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Formatting dates

Formatting dates

You may have noticed that the dates displayed for a review are not user-friendly. We are getting values such as 2020-07-06T22:34:42.721481. Let us look at an approach to format these dates.

There are two popular libraries for formatting dates: date-fns and moment. In this application, we will use date-fns to format dates.

To add the javascript library, use the following steps:

From the ClientApp directory:

npm install date-fns

The format function from date-fns has useful configuration options.

First, import the format function:

import format from 'date-fns/format'

We want a format such as: "Monday, July 6th, 2020 at 10:50 PM". To generate this, we need to review the documentation for all the tokens to apply in the format.

  • EEEE day of the week
  • MMMM month
  • do day of the week
  • yyyy calendar year
  • h hour
  • mm minute
  • aaa AM or PM

So our format string is:

const dateFormat = `EEEE, MMMM do, yyyy 'at' h:mm aaa`

Then to use this, we need to convert review.createdAt to a Date object and pass that and the format string to the format function from date-fns

<time>
{review.createdAt ? format(new Date(review.createdAt), dateFormat) : null}
</time>

Another excellent option might use a relative time (e.g. 20 days ago) if the review is recent (perhaps in the last month) and the long descriptive time if it is older than that.

Look into date-fns method differenceInDays as an example of how to perform this type of logic.


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