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Ibuildings techPortal:
Tips for PHP Date and Time Functions
January 26, 2010 @ 10:06:57

In this new post from the Ibuildings techPortal today Michael shares some handy tips for working the date and time functions in PHP (all can be used in a non-PHP 5.3 installation).

His tips for these very handy functions include:

  • A Unix timestamp is never timezone-specific; if you call time() at the same moment on computers in different time zones, you get exactly the same value back.
  • The time string is interpreted as a local time; there is no gm- equivalent [of strptime], or even any way to simulate one, since it ignores the value of date_default_timezone_set. Note that you can impose a timezone on the input string if it contains a timezone abbreviation or offset.
  • [With date/gmdate] as with strftime/gmstrftime, the gm- prefix affects whether the result is a representation of the time in the current timezone or in the UTC timezone.
  • How does PHP know what your current timezone is? It tries a few different places, including the TZ environment variable and the date.timezone ini option.
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