Timestamp helper

You can view the source on GitHub.

Basic usage

The timestamp helper is just an extended version of the base PHP DateTime object:

$timestamp = new timestamp('2014W04-2');
$timestamp = new timestamp('2014-09-22 17:43:21', 'db');
$timestamp = new timestamp('2014-09-22 17:43:21', 'Europe/London');
$now = new timestamp();

debug($timestamp->format('l jS F Y, g:i:sa'));

    Monday 22nd September 2014, 5:43:21pm


    2014-09-22 17:43:21 (Europe/London)

echo $now; // In UTC, typically for the datababse (see below)

    2014-09-22 16:43:21

You can clone (and modify) its value:

$timestamp = $now->clone();

$timestamp = $now->clone('+3 days');

And you can return a HTML version, with the HTML5 <time> tag:

debug($timestamp->html('l jS F Y, g:ia'));

    <time datetime="2014-09-25T17:43:21+01:00">Thursday 25th September 2014, 5:43pm</time>

Create from format

Like the PHP object, you can also do:

$timestamp = timestamp::createFromFormat('d/m/y H:i:s', '23/06/08 09:47:47');

Database usage

When using a value from the database:

$timestamp = new timestamp($row['field'], 'db');

echo $timestamp->format('l jS F Y, g:i:sa');

The timestamp helper will parse the UTC value (note the 'db' timezone), and the formatted output will then use "output.timezone".

Database storage

When storing a 'datetime' value in the database, you can simply use the variable:

$now = new timestamp();

$db->insert(DB_PREFIX . 'table', array(
        'name'    => $name,
        'created' => $now,

Or you can use the 'db' format:


Both of these methods use the ISO format "YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS" in UTC.

But if you want to actually store NULL in the database (not "0000-00-00"), then you will need to use the format('db') method.

NULL values

If the timestamp helper is initialised with the values:

'0000-00-00 00:00:00'

Then it will typically return NULL when you call the format() or html() functions, unless you provide a value to use instead:

$timestamp = new timestamp('0000-00-00 00:00:00', 'db');

echo $timestamp->format('jS F Y', 'N/A');
echo $timestamp->html('jS F Y', 'N/A');

If you just want to test if the value is NULL:


This returns false if not NULL, or a truthy value if NULL (e.g. '0000-00-00').

Site config


    The timezone to format the dates (e.g. "Europe/London"),
    Defaults to the PHP date_default_timezone_get() function.

Holiday support

You can store a list of holidays in a "system_holiday" table, returning them with:


These dates are then used when calling:

    Return a new timestamp, 5 business days later.

    Return the next business day (rarely used).

    The number of business days between two timestamps.

For example:

$start = new timestamp('2014-09-20');

    Saturday 20th September 2014

$day_1 = $start->business_day_next();

    Monday 22nd September 2014

$day_2 = $day_1->business_days_add(5);

    Monday 29th September 2014


    6 days