Chinese strftime

I’ve always used some variation of the original GNOME desktop: GNOME 2, Cinnamon and currently MATE. All of those desktops feature a similar calendar applet that lets you enter a strftime string to get the date formatted how you like it.

To get a tiny bit more Chinese into my day, I use this format:

%Y年%m月%e号 %A %p%l点%M分%S秒

(The main reason I’m writing this post is to keep the format easily accessible (somewhere.)

If used with date that gives you something like this:

LC_ALL=zh_CN.UTF-8 date +'%Y年%m月%e号 %A %p%l点%M分%S秒'

2016年04月13号 星期三 下午 7点54分23秒

It’s not a practical date format that a native speaker would be likely to use, but it gets in as much Chinese as possible.

Go

Go’s date formatting is quite interesting in that it uses a sample date (Mon Jan 2 15:04:05 -0700 MST 2006) instead of placeholders. So to get this format with a Go date:

package main

import (
        "fmt"
        "time"
)

func main() {
        fmt.Println(time.Now().Format("2006年1月2号 Monday PM 3点04分05秒"))
}

Unfortunately that gives us the day of the week and meridian in English. The simplest work-around is probably just conversion tables:

package main

import (
        "fmt"
        "time"
)

func main() {
        var zhWeek = [...]string{"天", "一", "二", "三", "四", "五", "六"}
        var zhMerid = map[string]string{"AM": "上午", "PM": "下午"}
        var t = time.Now()
        fmt.Printf(
                t.Format("2006年1月2号 星期%s %s3点04分05秒\n"),
                zhWeek[t.Weekday()],
                zhMerid[t.Format("PM")],
        )
}

The above demonstrates one advantage of Go’s approach to date formatting: it’s easy to combine with other string formatting.

JavaScript

Moment.js lets you do something similar in JavaScript, and has locale support:

moment().locale("zh-cn").format("YYYY年M月D号 dddd Ah点mm分ss秒");

Which gives you this:

tmux

I’m also using this in my tmux status bar:

set -g status-right "#[fg=blue]#S #I:#P #[fg=yellow]:: #(LC_ALL=zh_CN.UTF-8 date '+%%Y年%%m月%%e号 %%A') #[fg=green]:: #(LC_ALL=zh_CN.UTF-8 date +%%p%%l点%%M分%%S秒)" 

One thing that was slightly awkward was forcing date to use the Chinese locale and having to double-escape the placeholder strings.


Tech mentioned