date::Manip's operations rely on knowing what time it is now.
This consists of three things: knowing what date and time it is,
knowing what time zone it is, and knowing whether it is daylight saving
or not. All of this is necessary in order to correctly handle every
The daylight saving time is only used for a couple hours each year
during daylight saving time changes (at all other times, the date,
time, and time zone are sufficient information), so it is optional, and
defaults to standard time if omitted.
The default behavior of Date::Manip is to use the system localtime
function to determine the date, time, and daylight saving time
information, and to use various methods (see DETERMINING THE SYSTEM
TIME ZONE in the Date::Manip::TZ documentation) to determine what time
zone the computer is in.
TZ This variable is deprecated, but will be supported for several
releases. The SetDate or ForceDate variables (described next)
should be used instead.
The following are equivalent:
The SetDate config variable is used to set the current date, time,
or time zone, but then allow it to change over time using the rules
of that time zone.
There are several cases where this may be useful.
Often, you may want to use the system time to get the date and
time, but you want to work in another time zone. For this, use the
If it is currently
Jun 6, 2009 12:00:00 in the America/New_York time zone
and you call:
the Date::Manip will treat that exact instant as
Jun 6, 2009 12:00:00 in the Europe/Rome time zone
At that precise moment, looking at the system time and parsing the
date "now" in Date::Manip will give the same date and time.
The time will continue to advance, but it will use time change
rules from the Europe/Rome time zone. What that means is that if a
daylight saving time occurs on the computer, but NOT in the
Europe/Rome time zone (or vice versa), the system date and time
will no longer match the results of parsing the date "now" in
In general (unless the program runs for an extended period of
time), the system date and time WILL match the value of "now", so
this is a good way to simulate placing the computer in another time
If the current date/time is ambiguous (i.e. it exists in both
standard and daylight saving time in the alternate zone), you can
use the call:
to force it to be in one or the other. DSTFLAG can be "std", "dst",
"stdonly", or "dstonly". "std" and "dst" mean that the date can be
in either standard or saving time, but will try standard first (for
"dst") or saving time first (if "dst"), and will only try the other
if the date is not valid. If "stdonly" or "dstonly" is used, the
date will be forced to be standard or saving time respectively (an
error will be triggered if there is no valid date in that time).
If the current date/time doesn't exist in the alternate zone, an
error will occur.
The other common operation is that you might want to see results as
they would appear on a computer running in a different time zone.
This can be done using the call:
If it is currently
Jun 6, 2009 12:00:00 in the America/New_York time zone
and you call:
then parsing "now" at precisely that moment will return "Jun 6,
2009 11:00:00". This is equivalent to working in the current zone,
but then converting everything to the alternate zone.
Note that DSTFLAG is only used if ZONE is entered as an offset.
The final case where the SetDate config variable is used is to
alter the date and time to some other value (completely independent
of the current date and time) and allow it to advance normally from
set both the date/time and zone.
If DATE is not valid in the time zone (either the local time zone
or the specified one), and error occurs.
resets everything to use the current date/time and zone and lets it
The ForceDate config variable is similar to the SetDate variable,
except that once "now" is set, it is not allowed to change. Parsing
the date "now" will not change, regardless of how long the program
runs (unless either the SetDate or ForceDate variables are set to
some other value).
all set "now" in the same way as the SetDate variable. Spaces
after commas are ignored.
ZONE can be any time zone name, alias, abbreviation, or offset, and the
best time zone will be determined from all given information.
It should be noted that setting the SetDate or ForceDate variable twice
will always refer to the system date/time as a starting point. For
example, if a program is running, and calls the method:
at Jun 6, 2009 at 12:00, that time will be treated as now from that
point on. If the same call is done an hour later, "now" will then be
Jun 6, 2009 at 13:00 from that moment on.
Since the current date is used in the date parsing routines, no parsing
can be done on the DATE value in any of the calls. Instead, DATE must
be a date in one of the two formats:
DEPRECATED CONFIGURATION VARIABLES
The following config variables are currently supported, but are
deprecated. They will be removed in a future Date::Manip release:
These variables are currently supported, but will be removed. These
have been replaced in favor of ConfigFile.
GlobalCnf (which is ignored in a config file, and is only useful in
the Date_Init call) sets the full path to a global config file.
IgnoreGlobalCnf is ignored completely at this point.
PersonalCnf is the name of a personal (or local) config file which
will be read in after the global config file. The file will be
searched for in a list of directories specified by PersonalCnfPath.
The list of directories is delimited by the value of PathSep.
In the future, the distinction between a global and personal config
file will be removed, and there will be no searching across a path
of directories. Instead, full paths will be specified using the
This is an alias for Printable. Internal was used previously
because the actual format of the date stored by Date::Manip would
actually change based on this value. Now, the internal form will
never change... just the printable version of it. The variable name
has been changed to reflect that change.
This is ignored. Use the Date::Manip::Delta::printf format to
format deltas as desired.
This is ignored. With real time zone support, daylight saving time
changes are handled automatically and correctly.
This is ignored. Calculations automatically handle multiple time
zones, so this is no longer necessary.
TZ This is discussed above. Use SetDate or ForceDate instead.
If set to 0, use the US character set (7-bit ASCII) to return
strings such as the month name. If set to 1, use the appropriate
international character set. For example, If you want your French
representation of December to have the accent over the first "e",
you'll want to set this to 1.
This is no longer used since recurrences were reworked in 6.20.
BUGS AND QUESTIONS
Please refer to the Date::Manip::Problems documentation for information
on submitting bug reports or questions to the author.
Date::Manip - main module documentation
This script is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
under the same terms as Perl itself.
Sullivan Beck (email@example.com)
perl v5.10.1 2011-12-10 Date::Manip::Config(3)