[Python] Convert String Date to Date Object

Posted on in Programming

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Occasionally, you may run across a date in a format that can't be easily loaded into a Python date object. For example, I recently had a situation where a file I was parsing was full of dates in this format: 7/7/2008.

The obvious thing to do here is to split the date into it's component parts and then create the date object:

from datetime import date

month, day, year = "7/7/2008".split("/")
expires_on = date(int(year), int(month), int(day))

This works, but all those int()'s are pretty ugly. Python's map() function can fix this up. The map() function was designed to apply a function to every item in an iterable. In this case, we want to apply int() to each part of the string before assigning to the variables. That way we've got the integers that date() requires:

from datetime import date

month, day, year = map(int, "7/7/2008".split("/"))
expires_on = date(year, month, day)

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