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A brand new anytime package just arrived at CRAN. This is release number eight, evenly spread with over two per month, since the initial release in September. Needless to say I have been told off not to make this many releases. As they say, no good deed goes unpunished.

anytime is a very focused package aiming to do just one thing really well: to convert anything in integer, numeric, character, factor, ordered, … format to either POSIXct or Date objects — and to do so without requiring a format string. See the anytime page, or the GitHub README.md for a few examples.

This releases does a few things:

• It fixes a misfeature apparent in some timezones: anydate() would somehow wrap around and return the previous day by accident. This has been addressed by moving the conversion to date directly into the C++ side of things.
• New format helpers were added to format datetime or dates objects according to ISO 7601, RFC 2822 or RFC 3339 (see examples below).
• Testing is now more stringent with actual comparisons to equivalent base R results; that way we are get getting bitten by different timezones.

The following is a quick illustration

R> library(anytime)
R> p <- anytime("2010-01-02 03:04:05.123456")
R> p
[1] "2010-01-02 03:04:05.123456 CST"
R> iso8601(p)
[1] "2010-01-02 03:04:05"
R> rfc2822(p)
[1] "Sat, 02 Jan 2010 03:04:05.123456 -0600"
R> rfc3339(p)
[1] "2010-01-02T03:04:05.123456-0600"
R> 

For symmetry, it also works for dates, but is less detailed

R> jl <- anydate("July 04, 1789")
R> jl
[1] "1789-07-04"
R> iso8601(jl)
[1] "1789-07-04"
R> rfc2822(jl)
[1] "Sat, 04 Jul 1789"
R> rfc3339(jl)
[1] "1789-07-04"
R> 

Of course, all commands are also fully vectorised. See the anytime page, or the GitHub README.md for more examples.

#### Changes in anytime version 0.2.0 (2016-12-24)

• Added (exported) helper functions iso8601(), rfc2822() and rfc3339() to format date(time) objects according to standards

• Conversion to dates is now more robust thanks to improved internal processing (PR #39 closing #36)

• The ISO 8601 format is now recognised, however the timezone information is not parsed by Boost Date_Time (which is a known upstream limitation) (PR #38 closing #37)

• The ‘allFormats.R’ test script was significantly strengthened (#40)

• Test scripts like ‘simpleTests.R’ have as also been strengthened (#41); on Windows and in one file two tests need to be skipped.

• A new ‘bulkTest.R’ test script was added testing parsing against what R returns

Courtesy of CRANberries, there is a comparison to the previous release. More information is on the anytime page.

For questions or comments use the issue tracker off the GitHub repo.

This post by Dirk Eddelbuettel originated on his Thinking inside the box blog. Please report excessive re-aggregation in third-party for-profit settings.