[Tutor] Date to seconds conversion

Anna Ravenscroft revanna@mn.rr.com
Mon Apr 7 15:35:02 2003

On Sunday 06 April 2003 22:22, Antone wrote:
> What is the easiest way to convert a date (03/03/2003) to seconds?

If you're looking for "seconds from the epoch", use the time module in 
python's standard library.


Like gmtime() but converts to local time. The dst flag is set to 1 when DST 
applies to the given time. Changed in version 2.1: Allowed secs to be 

This is the inverse function of localtime(). Its argument is the full 9-tuple 
(since the dst flag is needed; use -1 as the dst flag if it is unknown) which 
expresses the time in local time, not UTC. It returns a floating point 
number, for compatibility with time(). If the input value cannot be 
represented as a valid time, either OverflowError or ValueError will be 
raised (which depends on whether the invalid value is caught by Python or the 
underlying C libraries). The earliest date for which it can generate a time 
is platform- dependent.

Return the time as a floating point number expressed in seconds since the 
epoch, in UTC. Note that even though the time is always returned as a 
floating point number, not all systems provide time with a better precision 
than 1 second. While this function normally returns non-decreasing values, it 
can return a lower value than a previous call if the system clock has been 
set back between the two calls.

Some samples of the code:

>>> import time

>>> time.localtime()
(2003, 4, 7, 14, 30, 38, 0, 97, 1)

>>> time.mktime((2003, 4, 7, 14, 30, 38, 0, 97, 1))

>>> time.mktime((2003, 03, 04, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0))

Hope this helps.