tztime: Safe timezone-aware handling of time.

[ library, mpl, time ] [ Propose Tags ]

This package introduces:

  • The TZTime data type, a valid and unambiguous point in time in some time zone.

  • Functions for safely manipulating a TZTime.

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Dependencies base (>=4.7 && <5), deepseq, directory (>=, filepath, mtl, safe-exceptions, template-haskell (>=, text, time (>=1.9.2), time-compat (>=1.9.4), tz (>= [details]
License MPL-2.0
Copyright 2022 Serokell <>
Author Serokell
Maintainer Serokell <>
Category Time
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Source repo head: git clone
Uploaded by dcastro at 2022-09-12T08:51:07Z
Distributions LTSHaskell:, NixOS:, Stackage:
Downloads 42 total (10 in the last 30 days)
Rating 2.0 (votes: 1) [estimated by Bayesian average]
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Status Docs available [build log]
Last success reported on 2022-09-12 [all 1 reports]

Readme for tztime-

[back to package description]


This package introduces:

  • The TZTime data type, a valid and unambiguous point in time in some time zone.
  • Functions for safely manipulating a TZTime.

Table of contents:


import Control.Arrow ((>>>))
import Data.Aeson
import Data.Aeson.QQ.Simple
import Data.Aeson.TH
import Data.Function ((&))
import Data.Time
import Data.Time.Clock.POSIX
import Data.Time.Compat
import Data.Time.TZInfo as TZI
import Data.Time.TZTime as TZ
import Data.Time.TZTime.QQ (tz)

Manipulating a TZTime

λ> [tz|2022-03-04 10:15:00 +01:00 [Europe/Rome]|] & modifyLocal (
      addCalendarClip (calendarMonths 2 <> calendarDays 3) >>>
      atFirstDayOfWeekOnAfter Wednesday >>>
2022-05-11 00:00:00 +02:00 [Europe/Rome]

In spring in Havana, the clocks turn forward from 23:59 to 01:00. So that day does not start at midnight, it starts at 01:00.

λ> atStartOfDay [tz|2022-03-13 10:45:00 [America/Havana]|]
2022-03-13 01:00:00 -04:00 [America/Havana]

In spring in Australia/Lord_Howe, the clocks turn forward 30 minutes at 02:00. So 3 hours past 01:00 would actually be 04:30.

λ> :{
  addTime (hours 3) $
    TZ.fromLocalTime (TZI.fromLabel Australia__Lord_Howe) $
      LocalTime (YearMonthDay 2022 10 2) (TimeOfDay 1 0 0)
2022-10-02 04:30:00 +11:00 [Australia/Lord_Howe]

Encoding / Decoding

Because there's no standard format for encoding a timezone identifier alongside a date/time/offset, most systems encode these two separately. For example, if you're encoding to/decoding from JSON, you'll probably want to split a TZTime into a POSIXTime/UTCTime/ZonedTime and a TZIdentifier, and encode them as separate fields.

data Message = MkMessage { sender :: Text, time :: ZonedTime, timezone :: TZIdentifier }
deriveFromJSON defaultOptions ''Message

To re-build a TZTime, you have to first fetch the time zone rules TZInfo for the given TZIdentifier from the system's time zone database using loadFromSystem (or from the library's embedded database using fromIdentifier).

λ> json = encode [aesonQQ| { "sender": "john doe", "time": "2022-03-04T10:15:00+01:00", "timezone": "Europe/Rome" }|]

λ> Right message = eitherDecode' @Message json
λ> tzInfo <- TZI.loadFromSystem (timezone message)
λ> TZ.fromZonedTime tzInfo (time message)
2022-03-04 10:15:00 +01:00 [Europe/Rome]

If the encoded data is not meant to be read by other systems (and thus interoperability is not a concern), then using the Show/Read instances to encode/decode as a single field is also an option.

λ> show [tz|2022-03-04 10:15:00 +01:00 [Europe/Rome]|]
"2022-03-04 10:15:00 +01:00 [Europe/Rome]"

λ> read @TZTime "2022-03-04 10:15:00 +01:00 [Europe/Rome]"
2022-03-04 10:15:00 +01:00 [Europe/Rome]


Note: We'll use the packages time, time-compat and tz for the examples below.

λ> :m +Data.Time.LocalTime Data.Time.Clock Data.Time.Calendar.Compat
λ> import qualified Data.Time.Zones as TZ
λ> import qualified Data.Time.Zones.All as TZ

Manipulating time in a given time zone is not trivial.

Depending on what you need to do, it may make sense to modify the local time-line (i.e. using time's LocalTime), or the universal time-line (i.e. convert the time to UTCTime, modify it, convert it back to LocalTime).

For example, if you want to add a certain number of hours to the current time, then modifying the local time-line may end up adding more time than you intended:

λ> -- It's 00:30 on 2022-11-06 in the America/Winnipeg time zone.
λ> tz = TZ.tzByLabel TZ.America__Winnipeg
λ> t1 = LocalTime (YearMonthDay 2022 11 6) (TimeOfDay 0 30 0)
λ> t1
2022-11-06 00:30:00

λ> -- We naively add 4 hours to the local time.
λ> t2 = addLocalTime (secondsToNominalDiffTime 4 * 60 * 60) t1
λ> t2
2022-11-06 04:30:00

λ> -- Let's use the `tz` package to convert these times to UTC and
λ> -- see how many hours have actually passed between t1 and t2.
λ> TZ.LTUUnique t1utc _ = TZ.localTimeToUTCFull tz t1
λ> TZ.LTUUnique t2utc _ = TZ.localTimeToUTCFull tz t2
λ> nominalDiffTimeToSeconds (diffUTCTime t2utc t1utc) / 60 / 60

We've accidentally landed 5 hours ahead, not 4 as we wanted. This happened because on that day, at 01:59, the America/Winnipeg time zone switched from the CDT offset (UTC-5) to the CST offset (UTC-6). In other words, the clocks were turned back 1 hour, back to 01:00:00.

If the clocks had been turned forward, as is done in many time zones in spring, then we would have added only 3 hours instead of 4.

If we add just 1 hour, we'll run into yet another issue:

λ> -- We naively add 1 hour to the local time.
λ> t2 = addLocalTime (secondsToNominalDiffTime 1 * 60 * 60) t1
λ> t2
2022-11-06 01:30:00

λ> -- Let's try converting t2 to UTC
λ> TZ.localTimeToUTCFull tz t2
  { _ltuFirst = 2022-11-06 06:30:00 UTC
  , _ltuSecond = 2022-11-06 07:30:00 UTC
  , _ltuFirstZone = CDT
  , _ltuSecondZone = CST

We landed on an ambiguous local time. Since the clocks were turned back, there's an overlap: the time 01:30 happened twice on that day. Once at UTC-5 and again at UTC-6.

On the other hand, when the clock are turned forward, there is a gap in the local time-line and we risk accidentally constructing an invalid LocalTime that never occurred in that time zone.

For these reasons, when adding a certain number of hours/minutes/seconds, you probably want to do it in the universal time-line instead.

Now say you want to add a certain number of days instead. Doing that on the universal time-line may end up working not quite as expected:

λ> -- It's 23:30 on 2022-03-12 in the America/Winnipeg time zone.
λ> tz = TZ.tzByLabel TZ.America__Winnipeg
λ> t1 = LocalTime (YearMonthDay 2022 3 12) (TimeOfDay 23 30 0)

λ> -- Convert to UTC, add 1 day, convert back to our time zone.
λ> TZ.LTUUnique t1utc _ = TZ.localTimeToUTCFull tz t1
λ> t2utc = addUTCTime nominalDay t1utc
λ> TZ.utcToLocalTimeTZ tz t2utc
2022-03-14 00:30:00

We've accidentally landed two days ahead instead of just one. This happened because, on 2022-03-13, the clocks were turned forward 1 hour, so that day only had 23 hours on that time zone. Adding 24 hours on the universal time-line ended up being too much.

In the local time-line, some days may have 23 hours, 25 hours, 23 hours and 30 minutes (e.g. in the Australia/Lord_Howe time zone), etc, depending on the offset transitions defined by each time zone.

For this reason, when you want to add days/weeks/months/years, you probably want to do it in the local time-line and then check if you landed on a gap or an overlap and correct accordingly.

This package aims to:

  1. make it easier to do "the right thing" and harder to do "the wrong thing".
  2. ensure you don't accidentally end up with an invalid or ambiguous local time.

Here's how you'd do the above using tztime:

λ> import Data.Time.TZTime
λ> import Data.Time.TZTime.QQ (tz)
λ> t1 = [tz|2022-11-06 00:30:00 [America/Winnipeg]|]
λ> t2 = addTime (hours 4) t1
λ> t2
2022-11-06 03:30:00 -06:00 [America/Winnipeg]

λ> nominalDiffTimeToSeconds (diffTZTime t2 t1) / 60 / 60
λ> t1 = [tz|2022-03-12 23:30:00 [America/Winnipeg]|]
λ> modifyLocal (addCalendarClip (calendarDays 1)) t1
2022-03-13 23:30:00 -05:00 [America/Winnipeg]