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How to construct a timedelta object from a simple string

Posted by: admin November 29, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

I’m writing a function that needs a timedelta input to be passed in as a string. The user must enter something like “32m” or “2h32m”, or even “4:13” or “5hr34m56s”… Is there a library or something that has this sort of thing already implemented?

Answers:

for the 4:13, and other standard formats(but if you don’t know which one) use dateutil.parser.parse from python-dateutil

For the first format(5hr34m56s), you should parse using regular expressions

Here is re-based solution:

import re
from datetime import timedelta


regex = re.compile(r'((?P<hours>\d+?)hr)?((?P<minutes>\d+?)m)?((?P<seconds>\d+?)s)?')


def parse_time(time_str):
    parts = regex.match(time_str)
    if not parts:
        return
    parts = parts.groupdict()
    time_params = {}
    for (name, param) in parts.iteritems():
        if param:
            time_params[name] = int(param)
    return timedelta(**time_params)


>>> from parse_time import parse_time
>>> parse_time('12hr')
datetime.timedelta(0, 43200)
>>> parse_time('12hr5m10s')
datetime.timedelta(0, 43510)
>>> parse_time('12hr10s')
datetime.timedelta(0, 43210)
>>> parse_time('10s')
datetime.timedelta(0, 10)
>>> 

Questions:
Answers:

To me the most elegant solution, without having to resort to external libraries such as dateutil or manually parsing the input, is to use datetime’s powerful strptime string parsing method.

from datetime import datetime, timedelta
# we specify the input and the format...
t = datetime.strptime("05:20:25","%H:%M:%S")
# ...and use datetime's hour, min and sec properties to build a timedelta
delta = timedelta(hours=t.hour, minutes=t.minute, seconds=t.second)

After this you can use your timedelta object as normally, convert it to seconds to make sure we did the correct thing etc.

print(delta)
assert(5*60*60+20*60+25 == delta.total_seconds())

Questions:
Answers:

I had a bit of time on my hands yesterday, so I developed @virhilo‘s answer into a Python module, adding a few more time expression formats, including all those requested by @priestc.

Source code is on github (MIT License) for anybody that wants it. It’s also on PyPI:

pip install pytimeparse

Returns the time as a number of seconds:

>>> from pytimeparse.timeparse import timeparse
>>> timeparse('32m')
1920
>>> timeparse('2h32m')
9120
>>> timeparse('4:13')
253
>>> timeparse('5hr34m56s')
20096
>>> timeparse('1.2 minutes')
72

Questions:
Answers:

I wanted to input just a time and then add it to various dates so this worked for me:

from datetime import datetime as dtt

time_only = dtt.strptime('15:30', "%H:%M") - dtt.strptime("00:00", "%H:%M")

Questions:
Answers:

If you use Python 3 then here’s updated version for Hari Shankar’s solution, which I used:

from datetime import timedelta
import re

regex = re.compile(r'(?P<hours>\d+?)/'
                   r'(?P<minutes>\d+?)/'
                   r'(?P<seconds>\d+?)$')

def parse_time(time_str):
    parts = regex.match(time_str)
    if not parts:
        return
    parts = parts.groupdict()
    print(parts)
    time_params = {}
    for name, param in parts.items():
        if param:
            time_params[name] = int(param)
    return timedelta(**time_params)