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TechTip: Let’s Have a Date, Part 1

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Make date-handling in jQuery easy with moment.js.

When you start writing web applications, you will soon get to a point where you need to do date-handling, such as finding default start/end dates, converting seconds to hours and/or minutes, and all kinds of other date math.

Although JavaScript has all the necessary functionality within itself, it can be a little cumbersome if you (like me) have an RPG background and are used to the built-in opcodes in the RPG language. So for years I have been using jQuery plugins that encapsulate the complexity from the JavaScript Date() object. The plugin we’re going to talk about today offers some very easy and neat ways that you can do everyday date-handling, and to me it looks like something that I am familiar with from the RPG language. The name of the plugin is moment.js.

If you find the above appealing, please read on. I will provide you with some simple examples that will get you started and maybe give you an appetite for further “bites” of the plugin.

Setting It Up

In my examples, I will use Content Delivery Network (CDN) to load both jQuery and moment.js.

The “load” section of the HTML pages will look something like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>

<html lang="en">

<head>

<title>Date operations</title>

      

   <meta charset="utf-8">

   <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge">

       <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1, shrink-to-fit=no">

       <meta name="description" content="MCpressonline - jquery-date-handling-part1">

       <meta name="author" content="Some person">

      

       <link rel="stylesheet" href="https://stackpath.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/4.3.1/css/bootstrap.min.css">      

      

   <script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/jquery/3.4.1/jquery.min.js"></script>

       <script src="https://stackpath.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/4.3.1/js/bootstrap.min.js"></script>

       <script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/popper.js/1.14.7/umd/popper.min.js"></script>

  

   <script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/moment.js/2.24.0/moment.min.js"></script>

   <script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/moment-duration-format/2.3.2/moment-duration-format.min.js"></script>

This is also a very good template for pages. Of course, you can place the various plugins on your own server or you can use the CDN’s, whichever suits you the best.

Getting Your Dates

The most basic way to get the current date using moment.js is like this:

var currentDate = moment();

You will get something like this:

Wed Jul 31 2019 16:22:31 GMT+0200

To display the date/time in the format of your choice, moment.js offers you a wide range of options. The syntax is moment().format(String), where String can be a combination of letters that will display the date in the desired format.

In our first example, we set the current date and then format as an ISO date and an AM/PM date.

var wrkDate01 = moment().format('YYYY-MM-DD HH:mm:ss');

var wrkDate02 = moment().format('YYYY/DD/MM hh:mm:ss A');

$('#ex01_1').html( wrkDate01 + ' <p></p> ' + wrkDate02 );

The resulting two dates look like those below:

2019-07-31 20:40:03

2019/31/07 08:40:03 PM

To show a specific date, you can just pass the date to the moment() method. You can pass the date in various formats—for example, string, object, or UNIX timestamp.

In the next example, we use my birthday to parse to moment() as a string in ISO format. When we format it, we display it as day, month in text, and year. Also, we show the ISO week of the year plus the day of the year.

The code to do that looks like this.

var myDate = '2019-03-06';

var wrkDate01 = moment( myDate ).format('DD MMMM YYYY'); // Format date

var wrkDate02 = moment( myDate ).format('W'); // Get ISO week

var wrkDate03 = moment( myDate ).format('DDD'); // Get day of year

$('#ex01_2').html( wrkDate01 + ' / week: ' + wrkDate02 + ' / day of year: ' + wrkDate03 );

The result will look like this:

06 March 2019 / week: 10 / day of year: 65

If you want to show the current date as month name, day of month, day of week, year, time, etc., moment.js lets you do that in an easy way.

And if you want to see this in, for example, the Danish language, you can set a moment.locale as shown below:

var wrkDate = moment().format('LLLL');

moment.locale('da');

var wrkDate_locale = moment().format('LLLL');

$('#ex01_3').html( wrkDate + '<p></p>' + wrkDate_locale );

The result will look like this:

Wednesday, July 31, 2019 9:13 PM

onsdag d. 31. juli 2019 kl. 21:13

Moment.js supports well over 100 languages—everything from Afrikaans to Yoruba Nigeria—including eight versions of English and even Klingon.

If you want to find start/end of for example week, month, or likewise, moment.js has this built into it also with a method named startOf, where the syntax is like this:

moment().startOf(String);

So in our next example, we set the current date of today and then we use startOf() to get the ISO start/end of week and the start/end of the month according to the current date. Here’s the code:

var wrkDate00 = moment().format('YYYY-MM-DD');

var wrkDate01 = moment( wrkDate00 ).startOf('isoWeek').format('YYYY-MM-DD');

var wrkDate02 = moment( wrkDate00 ).endOf('isoWeek').format('YYYY-MM-DD');

var wrkDate03 = moment( wrkDate00 ).startOf('month').format('YYYY-MM-DD');

var wrkDate04 = moment( wrkDate00 ).endOf('month').format('YYYY-MM-DD');

$('#ex01_4').html( 'Root date: ' + wrkDate00

                                                + '<p></p>'

                                                + 'Start of week (ISO): ' + wrkDate01

                                                + '<br>'

                                                + 'End of week (ISO): ' + wrkDate02

                                                + '<p></p>'

                                                + 'Start of month : ' + wrkDate03

                                                + '<br>'

                                                + 'End of month : ' + wrkDate04

                                                                        );

 

The results will look like this:

Root date: 2019-07-31

Start of week (ISO): 2019-07-29

End of week (ISO): 2019-08-04

Start of month: 2019-07-01

End of month: 2019-07-31

 

Helpful Links

moment.js parse: https://momentjs.com/docs/#/parsing/

moment.js display: https://momentjs.com/docs/#/displaying/


What a Nice Date, Let’s Do It Again

I hope you can see the use of moment.js. Remember, this is just the first tip in a series of two.

Next time, we will look into getting/setting and computing on dates using moment.js.

I am already looking forward to our next date.

Jan Jorgensen

Jan Jorgensen is one of the owners of www.reeft.dk, which specializes in mobile and i5 solutions. He works with RPG, HTML, JavaScript, Perl, and PHP. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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