How to get Unix Timestamp?

  • Another problem. ;)

    I noticed that DateTime doesn't support Unix Timestamp (seconds since 1/1/1970 UTC).

    mbed has function time (example) but it's not working as time(NULL) only returns -1.

    Also trying to use related function set_time from mbed gives error 'set_time' was not declared in this scope.

  • I will look at what it takes to implement the mbed (Clib style) time functions.

    DateTime is a calendar based timestamp, that counts years, days etc. It implements the Gregorian calendar standard. Therefore I have postponed to implementing conversion to and from UNIX style time stamps.

    Read: Anyone willing to pitch in, and add UNIX timestamp support in either mbed time functions, or DateTime are very welcome ;-)

  • It seems that converting from Gregorian calendar to Unix Time is easiest to do by first converting to JDN (Julian day number).

    Wikipedia article has needed formulas, from Gregorian year/month/date to JDN and then from JDN to Unix Time.

    I can try to write this in C++ shortly.

    ps. I wonder who came up with the JDN formula, it's fun trying to understand it -

  • I'm still testing this, but so far this seems to work:

         * @brief Return Julian day number of the DateTime
        uint32_t toJulianDayNumber() const;
         * @brief Returns Unix time of the DateTime
        uint32_t toUnixTime() const;
    uint32_t DateTime::toJulianDayNumber() const
        if (type == LOCAL_TIME_ZONE) return toUtcTime().toJulianDayNumber();
        // this formula is from
        uint32_t a = (14 - month) / 12;
        uint32_t y = year + 4800 - a;
        uint32_t m = month + 12 * a - 3;
        uint32_t jdn = day + (153 * m + 2) / 5
            + 365 * y + (y / 4) - (y / 100) + (y / 400) - 32045;
        return jdn;
    uint32_t DateTime::toUnixTime() const
        if (type == LOCAL_TIME_ZONE) return toUtcTime().toUnixTime();
        uint32_t jdn = toJulianDayNumber();
        uint32_t hms = hours * 3600 + mins * 60 + secs;
        uint32_t unix_time = (jdn - 2440588) * 86400 + hms;
        return unix_time;    

  • @malaire Cool! When ever you are ready, you are welcome to submit a pull request on GitHub 😀

    I have realized that libc already contains time component conversion functions, that DateTime does not use. I was unaware of libc capabilities when I wrote the DateTime class 😖

    I think it would be a good thing to replace the date / time manipulation implementations with libc's functions.

    We can use localtime or gmtime for UTC time zones. These take a time_t and returns broken-down date and time components. The reverse can be done by timelocal or timegm.

    We could keep DateTime as a component based, absolute time specification. Then create a class called TimeInterval or TimeSpan that is a wrapper around time_t. This will allow the following semantics in operator overloads:

    //subtraction of 2 absolute times
    TimeInterval = DateTime - DateTime
    // subtraction and addition of absolute and relative times
    DateTime = DateTime - TimeInterval
    DateTime = DateTime + TimeInterval
    // subtraction and addition of relative times
    TimeInterval = TimeInterval - TimeInterval
    TimeInterval = TimeInterval + TimeInterval

    We could also call it TimeSpan or just Time

  • The reverse can be done by timelocal or timegm.

    I just realized the timelocal-like functions are missing from newlib-nano. And that is what we use on Mono.

    EDIT: In newlib-nano (and newlib) the timelocal is called: mktime.

  • ok, I added pull request.

    As for libc functions, timegm doesn't seem to be available and it seems to be a non-standard function. But as it seems to do basically same what I just added as DateTime::toUnixTime, I'm not sure if that is really needed.

    UTC is somewhat simple to handle even without library functions, but localtime and especially daylight saving time is definitely not.

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