[development] date/time and timezone handling

ad4m adam at ludwinski.net
Fri Mar 11 10:58:07 UTC 2011

Hello Blake,

Try using Date (http://drupal.org/project/date) module which gives you
support for per-user timezones.

Kindest regards,
Adam Ludwinski
Weever Web Warehouse
mobile: +48 606 107 297
adam.ludwinski at weever.net
Al. Jerozolimskie 87 piętro 2
02-001 Warszawa


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On 11 March 2011 03:56, Blake Senftner <bsenftner at earthlink.net> wrote:

> Does anyone have any advice or a good tutorial for working with timestamps,
> and user configurable timezones within Drupal 6?
> I have analytics data being recorded, each event with a timestamp generated
> via time(), so it's a standard Unix timestamp.
> Previously, I think I had the analytics being reported correctly for each
> user in their local timezone via:
> $timeStr = format_date($action->timestamp, 'custom', $customTimeFormatStr,
> variable_get('date_default_timezone', 0));
> But when I added analytics exporting, with the user being able to specify a
> start and end date/time string, I began to suspect that the above timezone
> handling is incorrect.
> Given:
> $start = '7 am';
> $timecode = strtotime( $start );
> $start = format_date( $timecode, 'custom', 'h:i:s a, d M
> Y', variable_get('date_default_timezone', 0));
> I get $start is "11:00:00 pm, 10 Mar 2011' <- wrong time, correct date
> However, changing the format_date() call to be like this:
> $start = format_date( $timecode, 'custom', 'h:i:s a, d M Y', 0);   <-
> changed variable_get() to 0
> Gives me "07:00:00 am, 11 Mar 2011"  <- correct time, but one day in the
> future
> Leaving the timezone parameter off, letting it's default NULL value be used
> like this:
> $start = format_date( $timecode, 'custom', 'h:i:s a, d M Y');
> Gives me "12:00:00 am, 11 Mar 2011"  <- wrong time plus one day in the
> future
> I guess I could just use the second form, with the timezone parameter set
> to zero, and recommend that users include the date, but it sure is
> convenient to just say "12:00:00 am" and "12:59:59 pm" to capture the
> analytics thus far for the day.
> Perhaps my date time configuration for the site is incorrect?
> At admin/settings/date-time I have the time zone set correctly, and user
> configurable timezones are enabled. BTW, the users of the site are
> international, with people on both east & west coast US, London, Israel, and
> India. So the timezone handling is important.
> Sincerely,
> -Blake
> bsenftner at earthlink.net
> www.BlakeSenftner.com
> www.MissingUbercartManual.com
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