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Manual Reference Pages  -  DATETIME::INCOMPLETE (3)

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DateTime::Incomplete - An incomplete datetime, like January 5



  my $dti = DateTime::Incomplete->new( year => 2003 );
  # 2003-xx-xx
  $dti->set( month => 12 );
  # 2003-12-xx
  $dt = $dti->to_datetime( base => DateTime->now );
  # 2003-12-19T16:54:33


DateTime::Incomplete is a class for representing partial dates and times.

These are actually encountered relatively frequently. For example, a birthday is commonly given as a month and day, without a year.


Constructor and mutator methods (such as new and set) will die if there is an attempt to set the datetime to an invalid value.

Invalid values are detected by setting the appropriate fields of a base datetime object. See the set_base method.

Accessor methods (such as day()) will return either a value or undef, but will never die.


A DateTime::Incomplete object can have a base object. This object is used as a default datetime in the to_datetime() method, and it also used to validate inputs to the set() method.

The base object must use the year/month/day system. Most calendars use this system including Gregorian (DateTime) and Julian. Note that this module has not been well tested with base objects from classes other than class.

By default, newly created DateTime::Incomplete objects have no base.


Most methods provided by this class are designed to emulate the behavior of whenever possible.
o new()

Creates a new incomplete date:

  my $dti = DateTime::Incomplete->new( year => 2003 );
  # 2003-xx-xx

This class method accepts parameters for each date and time component: year, month, day, hour, minute, second, nanosecond. Additionally, it accepts time_zone, locale, and base parameters.

Any parameters not given default to undef.

Calling the new() method without parameters creates a completely undefined datetime:

  my $dti = DateTime::Incomplete->new();

o from_day_of_year( ... )

This constructor takes the same arguments as can be given to the new() method, except that it does not accept a month or day argument. Instead, it requires both year and day_of_year. The day of year must be between 1 and 366, and 366 is only allowed for leap years.

It creates a DateTime::Incomplete object with all date fields defined, but with the time fields (hour, minute, etc.) set to undef.

o from_object( object => $object, ... )

This class method can be used to construct a new DateTime::Incomplete object from any object that implements the utc_rd_values() method. All DateTime::Calendar modules must implement this method in order to provide cross-calendar compatibility. This method accepts a locale parameter.

If the object passed to this method has a time_zone() method, that is used to set the time zone. Otherwise UTC is used.

It creates a DateTime::Incomplete object with all fields defined.

o from_epoch( ... )

This class method can be used to construct a new DateTime::Incomplete object from an epoch time instead of components. Just as with the new() method, it accepts time_zone and locale parameters.

If the epoch value is not an integer, the part after the decimal will be converted to nanoseconds. This is done in order to be compatible with Time::HiRes.

It creates a DateTime::Incomplete object with all fields defined.

o now( ... )

This class method is equivalent to DateTime->now.

It creates a new DateTime::Incomplete object with all fields defined.

o today( ... )

This class method is equivalent to now(), but it leaves hour, minute, second and nanosecond undefined.

o clone

Creates a new object with the same information as the object this method is called on.

    ‘‘Get’’ Methods

o year
o month
o day
o hour
o minute
o second
o nanosecond
o time_zone
o locale

These methods returns the field value for the object, or undef.

These values can also be accessed using the same alias methods available in, such as mon(), mday(), etc.

o has_year
o has_month
o has_day
o has_hour
o has_minute
o has_second
o has_nanosecond
o has_time_zone
o has_locale
o has_date
o has_time

Returns a boolean value indicating whether the corresponding component is defined.

has_date tests for year, month, and day.

has_time tests for hour, minute, and second.

o has

    $has_date = $dti->has( year, month, day );

Returns a boolean value indicating whether all fields in the argument list are defined.

o defined_fields

    @fields = $dti->defined_fields;   # list of field names

Returns a list containing the names of the fields that are defined.

The list order is: year, month, day, hour, minute, second, nanosecond, time_zone, locale.

o datetime, ymd, date, hms, time, iso8601, mdy, dmy

These are equivalent to DateTime stringification methods with the same name, except that the undefined fields are replaced by ’xx’ or ’xxxx’ as appropriate.

o epoch
o hires_epoch
o is_dst
o utc_rd_values
o utc_rd_as_seconds

    my $epoch = $dti->epoch( base => $dt );

These methods are equivalent to the DateTime methods with the same name.

They all accept a base argument to use in order to calculate the method’s return values.

If no base argument is given, then today is used.

o is_finite, is_infinite

Incomplete dates are always finite.

o strftime( $format, ... )

This method implements functionality similar to the strftime() method in C. However, if given multiple format strings, then it will return multiple scalars, one for each format string.

See the strftime Specifiers section in the documentation for a list of all possible format specifiers.

Undefined fields are replaced by ’xx’ or ’xxxx’ as appropriate.

The specification %s (epoch) is calculated using today as the base date, unless the object has a base datetime set.

Computed Values

All other accessors, such as day_of_week(), or week_year() are computed from the base values for a datetime. When these methods are called, they return the requested information if there is enough data to compute them, otherwise they return undef

Unimplemented Methods

The following methods are not implemented in DateTime::Incomplete, though some of them may be implemented in future versions:
o add_duration
o add
o subtract_duration
o subtract
o subtract_datetime
o subtract_datetime_absolute
o delta_md
o delta_days
o delta_ms
o compare
o compare_ignore_floating
o DefaultLanguage

    ‘‘Set’’ Methods

o set

Use this to set or undefine a datetime field:

  $dti->set( month => 12 );
  $dti->set( day => 24 );
  $dti->set( day => undef );

This method takes the same arguments as the set() method in, but it can accept undef for any value.

o set_time_zone

This method accepts either a time zone object or a string that can be passed as the name parameter to DateTime::TimeZone->new().

Unlike with, if the new time zone’s offset is different from the previous time zone, no local time adjustment is made.

You can remove time zone information by calling this method with the value undef.

o truncate( to => ... )

This method allows you to reset some of the local time components in the object to their zero values. The to parameter is used to specify which values to truncate, and it may be one of year, month, day, hour, minute, or second. For example, if month is specified, then the local day becomes 1, and the hour, minute, and second all become 0.

Note that the to parameter <B>cannot be weekB>.


DateTime::Incomplete objects also have a number of methods unique to this class.
o base

Returns the base datetime value, or undef if the object has none.

o has_base

Returns a boolean value indicating whether or not the object has a base datetime set.

o is_undef

Returns true if the datetime is completely undefined.

o can_be_datetime

Returns true if the datetime has enough information to be converted to a proper DateTime object.

The year field must be valid, followed by a sequence of valid fields.


  Can be datetime:

  Can not be datetime:

o set_base

Sets the base datetime object for the DateTime::Incomplete object.

The default value for base is undef, which means no validation is made on input.

o to_datetime

This method takes an optional base parameter and returns a complete datetime.

  $dt = $dti->to_datetime( base => DateTime->now );

  $dti->set_base( DateTime->now );
  $dt = $dti->to_datetime;

The resulting datetime can be either before of after the given base datetime. No adjustments are made, besides setting the missing fields.

This method will use today if the object has no base datetime set and none is given as an argument.

This method may die if it results in a datetime that doesn’t actually exist, such as February 30, for example.

The fields in the resulting datetime are set in this order: locale, time_zone, nanosecond, second, minute, hour, day, month, year.

o to_recurrence

This method generates the set of all possible datetimes that fit into an incomplete datetime definition.

  $dti = DateTime::Incomplete->new( month => 12, day => 24 );
  $dtset1 = $dti->to_recurrence;
  # Christmas recurrence, with _seconds_ resolution

  $dti->truncate( to => day );
  $dtset2 = $dti->to_recurrence;
  # Christmas recurrence, with days resolution (hour/min/sec = 00:00:00)

Those recurrences are DateTime::Set objects:

  $dt_next_xmas = $dti->to_recurrence->next( DateTime->today );

Incomplete dates that have the year defined will generate finite sets. This kind of set can take a lot of resources (RAM and CPU). The following incomplete datetime would generate the set of all seconds in 2003:


Recurrences are generated with up to 1 second resolution. The nanosecond value is ignored.

o to_spanset

This method generates the set of all possible spans that fit into an incomplete datetime definition.

  $dti = DateTime::Incomplete->new( month => 12, day => 24 );
  $dtset1 = $dti->to_spanset;
  # Christmas recurrence, from xxxx-12-24T00:00:00
  #                         to xxxx-12-25T00:00:00

o start
o end
o to_span

These methods view an incomplete datetime as a time span.

For example, the incomplete datetime 2003-xx-xxTxx:xx:xx starts in 2003-01-01T00:00:00 and ends in 2004-01-01T00:00:00.

The to_span method returns a DateTime::Span object.

An incomplete datetime without an year spans forever. Start and end datetimes are undef.

o contains

Returns a true value if the incomplete datetime range contains a given datetime value.

For example:

  2003-xx-xx contains 2003-12-24
  2003-xx-xx does not contain 1999-12-14

o previous / next / closest

  $dt2 = $dti->next( $dt );

The next() returns the first complete date after or equal to the given datetime.

The previous() returns the first complete date before or equal to the given datetime.

The closest() returns the closest complete date (previous or next) to the given datetime.

All of these methods return undef if there is no matching complete datetime.

If no datetime is given, these methods use the base datetime.

Note: The definition of previous() and next() is different from the methods of the same name in the DateTime::Set class.

The datetimes are generated with 1 nanosecond precision. The last time value of a given day is 23:59:59.999999999 (for non leapsecond days).


Support for this module is provided via the email list. See for more details.


Flavio S. Glock <fglock[at]>

With Ben Bennett <fiji[at]>, Claus Farber <claus[at]xn—>, Dave Rolsky <autarch[at]>, Eugene Van Der Pijll <pijll[at]>, Rick Measham <rick[at]>, and the DateTime team.


Copyright (c) 2003 Flavio S. Glock. All rights reserved. This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

The full text of the license can be found in the LICENSE file included with this module.

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perl v5.20.3 DATETIME::INCOMPLETE (3) 2015-11-10

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