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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. While 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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