danhunsaker/calends

This package is abandoned and no longer maintained. The author suggests using the ext-calends package instead.

Arbitrary calendar systems in PHP.

v0.2.3 2016-06-05 18:50 UTC

README

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Arbitrary calendar systems in PHP.

Installation

Use Composer:

composer require danhunsaker/calends

Setup

Laravel

A Laravel service provider is included. Add it to your app's service providers list, publish the migrations for Eloquent calendars, run the migrations, and enjoy!

In config/app.php:

    'providers' => [
        // ...
        Danhunsaker\Calends\Laravel\ServiceProvider::class,
        // ...
    ],

Then on the command line:

php artisan vendor:publish --tag=migrations --provider=Danhunsaker\\Calends\\Laravel\\ServiceProvider
php artisan migrate

Note that this is entirely optional - you can easily skip the service provider and migrations, and use Calends without the Eloquent calendar support. This will limit you to calendars defined as PHP classes, but if you don't need support for dynamically- and/or user-defined calendars, that shouldn't be a concern.

You can also register a class alias like you would for a Facade:

    'aliases' => [
        // ...
        'Calends' => Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends::class,
        // ...
    ],    

Of course, this isn't actually a Facade. It simply sets up an alias (using PHP's class_alias() function, though for the sake of being lightweight, only when the alias is first accessed) so you can skip the namespace when accessing the class elsewhere in your project. The only real advantage, here, is avoiding writing and maintaining use statements all over your app.

Other Projects

Once you have installed Calends, using it is generally as easy as creating a new Calends object and manipulating it from there. If you want to use custom calendar systems or class converters, be sure to register them first (details below), but otherwise, everything should work just fine out of the box.

The main situation where you'd want to do more setup is with Eloquent calendars. You'll need to ensure you have illuminate/database installed in your project, that it is properly configured to connect to the right database, and that the database is properly initialized with the tables Calends needs to store calendar definitions.

Check extra/calends-init-db.php for the appropriate environment variables to set for DB access, and ensure they are properly set up. There are many ways to do this, depending on how your project will be run, so consult your web server or shell documentation for more details on how to proceed. You'll also need to set these in your command line shell, so we'll show one way to do that below (but still check extra/calends-init-db.php, because we won't be setting all of them). Once your environment is set up, include() or require() that file somewhere in your project's initialization code:

require_once('vendor/danhunsaker/calends/extra/calends-init-db.php');

Finally, on the command line:

export DB_DRIVER='mysql'
export DB_HOST='localhost'
export DB_USER='username'
export DB_PASS='password'
export DB_NAME='database'
php vendor/danhunsaker/calends/extra/non-laravel-migrate.php

That should be it - your database is now set up, and your project is configured to properly connect to it so that Eloquent calendars will work correctly without further effort on your part. See below for how to actually create Eloquent calendars for use in your projects.

To Do

Calends is functional and supports a handful of calendar systems out of the box, but it isn't quite production ready. Following is a list of known issues, and plans for future versions.

  • More robust support for existing calendars
    • The Hebrew and Julian calendars:
      • Both rely on PHP's built-in (Gregorian) DateTime class to parse dates, then convert the resulting values into timestamps for internal use. They should, instead, each have their own parsers (or possibly access to a shared one derived from the Eloquent parser), capable of handling the nuances of each calendar. Both also handle date output in a similar fashion, which should also be changed to something more calendar-specific.
    • Honor the $format parameter:
      • Currently, only the Gregorian, Eloquent, TAI64, Unix, and Julian Day Count calendars honor the $format parameter to methods that provide it. The others should properly support this (admittedly optional) argument.
  • Eloquent calendar intercalation support (see below for more on this)
  • More calendar systems (probably via external libraries)
    • Chinese (several variants)
    • Discordian
    • Meso-American (commonly called Mayan)
    • Persian
    • Stardate (Yes, the ones from Star Trek™; several variants exist)

Usage

Dates

Create a Calends object with the date and calendar system as arguments to the constructor:

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

// The default date is the value of microtime(true), and the default
// calendar is 'unix' - the following are equivalent:
$now = new Calends();
$now = new Calends(null, 'unix');
$now = new Calends(microtime(true));
$now = new Calends(microtime(true), 'unix');

// You can also use Calends::create() instead of new Calends(), which
// can be pretty useful when using method chaining:
$now = Calends::create();
$now = Calends::create(null, 'unix');
$now = Calends::create(microtime(true));
$now = Calends::create(microtime(true), 'unix');

// UNIX Epoch - the following are equivalent:
$epoch = Calends::create(0);
$epoch = Calends::create(0, 'unix');
$epoch = Calends::create(2440587.5, 'jdc');
$epoch = Calends::create('1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC', 'gregorian');
$epoch = Calends::create('1970-01-01', 'gregorian', 'Y-m-d');

Conversion

Now you can convert that date to any other supported calendar system:

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

$now = Calends::create();

// Using getDate():
$unix = $now->getDate('unix');     // 1451165670.329400000000000000
// Or just use as a function - __invoke() calls getDate() (but see below...)
$unix = $now('unix');              // 1451165670.329400000000000000
// The default 'calendar' for getDate() is also 'unix'
$unix = $now();                    // 1451165670.329400000000000000

$julianDayCount = $now('jdc');     // 2457383.398962145833333333
$gregorian = $now('gregorian');    // Sat, 26 Dec 2015 14:34:30.3294 -07:00
$gregorian = $now('gregorian', 'Y-m-d_H-i-s-u'); // 2015-12-26_14-34-30-3294
$julianCalendar = $now('julian');  // 12/13/2015 14:34:30 GMT-07:00

Note that while you can pass a format along to Calends::create() or Calends::getDate() (and their respective variants), not all calendars will pay any attention to them, and the formatting codes supported by each are entirely defined by the calendar itself. See the section on formats below for more details.

You may also be interested in converting a Calends object into a different kind of date/time object. Gotcha covered there, too:

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

$now = Calends::create();

$dt = $now->convert('DateTime');

And lest you think we forgot to let you convert the other way, from other date/time objects into Calends objects, fear not:

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

$now = Calends::import(new DateTime());

Supported conversions include DateTime (plus a few derivatives, like Carbon\Carbon, Jenssegers\Date\Date, and Moment\Moment), IntlCalendar (which of course means IntlGregorianCalendar, too), and League\Period\Period. Of course, since IntlCalendar requires at least PHP 5.5, you won't be able to convert to/from it or IntlGregorianCalendar in 5.4. But see below for how to add support for other date/time classes.

Storage

You can technically store Calends date values in any of the supported output formats, however this is not recommended for various reasons, performance among them. Instead, save and restore Calends objects using the built-in tai 'calendar' (alternately, save by casting the object to string):

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

$now = Calends::create();

$tai = $now->getDate('tai');       // 40000000567f07e613a23ec000000000
$tai = $now('tai');                // 40000000567f07e613a23ec000000000
$tai = (string) $now;              // 40000000567f07e613a23ec000000000

// Save the value of $tai in your database, or wherever makes sense for your app

Then, any time you need to recreate the saved Calends object:

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

// Retrieve the previously-stored value of $tai...

$date = Calends::create($tai, 'tai');

The external TAI64NA format is used internally (or rather, an unserialized version is used internally) for all date/time values, so using it is considerably faster than converting between any of the other supported calendars. Note, however, that only the TAI64NA format is used - the seconds represented are still UTC seconds, not TAI seconds, as PHP currently lacks a reliable mechanism for calculating the associated offset between the two.

For convenience, Calends implements the Serializable and JsonSerializable interfaces, which means you can serialize(), unserialize(), and json_encode() a Calends object safely, too - it will automatically convert itself to (and from, in the case of unserialize()) the tai date. (More on this below, though...)

Formatting

By now you've probably noticed that the methods for parsing and outputting date strings accept both a calendar and a format. As noted above, some calendar systems will silently ignore this value, substituting their own hard-coded value. As of this writing, the only calendars in this position are the Hebrew and Julian calendars. However, the valid format strings for each calendar system are still very calendar-specific. So below is a list of valid formats for each of the built-in calendar systems.

  • Gregorian
    • Anything supported by PHP's date() function. If a format is passed, Calends uses date_create_from_format() to parse the date string, and always uses date() to generate the output string. The default output format is D, d M Y H:i:s.u P.
  • Julian Day Count
    • Not to be confused with the Julian Calendar, the JDC system supports a large number of input and output formats. Because all of these formats involve an offset from the default result, it is very important to specify the correct format during input, as the value calculated internally will vary widely from one to the next. All offsets below are taken from Wikipedia as a quick reference point - if you notice any inaccuracies, please let me know ASAP.
    • JD / GJD / Geo / Geo-Centric (the default, used if not supplied, or unrecognized)
      • The 'canonical' Julian Day Count, counting the number of days since noon BCE 4713 Jan 01 (Julian Calendar)
    • RJD / Reduced
      • The geo-centric JDC without the first two digits, which are 24 in most common situations
    • MJD / Modified
      • Same as the reduced JDC, but starting at midnight instead of noon
    • TJD / Truncated
      • Same as the geo-centric JDC, but without the first three digits, or any fractional day
    • DJD / Dublin / J1900
      • Starts counting from noon CE 1899 Dec 31 (Gregorian Calendar)
    • J2000
      • From noon CE 2000 Jan 01 (Gregorian Calendar)
    • Lilian
      • Counts the number of days since the institution of Gregorian Calendar, midnight CE 1582 Oct 15 (Gregorian Calendar); no fractional day
    • Rata-Die
      • The number of days since midnight CE 0001 Jan 01 (Proleptic Gregorian Calendar); no fractional day
    • Mars-Sol
      • Martian days (that is, days on Mars, which aren't the same length as those on Earth; also known as 'sols' instead of 'days') since noon CE 1873 Dec 29 (Gregorian Calendar)
  • TAI64
    • There are four formats available for tai dates. Three are hexadecimal formats defined in the TAI64 spec, and differ only in the precision of the value they encode. The fourth is a decimal (base-10) output format with full 18-digit precision. Note, again, that the TAI format does not supply values in TAI seconds - these are UTC seconds in the TAI64 range and format. If/when a reliable mechanism for converting between the two is available, this will change, and the tai calendar system will provide actual TAI seconds.
    • TAI64
      • Second-level precision; no fractional seconds are encoded. This format is exactly 16 characters long.
    • TAI64N
      • Nanosecond-level precision; fractional seconds are encoded to the billionths. This format is exactly 24 characters long.
    • TAI64NA (the default, used if not supplied, or unrecognized)
      • Attosecond-level precision; fractional seconds are encoded to the full available quintillionths. This format is exactly 32 characters long.
    • Numeric
      • Outputs the decimal (base-10) value of the timestamp, with full precision.
  • Unix
    • This one is really straightforward. The format is actually a precision specifier, telling Calends how many digits after the decimal to return. Valid values are between 0 and 18; all others will be forced into this range, and 18 will be used if no value is provided.
  • Eloquent
    • See below for how these are defined, and consult your specific calendar data for the actual allowed values and what they mean.

Compare

Often it is useful to compare two dates to see which came first. One good example of this is sorting. Calends is designed with this in mind, supporting four different methods for doing date comparisons. Since sorting is so common, we'll start with the method designed for that:

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

$times = [];
for ($i = 0; $i < 10; $i++)
{
    $times[] =  Calends::create(mt_rand(0 - mt_getrandmax(), mt_getrandmax()));
}

print_r($times);
$sorted = usort($times, [Calends::class, 'compare']);
print_r($sorted);

Calends::compare() accepts two Calends objects to compare, and returns -1 if the first is before the second, 0 if they are equal, and +1 if the first is after the second. This is compatible with PHP's sorting functions and their expectations for the behavior of sorting callbacks.

The next three methods provide more focused comparisons, returning true or false instead of lesser/equal/greater:

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

$epoch = Calends::create(0);
$now   = Calends::create();

print_r([
    $epoch::isBefore($now),    // true
    $epoch::isSame($now),      // false
    $epoch::isAfter($now),     // false
]);

Each of these methods accepts the Calends object to compare the current one to, and returns a boolean value, as mentioned above.

There's another method you can use to compare Calends objects, which returns the amount, in seconds, by which they are different, rather than just which direction they differ in:

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

$epoch = Calends::create(0);
$now   = Calends::create();

echo $now->difference($epoch); // Seconds between $epoch and $now

Modify

Calends objects are immutable - that is, you cannot modify them directly. Instead, any action which would change the object's values actually creates and returns a whole new Calends object. This has some advantages, such as preserving the original object, but can be a bit unexpected if you aren't aware of it. The examples below take this into account.

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

$now       = Calends::create();

$tomorrow  = $now->add('1 day', 'gregorian');
$yesterday = $now->subtract('1 day', 'gregorian');
$last24hrs = $now->setDate($yesterday->getDate());

Ranges

That last example actually introduces a feature of Calends objects we haven't previously touched on. Every date value can be thought of as an instant in time - a range of time both starting and ending at the same time value. The duration of such a range would be zero. Calends takes advantage of this fact to treat every Calends object as a range as easily as a single point in time. That means times and ranges can coexist in a single class, allowing complex operations to be simplified considerably.

It also means that not only are there several other methods you can use to perform range-related operations, but many of the methods you've already learned have additional ways they can be used when you want to work with ranges instead of simple dates.

Let's start with the last example, giving some more detail about what it's doing, and use it to introduce some other methods:

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

$now           = Calends::create();

$tomorrow      = $now->add('1 day', 'gregorian');              // tomorrow to today
                                                               // (duration: -1 day)
$yesterday     = $now->subtract('1 day', 'gregorian');         // yesterday to today
                                                               // (duration: 1 day)
$endsTomorrow  = $now->addFromEnd('1 day', 'gregorian');       // today to tomorrow
                                                               // (duration: 1 day)
$endsYesterday = $now->subtractFromEnd('1 day', 'gregorian');  // today to yesterday
                                                               // (duration: -1 day)

setDate() and setEndDate() also accept a calendar, which defaults to unix. Whichever endpoint isn't being set is copied over from the calling instance:

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

$now       = Calends::create();

$tomorrow  = $now->add('1 day', 'gregorian');
$yesterday = $now->subtract('1 day', 'gregorian');

$last24hrs = $now->setDate($yesterday->getDate('gregorian'), 'gregorian');
             // yesterday to today; same as $yesterday
$next24hrs = $now->setEndDate($tomorrow->getDate('gregorian'), 'gregorian');
             // today to tomorrow
$next72hrs = $now->setDuration('72 hours', 'gregorian');
             // today to three days from now
$last72hrs = $now->setDurationFromEnd('72 hours', 'gregorian');
             // three days ago to today

You can also create a full range in one step:

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

$next7days = Calends::create(['start' => 'now', 'end' => 'now +7 days'], 'gregorian');
$last7days = Calends::create(['start' => 'now -7 days', 'end' => 'now'], 'gregorian');

Of course, you'll want to be able to retrieve end dates and durations as well as start dates:

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

$now       = Calends::create();

$next72hrs = $now->setDuration('72 hours', 'gregorian');

$endArray  = $next72hrs->getInternalEndTime();     // Like getInternalTime()
$dateIn72  = $next72hrs->getEndDate('gregorian');  // Like getDate()
$secsIn72  = $next72hrs->getDuration();            // In seconds

Alternately, calling the Calends object as a function, when the duration is not 0, will return both the start and end points of the object (we mentioned we'd have more on this usage "below" - here it is!):

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

$now       = Calends::create();

$next72hrs = $now->setDuration('72 hours', 'gregorian');

$endpoints = $next72hrs('gregorian');          // ['start' => ..., 'end' => ...]

While the new Calends object from setDate() inherits the end date of the object that created it, and the new one from setEndDate() inherits the creator's start date (meaning these new objects overlap), sometimes you want to create new objects that instead abut the creating object. Here's how:

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

$next7days      = Calends::create(['start' => 'now', 'end' => 'now +7 days'], 'gregorian');
$last7days      = Calends::create(['start' => 'now -7 days', 'end' => 'now'], 'gregorian');

$followingWeek  = $next7days->next();
$precedingWeek  = $last7days->previous();
$followingMonth = $next7days->next('1 month', 'gregorian');
$precedingMonth = $last7days->previous('1 month', 'gregorian');

If you want to work with composite ranges, we've got you covered:

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

$next7days      = Calends::create(['start' => 'now', 'end' => 'now +7 days'], 'gregorian');
$last7days      = Calends::create(['start' => 'now -7 days', 'end' => 'now'], 'gregorian');
$precedingWeek  = $last7days->previous();
$followingMonth = $next7days->next('1 month', 'gregorian');
$precedingMonth = $last7days->previous('1 month', 'gregorian');

$bothMonths     = $precedingMonth->merge($followingMonth);      // 2.5 months
$commonTime     = $precedingMonth->intersect($precedingWeek);   // 1 week
$betweenMonths  = $precedingMonth->gap($followingMonth);        // 2 weeks

But keep in mind that an InvalidCompositeRangeException is thrown if you call intersect() without an overlap, or gap() when an overlap exists:

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

$next7days      = Calends::create(['start' => 'now', 'end' => 'now +7 days'], 'gregorian');
$last7days      = Calends::create(['start' => 'now -7 days', 'end' => 'now'], 'gregorian');
$precedingWeek  = $last7days->previous();
$followingMonth = $next7days->next('1 month', 'gregorian');
$precedingMonth = $last7days->previous('1 month', 'gregorian');

$invalidRange   = $precedingMonth->intersect($followingMonth);  // Exception
$invalidRange   = $precedingMonth->gap($precedingWeek);         // Exception

And what would a date range library be without range comparisons?

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

$now       = Calends::create();

$last24hrs = $now->subtract('1 day', 'gregorian');

print_r([
    $now->startsBefore($last24hrs),   // false
    $now->isBefore($last24hrs),       // false
    $now->endsBefore($last24hrs),     // false
    $now->isSame($last24hrs),         // false
    $now->startsDuring($last24hrs),   // true
    $now->isDuring($last24hrs),       // true
    $now->endsDuring($last24hrs),     // true
    $now->contains($last24hrs),       // false
    $now->overlaps($last24hrs),       // true
    $now->abuts($last24hrs),          // false
    $now->startsAfter($last24hrs),    // true
    $now->isAfter($last24hrs),        // false
    $now->endsAfter($last24hrs),      // false
    $now->isLonger($last24hrs),       // false
    $now->isShorter($last24hrs),      // true
    $now->isSameDuration($last24hrs), // false
]);

For all of that to work, we need a more flexible compare() method:

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

$times          = [];
for ($i = 0; $i < 10; $i++)
{
    $times[]    = Calends::create([
        'start' => mt_rand(0 - mt_getrandmax(), mt_getrandmax()),
        'end'   => mt_rand(0 - mt_getrandmax(), mt_getrandmax())
    ]);
}
print_r($times);

$sorted         = usort($times, function($a, $b) {
    return Calends::compare($a, $b, 'start');
});
print_r($sorted);             // Sorted by start date, which is the default

$endSorted      = usort($times, function($a, $b) {
    return Calends::compare($a, $b, 'end');
});
print_r($endSorted);          // Sorted by end date

$endStartSorted = usort($times, function($a, $b) {
    return Calends::compare($a, $b, 'end-start');
});
print_r($endStartSorted);     // Ranges that start before others end are earlier
                              // in this sort

$startEndSorted = usort($times, function($a, $b) {
    return Calends::compare($a, $b, 'start-end');
});
print_r($startEndSorted);     // Ranges that end before others start are earlier
                              // in this sort

$durationSorted = usort($times, function($a, $b) {
    return Calends::compare($a, $b, 'duration');
});
print_r($durationSorted);     // Sorted by duration

Which of course means we'd want the same flexibility for our difference() method:

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

$now       = Calends::create();

$next7days = Calends::create(['start' => 'now', 'end' => 'now +7 days'], 'gregorian');
$last7days = Calends::create(['start' => 'now -7 days', 'end' => 'now'], 'gregorian');

echo $now->difference($next7days, 'start');           // 0
echo $now->difference($next7days, 'end');             // 604800
echo $last7days->difference($next7days, 'start-end'); // 1209600
echo $last7days->difference($next7days, 'end-start'); // 0
echo $last7days->difference($next7days, 'duration');  // 0

Now, up in the Storage section, we said there'd be more on serializing Calends objects below. Well, this is 'below'. Because Calends objects are actually ranges, the value that gets serialized may not always be just a simple TAI64NA string. If the end date doesn't match the start date, an array will be serialized instead, with both a 'start' and an 'end' key. This allows even Calends ranges to be recovered correctly without difficulty. Generally speaking, though, you shouldn't have to worry about this behavior much.

New Calendars

Class Definitions

There are two ways to provide new calendar definitions. The first, and most flexible, is with a class implementing Danhunsaker\Calends\Calendar\DefinitionInterface. This is, in fact, the way the calendars which ship with Calends are built. Once your calendar definition class is available in your project, you need to register it with Calends::registerCalendar():

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

Calends::registerCalendar('myCustomCalendar', MyCustomCalendar::class);

This will make your calendar system available to all Calends objects throughout your project.

Note that while Calends will automatically find and register class definitions in the Danhunsaker\Calends\Calendar namespace, it is considered bad form to create your classes there unless they're officially recognized by the main project, since a namespace implies official support and/or endorsement.

Database Definitions

The other way is by storing your definition in a database. To use this approach, you need to include illuminate/database in your project. (This library is part of the Laravel framework, so you may already have it available.) It takes a bit more work to use this approach, but it can be extremely useful in cases where you wish to allow your users to define their own calendar systems in your project, without expecting them to write any code.

A quick reminder to Laravel users to follow the setup instructions at the top of this README to get the proper migrations installed, etc, before using database definitions in your apps!

There are two basic approaches to defining calendars in your database. The first is to directly set the appropriate values in the database, be it via DB seed file, manual entry using tools like the MySQL client or phpMySQL, using one or more .sql dump files, or some other method. This approach is flexible, but not terribly user-friendly for anyone who isn't a developer. Enter the second approach - programmatic creation using the Eloquent models which form the core of the database definition functionality. This README will focus on the latter; the former approach is pretty straightforward to work out from the way Eloquent works, and you can always check out [the TestHelpers class file][tests/TestHelpers.php] for a more elaborate example of defining calendars without Eloquent.

Calendar

Everything starts with Danhunsaker\Calends\Eloquent\Calendar. This class serves as both the ObjectDefinitionInterface implementation (see below) and the core Eloquent model through which the other models are accessed. Start by using the Calendar class to create a new (empty) calendar definition:

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Eloquent\Calendar;

$calendar = Calendar::create([
    'name'        => 'example',
    'description' => 'A simple example calendar.',
]);

The name is pretty much exactly what it says - you'll use it to tell Calends which calendar definition to use. The description is optional, so feel free to skip it if you like.

Unit

Now that we have a Calendar created, we can start adding Units to it:

$second = $calendar->units()->create([
    'internal_name' => 'second',
    'scale_amount' => 1,
    'scale_inverse' => false,
    'scale_to' => 0,
    'uses_zero' => true,
    'unix_epoch' => 0,
    'is_auxiliary' => false,
]);
  • The internal_name should be unique within the calendar, since it will be used to keep track of which values belong with which units. Something human-readable is strongly recommended, as it's used in offset parsing (more on this below).

  • scale_amount, scale_inverse, and scale_to all work together to define how this Unit should be calculated relative to other Units. scale_to specifies which Unit to calculate against, and will usually be the id of the appropriate Unit. However, there is a special case for specifying the Unit's relationship with UNIX timestamp seconds. In this case, you'll set scale_to directly, to the value 0, instead of adding another Unit via Eloquent relationships. scale_amount specifies how many scale_tos are in a single Unit; scale_inverse specifies that the scale_amount is actually the number of Units in a single scale_to. Don't worry if that doesn't make much sense, yet; there are more examples below that should help make this clearer.

  • uses_zero specifies whether the Unit starts counting from 0 or not. If set to false, the Unit is assumed to start counting from 1 instead. As an example of when this is useful, consider that seconds start counting from 0, but months start counting from 1. (NOTE: While it's tempting to use this to indicate that something like years or hours don't use zero, the math starts to break down if used this way. Instead, set up Eras to cover these scenarios (see below).)

  • unix_epoch specifies what the value of this Unit was at the UNIX Epoch, or 01 Jan 1970 00:00:00 UTC (Gregorian calendar). This lets Calends determine where a given date is relative to every other, and is vital to being able to do things like convert dates to other calendar systems once they've been parsed in. That said, the value is optional, because not every Unit needs to specify its Epoch value (specifically, auxiliary Unit Epoch values should generally be calculated instead).

  • is_auxiliary tells Calends that the given Unit is a derived one, and not fundamental to the value of the date. This is useful for things like weeks (for calendar systems where the week isn't vital to the date), centuries, and attoseconds, where it's useful to be able to compute the values, but not vital to the date calculations themselves.

Let's add a few more, so we have something more substantial to work with:

$minute = $calendar->units()->create([
    'internal_name' => 'minute',
    'scale_amount' => 60,
    'scale_inverse' => false,
    'uses_zero' => true,
    'unix_epoch' => 0,
    'is_auxiliary' => false,
]);
$minute->scaleMeTo()->save($second);

$hour = $calendar->units()->create([
    'internal_name' => 'hour',
    'scale_amount' => 60,
    'scale_inverse' => false,
    'uses_zero' => true,
    'unix_epoch' => 0,
    'is_auxiliary' => false,
]);
$hour->scaleMeTo()->save($minute);

$day = $calendar->units()->create([
    'internal_name' => 'day',
    'scale_amount' => 24,
    'scale_inverse' => false,
    'uses_zero' => false,
    'unix_epoch' => 1,
    'is_auxiliary' => false,
]);
$day->scaleMeTo()->save($hour);

$month = $calendar->units()->create([
    'internal_name' => 'month',
    'scale_amount' => null,         // See below for why this works
    'scale_inverse' => false,
    'uses_zero' => false,
    'unix_epoch' => 1,
    'is_auxiliary' => false,
]);
$month->scaleMeTo()->save($day);

$year = $calendar->units()->create([
    'internal_name' => 'year',
    'scale_amount' => 12,
    'scale_inverse' => false,
    'uses_zero' => true,
    'unix_epoch' => 1970,
    'is_auxiliary' => false,
]);
$year->scaleMeTo()->save($month);

$century = $calendar->units()->create([
    'internal_name' => 'century',
    'scale_amount' => 100,
    'scale_inverse' => false,
    'uses_zero' => true,
    'unix_epoch' => null,
    'is_auxiliary' => true,
]);
$century->scaleMeTo()->save($year);

$millisecond = $calendar->units()->create([
    'internal_name' => 'millisecond',
    'scale_amount' => 1000,
    'scale_inverse' => true,
    'uses_zero' => true,
    'unix_epoch' => null,
    'is_auxiliary' => true,
]);
$millisecond->scaleMeTo()->save($second);

That looks like a lot going on, there, but most of it is the same thing repeated over and over for each Unit. Such is the nature of databases. In there are some examples of auxiliary Units, when to use uses_zero or not, and even an inverted scale. Also in there, though, is a special case we haven't discussed, yet. For the month Unit, scale_amount is set to null. This is because the number of day Units in a month Unit varies by month. So we need to have some way to tell Calends the length isn't fixed. That way it will know to check the UnitLengths instead, and handle them accordingly.

UnitLength

Let's define our month UnitLengths:

$month->lengths()->createMany([
    ['unit_value' => 1,  'scale_amount' => 31],
    ['unit_value' => 2,  'scale_amount' => 28],
    ['unit_value' => 3,  'scale_amount' => 31],
    ['unit_value' => 4,  'scale_amount' => 30],
    ['unit_value' => 5,  'scale_amount' => 31],
    ['unit_value' => 6,  'scale_amount' => 30],
    ['unit_value' => 7,  'scale_amount' => 31],
    ['unit_value' => 8,  'scale_amount' => 31],
    ['unit_value' => 9,  'scale_amount' => 30],
    ['unit_value' => 10, 'scale_amount' => 31],
    ['unit_value' => 11, 'scale_amount' => 30],
    ['unit_value' => 12, 'scale_amount' => 31],
]);

Pretty straightforward, there. unit_value is the value of Unit for which the scale_amount specifies the correct length.

Formatting and Parsing

Now that we have all that set up, Calends can already start calculating dates in our new calendar system. Of course, that's not terribly useful unless we can see and work with those dates, so next we need to define some formats.

Calends formats use a layered approach. CalendarFormats specify full format_strings for complete dates, using a syntax similar to PHP's date() function. FragmentFormats actually define the single-character formatting codes used by the CalendarFormats, with FragmentTexts providing a way to map numeric values to arbitrary strings of text. But why call them FragmentFormats?

Era and EraRange

Some Units are displayed and written using a nonlinear numbering. For example, years in the Gregorian calendar system are numbered normally for years 1 and higher, which are assigned the AD era. But for years before 1, they are numbered in descending order starting from 1, not 0, resulting in year 0 being shown as 1 BC. We need to properly handle these numbering schemes; enter Era and EraRange.

EraRange is used to specify the start_value and end_value of an era, the direction in which displayed values increment, and the start_display value to map the starting Unit value to. These attributes are also associated with an internal range_code identifying which era the given range belongs to - this is useful in a number of cases we'll explore in a moment. Era simply groups EraRanges together, gives them a common internal_name, and specifies which internal era code to use when a given date being parsed doesn't include the code explicitly (that is, a default_range).

Let's create a couple of Eras:

$yearsEra = $year->eras()->create([
    'internal_name' => 'gregorian-years',
    'default_range' => 'ad'
]);
$hoursEra = $hour->eras()->create([
    'internal_name' => '12-hour-time',
    'default_range' => 'am'
]);

$yearsEra->ranges()->createMany([
    [
        'range_code'    => 'bc',
        'start_value'   => 0,
        'end_value'     => null,
        'start_display' => 1,
        'direction'     => 'desc'
    ],
    [
        'range_code'    => 'ad',
        'start_value'   => 1,
        'end_value'     => null,
        'start_display' => 1,
        'direction'     => 'asc'
    ]
]);

$hoursEra->ranges()->createMany([
    [
        'range_code'    => 'am',
        'start_value'   => 0,
        'end_value'     => 0,
        'start_display' => 12,
        'direction'     => 'asc'
    ],
    [
        'range_code'    => 'am',
        'start_value'   => 1,
        'end_value'     => 11,
        'start_display' => 1,
        'direction'     => 'asc'
    ],
    [
        'range_code'    => 'pm',
        'start_value'   => 12,
        'end_value'     => 12,
        'start_display' => 12,
        'direction'     => 'asc'
    ],
    [
        'range_code'    => 'pm',
        'start_value'   => 13,
        'end_value'     => 23,
        'start_display' => 1,
        'direction'     => 'asc'
    ],
    [
        'range_code'    => 'am',
        'start_value'   => 24,
        'end_value'     => 24,
        'start_display' => 12,
        'direction'     => 'asc'
    ]
]);
FragmentFormat and FragmentText

Now back to the question of FragmentFormat. An Era can be the target of a format just as much as a Unit, so a formatting approach that supports both equally makes sense, here. Each is a fragment of a complete date, so calling it FragmentFormat also seems to make sense. Let's build out a subset of the format codes supported by PHP's date():

$fragments = [
    'd' => $calendar->fragments()->create([
        'format_code'   => 'd',
        'format_string' => '%{value}$02d',
        'description'   => 'Day of the month, 2 digits with leading zeros',
    ]),
    'j' => $calendar->fragments()->create([
        'format_code'   => 'j',
        'format_string' => '%{value}$d',
        'description'   => 'Day of the month without leading zeros',
    ]),
    'F' => $calendar->fragments()->create([
        'format_code'   => 'F',
        'format_string' => '%{value}$s',
        'description'   => 'A full textual representation of a month, such as January or March',
    ]),
    'm' => $calendar->fragments()->create([
        'format_code'   => 'm',
        'format_string' => '%{value}$02d',
        'description'   => 'Numeric representation of a month, with leading zeros',
    ]),
    'M' => $calendar->fragments()->create([
        'format_code'   => 'M',
        'format_string' => '%{value}$s',
        'description'   => 'A short textual representation of a month, three letters',
    ]),
    'n' => $calendar->fragments()->create([
        'format_code'   => 'n',
        'format_string' => '%{value}$d',
        'description'   => 'Numeric representation of a month, without leading zeros',
    ]),
    't' => $calendar->fragments()->create([
        'format_code'   => 't',
        'format_string' => '%{length}$d',
        'description'   => 'Number of days in the given month',
    ]),
    'Y' => $calendar->fragments()->create([
        'format_code'   => 'Y',
        'format_string' => '%{value}$04d',
        'description'   => 'A full numeric representation of a year, 4 digits',
    ]),
    'y' => $calendar->fragments()->create([
        'format_code'   => 'y',
        'format_string' => '%{value}%100$02d',
        'description'   => 'A two digit representation of a year',
    ]),
    'E' => $calendar->fragments()->create([
        'format_code'   => 'E',
        'format_string' => '%{code}$s',
        'description'   => 'The calendar epoch (BC/AD)',
    ]),
    'a' => $calendar->fragments()->create([
        'format_code'   => 'a',
        'format_string' => '%{code}$s',
        'description'   => 'Lowercase Ante meridiem and Post meridiem',
    ]),
    'A' => $calendar->fragments()->create([
        'format_code'   => 'A',
        'format_string' => '%{code}$s',
        'description'   => 'Uppercase Ante meridiem and Post meridiem',
    ]),
    'g' => $calendar->fragments()->create([
        'format_code'   => 'g',
        'format_string' => '%{value}$d',
        'description'   => '12-hour format of an hour without leading zeros',
    ]),
    'G' => $calendar->fragments()->create([
        'format_code'   => 'G',
        'format_string' => '%{value}$d',
        'description'   => '24-hour format of an hour without leading zeros',
    ]),
    'h' => $calendar->fragments()->create([
        'format_code'   => 'h',
        'format_string' => '%{value}$02d',
        'description'   => '12-hour format of an hour with leading zeros',
    ]),
    'H' => $calendar->fragments()->create([
        'format_code'   => 'H',
        'format_string' => '%{value}$02d',
        'description'   => '24-hour format of an hour with leading zeros',
    ]),
    'i' => $calendar->fragments()->create([
        'format_code'   => 'i',
        'format_string' => '%{value}$02d',
        'description'   => 'Minutes with leading zeros',
    ]),
    's' => $calendar->fragments()->create([
        'format_code'   => 's',
        'format_string' => '%{value}$02d',
        'description'   => 'Seconds, with leading zeros',
    ]),
];

$fragments['d']->fragment()->save($day);
$fragments['j']->fragment()->save($day);
$fragments['F']->fragment()->save($month);
$fragments['m']->fragment()->save($month);
$fragments['M']->fragment()->save($month);
$fragments['n']->fragment()->save($month);
$fragments['t']->fragment()->save($month);
$fragments['Y']->fragment()->save($yearsEra);
$fragments['y']->fragment()->save($yearsEra);
$fragments['E']->fragment()->save($yearsEra);
$fragments['a']->fragment()->save($hoursEra);
$fragments['A']->fragment()->save($hoursEra);
$fragments['g']->fragment()->save($hoursEra);
$fragments['G']->fragment()->save($hour);
$fragments['h']->fragment()->save($hoursEra);
$fragments['H']->fragment()->save($hour);
$fragments['i']->fragment()->save($minute);
$fragments['s']->fragment()->save($second);

$fragments['F']->texts()->createMany([
    ['fragment_value' => 1, 'fragment_text' => 'January'],
    ['fragment_value' => 2, 'fragment_text' => 'February'],
    ['fragment_value' => 3, 'fragment_text' => 'March'],
    ['fragment_value' => 4, 'fragment_text' => 'April'],
    ['fragment_value' => 5, 'fragment_text' => 'May'],
    ['fragment_value' => 6, 'fragment_text' => 'June'],
    ['fragment_value' => 7, 'fragment_text' => 'July'],
    ['fragment_value' => 8, 'fragment_text' => 'August'],
    ['fragment_value' => 9, 'fragment_text' => 'September'],
    ['fragment_value' => 10, 'fragment_text' => 'October'],
    ['fragment_value' => 11, 'fragment_text' => 'November'],
    ['fragment_value' => 12, 'fragment_text' => 'December']
]);

$fragments['M']->texts()->createMany([
    ['fragment_value' => 1, 'fragment_text' => 'Jan'],
    ['fragment_value' => 2, 'fragment_text' => 'Feb'],
    ['fragment_value' => 3, 'fragment_text' => 'Mar'],
    ['fragment_value' => 4, 'fragment_text' => 'Apr'],
    ['fragment_value' => 5, 'fragment_text' => 'May'],
    ['fragment_value' => 6, 'fragment_text' => 'Jun'],
    ['fragment_value' => 7, 'fragment_text' => 'Jul'],
    ['fragment_value' => 8, 'fragment_text' => 'Aug'],
    ['fragment_value' => 9, 'fragment_text' => 'Sep'],
    ['fragment_value' => 10, 'fragment_text' => 'Oct'],
    ['fragment_value' => 11, 'fragment_text' => 'Nov'],
    ['fragment_value' => 12, 'fragment_text' => 'Dec']
]);

$fragments['E']->texts()->createMany([
    ['fragment_value' => 'bc', 'fragment_text' => 'BC'],
    ['fragment_value' => 'ad', 'fragment_text' => 'AD']
]);

$fragments['a']->texts()->createMany([
    ['fragment_value' => 'am', 'fragment_text' => 'am'],
    ['fragment_value' => 'pm', 'fragment_text' => 'pm']
]);

$fragments['A']->texts()->createMany([
    ['fragment_value' => 'am', 'fragment_text' => 'AM'],
    ['fragment_value' => 'pm', 'fragment_text' => 'PM']
]);
CalendarFormat

And of course the CalendarFormats:

$defaultFormat = $calendar->formats()->create([
    'format_name' => 'eloquent',
    'format_string' => 'd M Y H:i:s',
    'description' => 'A basic date format'
]);
$calendar->formats()->create([
    'format_name' => 'mod8601',
    'format_string' => 'Y-m-d H:i:s',
    'description' => 'A modified ISO 8601 date'
]);
$calendar->formats()->create([
    'format_name' => 'filestr',
    'format_string' => 'Y-m-d_H-i-s',
    'description' => 'A date suitable for use in filenames'
]);

$calendar->defaultFormat->save($defaultFormat);
More on Formatting

Again, a lot of repetition. FragmentFormat has a format_code, which is the single-character date formatting code mentioned earlier, a format_string, which tells Calends how to render the value (more on that in a moment), and an optional description.

The format_string is an expanded variant of the format used by PHP's sprintf() family of functions. Where that spec places an integer value specifying which numbered argument to use in the given part of the expression, Calends expects a formula compatible with BC::math's BC::parse() method (BC::math is included as a dependency of Calends). It will pass in a few properties of the fragment being rendered, such as the length and value, and in the case of an Era fragment, the range code. It is the result of this expression that is actually rendered into the appropriate part of the date. Several examples are given above.

It is important to actually assign a fragment object to each FragmentFormat, or the entire thing will fall apart. This is done in the $fragments[<code>]->fragment()->save(<fragment object>) statements above.

FragmentTexts are pretty straightforward - as mentioned earlier, a fragment_value to be transformed into an associated fragment_text.

That leaves the CalendarFormats. A format_name to provide an easily-remembered alias for getDate(), the actual (PHP date()-compatible) format_string that instructs Calends in the correct way to render the format, and an optional description.

Now you can easily parse and format dates in your new calendar system! The rendering formats are automatically reverse-engineered into parsing formats as needed, so no need to worry about defining those.

Date Offsets and UnitName

Of course, there is one scenario still unexplored, at this stage: date offsets. The most basic of offsets are already parsable thanks to the internal_name on your Units. But what of plural forms and other alternative names for your units? No worries, UnitName is available for just this purpose. Let's add a few to our calendar definition:

$second->names()->create([
    'unit_name' => 'seconds',
    'name_context' => 'plural'
]);
$minute->names()->create([
    'unit_name' => 'minutes',
    'name_context' => 'plural'
]);
$hour->names()->create([
    'unit_name' => 'hours',
    'name_context' => 'plural'
]);
$day->names()->create([
    'unit_name' => 'days',
    'name_context' => 'plural'
]);
$month->names()->create([
    'unit_name' => 'months',
    'name_context' => 'plural'
]);
$year->names()->create([
    'unit_name' => 'years',
    'name_context' => 'plural'
]);
$century->names()->create([
    'unit_name' => 'centuries',
    'name_context' => 'plural'
]);
$millisecond->names()->create([
    'unit_name' => 'milliseconds',
    'name_context' => 'plural'
]);

Each UnitName provides an alternative unit_name for offset parsing, and an optional name_context, which is currently unused within Calends itself, but could be useful in cases like internationalization.

Still To Come

The observant reader will probably have noticed that we never touched on another form of special case encountered often in calendar systems, and which makes date libraries like this one particularly tricky to write. This special case is called "intercalation", and refers to when units of time are inserted, removed, or otherwise changed from the basic calendar. Perhaps the best known example is the one many of you will have noticed missing above - leap days. As intercalations go, February 29th (actually the 24th due to the way the Romans set it up way back in Julius Caesar's day, but still) is pretty basic. It wouldn't take too much to support that specific intercalation, but there are other, much more complex intercalations in use around the world, from the Hebrew calendar's intercalary month and varying month lengths, to the oft-overlooked leap second, and the goal is to support those kinds of intercalation as well. So for the time being, intercalations are entirely unimplemented, and will be included in a future release.

  • TO DO: implement intercalations, and document them here.

If you notice anything else missing, please feel free to open an issue on GitHub and let me know about it. Some features are outside the scope of the project, but I'd love to consider all options!

Object Definitions

Of course, you could also implement the interface used by the Eloquent model (Danhunsaker\Calends\Calendar\ObjectDefinitionInterface) directly on any class you wanted to, and register instances of that to handle various calendars. Just because the interface is designed for database use doesn't mean it can't be used elsewhere. Using such classes would look something like this:

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

Calends::registerCalendar('myCustomCalendar', new MyCustomCalendar($params));

New Converters

Start by building a class that implements Danhunsaker\Calends\Converter\ConverterInterface, just like the bulit-in converters do. Once your converter class is available in your project, simply register it with Calends::registerConverter():

use Danhunsaker\Calends\Calends;

Calends::registerConverter('myDateTimeClass', MyConverter::class);

Just like with new calendars, this will make your converter available to all Calends objects throughout your project.

Note that while Calends will automatically find and register converters in the Danhunsaker\Calends\Converter namespace, it is considered bad form to create your classes there unless they're officially recognized by the main project, since a namespace implies official support and/or endorsement.

Contributions

Pull requests, bug reports, and so forth are all welcome on GitHub.

Security issues should be reported directly to danhunsaker (plus) calends (at) gmail (dot) com.

And head to GitHub for everything else.