Working with dates, times and timezones


Pletfix's DateTime class extends PHP's DateTimeImmutable class. It is very useful to calculate dates and times.

The implementation was also inspired by CakePHP's Chronos as well as by Carbon, licensed under the MIT license (see here and here). Therefore, this documentation has taken over a few passages from CakePHP Documentation and Carbon Introduction.

Except for the setters the methods are immutable, so you don't have to worry about the underlying data being unintentionally changed by another entity.



You may set the default timezone in config/locale.php:

 * ----------------------------------------------------------------
 * Default Timezone
 * ----------------------------------------------------------------
'timezone' => 'UTC' // 'Europe/London',

Get and Set the Timezone

Use setDefaultTimezone to switch the active timezone at runtime:


You can also set the timezone just for a once DateTime instance:

$dt = datetime()->setTimezone('CET');

The getDefaultTimezone and getTimezone methods return the default and actual timezone:

$tz = DateTime::getDefaultTimezone();    
$tz = $dt->getTimezone(); // 'Europe/London'

Supported Timezones

You can use the official abbreviations of timezone identifier like 'UTC', or the full name like 'Europe/London'.

A completely table of valid timezones is available in the PHP's List of Supported Timezones.

See also List of time zone abbreviations by Wikipedia.

First Day of Week

According to international standard ISO 8601, Monday is the first day of the week. Yet several countries, including the United States and Canada, consider Sunday as the start of the week.

Like the timezone, you can set the first day of week in config/locale.php:

 * ----------------------------------------------------------------
 * First day of the week.
 * ----------------------------------------------------------------
'first_dow' => 1, // Monday 

The day of week is an integer between 0 (for Sunday) and 6 (for Saturday).

Set the First Day of Week

However, you could determine and redefine the first day of week at runtime:

$dow = DateTime::getFirstDayOfWeek();   

Locale & Date Format

Read chapter Localization to learn how to configure the default locale and switch it at runtime. It is used to set the locale date and time formats.

The translation files for the DateTime class are defined in datetime.php under the resources/lang directory:

return [
    'datetime' => 'Y-m-d H:i',
    'date'     => 'Y-m-d',
    'time'     => 'H:i',

Apply the format options for this files from PHP's date_create_from_format function.

Set the Locale Date and Time Formats

The setLocale method switches the locale for the DateTimeclass:


You can also use the global locale method instead, which makes the setting not only for the DateTime class, but also for the Translater.

Of course, there are also the getters:

$lang = DateTime::getLocale();    

Create a DateTime Instance

Static Functions

Pletfix's DateTime class provide some static member functions to create a new DataTime instance:

use Core\Services\DateTime;

DateTime::createFromParts($parts, $timezone);
DateTime::createFromFormat($format, $dateTimeString, $timezone);
DateTime::createFromLocaleFormat($format, $dateTimeString, $timezone);
DateTime::createFromLocaleDateFormat($format, $datetring, $timezone);
DateTime::createFromLocaleTimeFormat($format, $timeString, $timezone);
DateTime::createFromTimestamp($timestamp, $timezone);
DateTime::createFromTimestampUTC($timestamp, $timezone);

Of course, you could use these functions directly. Disadvantage is then that you create direct dependencies. If you do not like this, use the helper function datetime (see below), which takes itself the Dependency Injector.


You may use the datetime method without arguments to get the current time:

$now = datetime();

The datetime method accept also a date formatted string as argument and optional a timezone:

$dt = datetime('2015-10-21 16:29:00', 'Europe/London');

If you don't set a timezone, the default setting is taken.

Supported formats for the datetime string are listed on the PHP's documentation. For example, you may set 'today' as date string if you want to set the time to '00:00:00'.

Furthermore, you can define a specified format as third argument:

$dt = datetime('21.10.2015 16:29', null, 'd.m.Y H:i');

Apply the formatting options from PHP's date_create_from_format function. As an additional option, you can set 'locale', '' and 'locale.time' if you like to use the actual locale format:

$dt = datetime('21.10.2015', null, '');

Instead of a string, an array with the date parts can also be passed:

$dt = datetime([2015, 10, 21, 16, 29, 0], 'UTC');

A unix timestamp will be accepted, too:

$timestamp = time();
$dt = datetime($timestamp);

Last but not least, any DateTimeInterface object can also used as argument:

$dt = datetime(Carbon::now());


The copymethod create a new DateTime instance from another:

$dt = datetime('1970-12-15 00:00:00');
$dt2 = $dt->copy()->addDays(1);
echo $dt->getDay();  // 15
echo $dt2->getDay(); // 16

String Formatting

Custom Formats

The base function for formatting date times is format:

echo $dt->format('l jS \\of F Y h:i:s A'); // Thursday 25th of December 1975 02:15:16 PM

Apply the options to build the format string from PHP's date_create_from_format function.

Default and Locale Formats

For convenience, there are a few other format functions that ultimately call the format method:

echo $dt->toDateTimeString();       // 1975-12-25 14:15:16  == format('Y-m-d H:i:s') 
echo $dt->toDateString();           // 1975-12-25           == format('Y-m-d')
echo $dt->toTimeString();           // 14:15:16             == format('H:i:s') 
echo $dt->toLocaleDateTimeString(); // 25.12.1975 14:15:16  == format(null)
echo $dt->toLocaleDateString();     // 25.12.1975           == format(t('datetime.date_format'))
echo $dt->toLocaleTimeString();     // 14:15:16             == format(t('datetime.time_format'))

Common Formats

The following are wrappers for the common formats provided in the PHP's DateTime class.

echo $dt->toAtomString();      // 1975-12-25T14:15:16-05:00
echo $dt->toCookieString();    // Thursday, 25-Dec-1975 14:15:16 EST
echo $dt->toIso8601String();   // 1975-12-25T14:15:16-0500
echo $dt->toRfc822String();    // Thu, 25 Dec 75 14:15:16 -0500
echo $dt->toRfc850String();    // Thursday, 25-Dec-75 14:15:16 EST
echo $dt->toRfc1036String();   // Thu, 25 Dec 75 14:15:16 -0500
echo $dt->toRfc1123String();   // Thu, 25 Dec 1975 14:15:16 -0500
echo $dt->toRfc2822String();   // Thu, 25 Dec 1975 14:15:16 -0500
echo $dt->toRfc3339String();   // 1975-12-25T14:15:16-05:00
echo $dt->toRssString();       // Thu, 25 Dec 1975 14:15:16 -0500
echo $dt->toW3cString();       // 1975-12-25T14:15:16-05:00    

String Representation

Because the __toString() method is defined, the datetime will be print locale formatted if you use a DateTime instance in a string context:

echo 'Date/Time:' . $dt; // Date/Time: 25.12.1975 14:15:16

JSON Serializer

The DateTime object are serialized into ISO-8601 strings:

$dt = new DateTime('2017-12-24 20:00:00', 'Europe/Paris');
echo json_encode([ 'date' => $dt ]); // {"date":"2017-12-24T20:00:10+0200"}

Date Time Parts


Get the unix timestamp like this:

$unixtimestamp = $dt->getTimestamp();

Note that for dates before the unix epoch (1970-01-01 00:00:00 GMT) getTimestamp() will return false, wheres timestamp() will return a negative number.

Getting parts of a date object can be done like below:

$dt = datetime('2015-12-31 23:59:58');
$y = $dt->getYear();   // 2015
$m = $dt->getMonth();  // 12
$d = $dt->getDay();    // 31
$h = $dt->getHour();   // 23
$n = $dt->getMinute(); // 59
$s = $dt->getSecond(); // 58

In addition, there are a few other features to get special date parts:

$dt  = datetime('2012-9-5 23:26:11.123789');
$ms  = $dt->micro();       // 123789
$dow = $dt->dayOfWeek();   // 3
$doy = $dt->dayOfYear();   // 248
$wom = $dt->weekOfMonth(); // 1
$woy = $dt->weekOfYear();  // 36
$dim = $dt->daysInMonth(); // 30
$ts  = $dt->timestamp();   // 1346901971
$age = $dt->age();         // 41
$qu  = $dt->quarter();     // 3
$qu  = $dt->isLeapYear();  // true
$b   = $dt->isSunday();    // false
$b   = $dt->isMonday();    // false 
$b   = $dt->isTuesday();   // false
$b   = $dt->isWednesday(); // true
$b   = $dt->isThursday();  // false
$b   = $dt->isFriday();    // false
$b   = $dt->isSaturday();  // false 


You can set the date and time based on a Unix timestamp like this:


You may set the parts of the datetime like this:

$halloween = datetime()

$hallowen = datetime()
    ->setDate(2015, 10, 31)
    ->setTime(20, 30, 0);

$hallowen = datetime()
    ->setDateTime(2015, 10, 31, 20, 30, 0);

$hallowen = datetime()->setISODate(2015, 44, 6); // arguments: year, week, day    

See PHP' setISODate to read more about setISODate method.

Note that these methods modifies their own instance. No new instance is created.

Date Calculation

Addition and Subtraction

The PHP's DateTime class provides the functions add, sub and modify for addition an subtraction dates and times, for example:

$dt->add(new DateInterval('P10D'));
$dt->sub(new DateInterval('P10D'));
$dt->modify('+1 day'); 

See the PHP's documentation to read more details.

However, it may be easier to use the following extended functions for modify dates and times relatively:






The PHP's base function diff returns the difference between two DateTime objects represented as a DateInterval.

$interval = $dt1->diff($dt2);

The methods below calculate also the difference between two DateTime objects, but returns an integer:


Start Of and End Of

You may set the value to the start/end of a unit of time.


$dt->startOfYear();    // set to January 1st, 00:00 this year
$dt->startOfQuarter(); // set to the beginning of the current quarter, 1st day of months, 00:00
$dt->startOfMonth();   // set to the first of this month, 00:00
$dt->startOfWeek();    // set to the first day of this week, 00:00
$dt->startOfDay();     // set to 00:00 today
$dt->startOfHour();    // set to now, but with 0 mins, 0 secs
$dt->startOfMinute();  // set to now, but with 0 seconds


$dt->endOfYear();      // set to December 31st, 23:59 this year
$dt->endOfQuarter();   // set to the end of the current quarter, last day of month, 23:59
$dt->endOfMonth();     // set to the last of this month, 23:59
$dt->endOfWeek();      // set to the last day of this week, 23:59
$dt->endOfDay();       // set to 23:59 today
$dt->endOfHour();      // set to now, but with 59 mins, 59 secs
$dt->endOfMinute();    // set to now, but with 59 seconds

Comparison Methods

The extended PHP DateTime class overloads the comparison operators. It is possibible because it is a built in implementation. Therefore, you may compare two DateTime instances as below:

$d1 == $d2;
$d1 != $d2;
$d1 >= $d2;
$d1 <= $d2;
$d1 >  $d2;
$d1 <  $d2;

Furthermore, you may use PHP's min and max functions:

min($d1, $d2);
max($d1, $d2);

(edit on GitHub)