How to round trip python and sqlite dates

Mark Lawrence breamoreboy at
Sun Nov 17 03:16:49 CET 2013

All the references regarding the subject that I can find, e.g., 
talk about creating a table in memory using the timestamp type from the 
Python layer.  I can't see how to use that for a file on disk, so after 
a bit of RTFM I came up with this.

import sqlite3
from datetime import datetime, date

def datetime2date(datetimestr):
     return datetime.strptime(datetimestr, '%Y-%m-%d')

sqlite3.register_converter('DATETIME', datetime2date)

db = sqlite3.connect(r'C:\Users\Mark\Cash\Data\test.sqlite', 
c = db.cursor()
c.execute('delete from temp')
row = 'DWP ESA', date(2013,11,18), 'Every two weeks', 143.4, date.max
c.execute('insert into temp values (?,?,?,?,?)', row)
c.execute('select * from temp')
row = c.fetchone()
nextdate = row[1]
print(nextdate, type(nextdate))

Run it and

Traceback (most recent call last):
   File "C:\Users\Mark\MyPython\", line 13, in <module>
     c.execute('select * from temp')
   File "C:\Users\Mark\MyPython\", line 7, in datetime2date
     return datetime.strptime(datetimestr, '%Y-%m-%d')
TypeError: must be str, not bytes

However if I comment out the register_converter line this output is printed

2013-11-18 <class 'str'>

Further digging in the sqlite3 file I found references to 
convert_date and convert_timestamp, but putting print statements in them 
and they didn't appear to be called.

So how do I achieve the round trip that I'd like, or do I simply cut my 
loses and use strptime on the string that I can see returned?

Note that I won't be checking replies, if any, for several hours as it's 
now 02:15 GMT and I'm heading back to bed.

Python is the second best programming language in the world.
But the best has yet to be invented.  Christian Tismer

Mark Lawrence

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