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Get Time In Javascript: Javascript Explained

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JavaScript is one of the most widely used scripting languages on the web. It can be used to create interactive websites that are rich in user experience, as well as for more complex applications such as online banking and finance systems. With all these uses, it is important to understand how to get time in JavaScript, as dates and times are often fundamental for a successful online experience. This article will discuss the basics of working with date and time in JavaScript, as well as how to access the current time, manipulate date & time values, and convert between date formats in JavaScript. We will also look at how to use JavaScript timers to count down or up, and will provide some useful examples of how to implement these features.

Understanding the Basics of JavaScript

Before we delve into the specifics of working with time in JavaScript, it is important to understand the basics of the language. JavaScript is an interpreted scripting language, meaning that code written in JavaScript is parsed by the browser without being compiled first. This allows developers to easily write code that is both dynamic and interactive, which is essential for most web applications. The language itself has been around since the mid-90s, and has since become heavily used in front-end web development. JavaScript can be used to manipulate HTML elements on a page, such as changing their styles or attributes, as well as to call external APIs or perform other logic in the browser.

Working with Date and Time in JavaScript

When it comes to date and time manipulation, JavaScript provides a few built-in objects that make this easier. The Date object is the primary object used for working with dates in JavaScript, and it also can be used for manipulating time. This object provides a wide range of functionality for evaluating dates and times, such as querying a specific month or finding the length of a certain day in a certain month. Date-related functionality is also provided through the Date.now() method, which returns the time in milliseconds since a certain point in time. This can be useful for evaluating the difference between two dates and times, or for creating a timer that counts down or up based on a certain interval.

How to Access Current Time in JavaScript

Accessing the current time in JavaScript is relatively easy. The Date constructor can be used to create a new Date object based on the current date and time. This Date object can then be accessed in multiple ways, such as querying individual units of time (e.g., hours, minutes, etc.) or converting it into different formats (e.g., full date/time strings). For example, if you wanted to access the current time, you would use the following code:

let currentTime = new Date();

Once you have this date object, you can manipulate it as necessary by using any of the available methods and properties associated with the Date object.

Utilizing the Date Object in Javascript

Once you have a Date object created through the Date constructor, you can use it to return various pieces of information related to the current time. For example, you could use the getFullYear() method to retrieve the current year (e.g., 2020), or use the getHours() method to retrieve the current hour (e.g., 10). Additionally, you can use the Date object to compare two different points in time; for example, you could use the getTime() method to get the milliseconds since 1970/1/1 and compare it against a timestamp in order to evaluate whether one is greater than the other.

Manipulating JavaScript Date & Time Values

You can also manipulate the Date object in order to evaluate data across different times and dates. For example, you could use the setHours() method to set the hour to a specific value (e.g., 11 pm), or you could use the setDate() method to set a specific day (e.g., day 15). Additionally, you can use methods such as addHours(), addDays(), subtractMonths(), and other similar methods to manipulate date values in order to easily evaluate data across different points in time.

Using the Date Constructor to Create New Dates

The Date constructor can also be used to create date objects from existing date strings or timestamps. This is useful when evaluating data from third-party services or APIs that return data as strings or timestamps. To do this, you simply pass the date string or timestamp into the Date constructor, which will return a new Date object with all its associated methods and properties. For example, if you wanted to convert a third-party timestamp into an actual Date object, you could do so using this code:

let myDate = new Date("Tue Mar 12 2020 13:40:21 GMT+0100 (GMT Standard Time)");

The above code would convert the third-party timestamp into an actual Date object that you can then evaluate using any of its associated methods and properties.

Converting Between Date Formats in JavaScript

When working with dates, it can be helpful to convert between different formats in order to evaluate differences or display data in a specific way. For example, you may want to convert from a timestamp into a full date format or from a full date format into a date only format. You can do this by using existing methods from the Date object, such as getFullYear(), getMonth(), getDay(), or any other related methods. Additionally, you can use methods such as toUTCString() or toLocaleString() in order to convert a Date object into a string format that is easier to display or manipulate in other ways.

Using JavaScript Timers to Count Down or Up

Timers are often useful when dealing with data or when displaying information on a page that needs to be updated periodically. JavaScript provides two main types of timers – one-time and recurring – that you can use when dealing with times and dates. The one-time timer uses setTimeout() and runs once after a particular delay (in milliseconds), whereas the recurring timer uses setInterval() and executes code periodically at a certain interval (also in milliseconds). Both types of timers can be used for counting down or up based on any given interval; for example, if you wanted to count down from 60 seconds every second, you could do so using this code:

let timer = setInterval(function(){ console.log(--timer); }, 1000);

This code would create a recurring timer that counts down from 60 seconds and logs each value until it reaches zero.

Common Uses for Time & Date Functions in JavaScript

Time & date functions are useful for various tasks such as calculating duration between two dates & times and displaying data based on certain conditions (e.g., show data older than 30 days). Additionally, these functions can be used when dealing with international standards such as RFC 2822 (e-mail standards) or ISO 8601 (date & time). Converting dates & timesbetween different formats is also common when dealing with external services or APIs like Google Calendar or Twitter API, as these services often require their own specific formats in order to work properly. Additionally, server-side data manipulation often requires converting back & forth between formats due to differences between how languages handle dates & times on different platforms.

Anand Das

Anand Das

Anand is Co-founder and CTO of Bito. He leads technical strategy and engineering, and is our biggest user! Formerly, Anand was CTO of Eyeota, a data company acquired by Dun & Bradstreet. He is co-founder of PubMatic, where he led the building of an ad exchange system that handles over 1 Trillion bids per day.

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