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10.2.7 Managing the Time of Day

The systime() and strftime() functions described in Time Functions, provide the minimum functionality necessary for dealing with the time of day in human-readable form. Although strftime() is extensive, the control formats are not necessarily easy to remember or intuitively obvious when reading a program.

The following function, getlocaltime(), populates a user-supplied array with preformatted time information. It returns a string with the current time formatted in the same way as the date utility:

# getlocaltime.awk --- get the time of day in a usable format

# Returns a string in the format of output of date(1)
# Populates the array argument time with individual values:
#    time["second"]       -- seconds (0 - 59)
#    time["minute"]       -- minutes (0 - 59)
#    time["hour"]         -- hours (0 - 23)
#    time["althour"]      -- hours (0 - 12)
#    time["monthday"]     -- day of month (1 - 31)
#    time["month"]        -- month of year (1 - 12)
#    time["monthname"]    -- name of the month
#    time["shortmonth"]   -- short name of the month
#    time["year"]         -- year modulo 100 (0 - 99)
#    time["fullyear"]     -- full year
#    time["weekday"]      -- day of week (Sunday = 0)
#    time["altweekday"]   -- day of week (Monday = 0)
#    time["dayname"]      -- name of weekday
#    time["shortdayname"] -- short name of weekday
#    time["yearday"]      -- day of year (0 - 365)
#    time["timezone"]     -- abbreviation of timezone name
#    time["ampm"]         -- AM or PM designation
#    time["weeknum"]      -- week number, Sunday first day
#    time["altweeknum"]   -- week number, Monday first day

function getlocaltime(time,    ret, now, i)
{
    # get time once, avoids unnecessary system calls
    now = systime()

    # return date(1)-style output
    ret = strftime("%a %b %e %H:%M:%S %Z %Y", now)

    # clear out target array
    delete time

    # fill in values, force numeric values to be
    # numeric by adding 0
    time["second"]       = strftime("%S", now) + 0
    time["minute"]       = strftime("%M", now) + 0
    time["hour"]         = strftime("%H", now) + 0
    time["althour"]      = strftime("%I", now) + 0
    time["monthday"]     = strftime("%d", now) + 0
    time["month"]        = strftime("%m", now) + 0
    time["monthname"]    = strftime("%B", now)
    time["shortmonth"]   = strftime("%b", now)
    time["year"]         = strftime("%y", now) + 0
    time["fullyear"]     = strftime("%Y", now) + 0
    time["weekday"]      = strftime("%w", now) + 0
    time["altweekday"]   = strftime("%u", now) + 0
    time["dayname"]      = strftime("%A", now)
    time["shortdayname"] = strftime("%a", now)
    time["yearday"]      = strftime("%j", now) + 0
    time["timezone"]     = strftime("%Z", now)
    time["ampm"]         = strftime("%p", now)
    time["weeknum"]      = strftime("%U", now) + 0
    time["altweeknum"]   = strftime("%W", now) + 0

    return ret
}

The string indices are easier to use and read than the various formats required by strftime(). The alarm program presented in Alarm Program, uses this function. A more general design for the getlocaltime() function would have allowed the user to supply an optional timestamp value to use instead of the current time.


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