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Python library to infer date format from examples

This repository is no longer maintained. Please switch to an active fork or pypi package such as hi-dateinfer.

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Problem Statement

Imagine that you are given a large collection of documents and, as part of the extraction process, extract date
information and store it in a normalized format. If the documents follow a single schema, the ideal approach
is to craft a date parsing string for the schema. However, if the documents follow different schemas or if the
contents are noisy (e.g. date fields were hand-populated), the development can become onerous.

This library makes a “best guess” on the proper date parsing string (datetime.strptime) based on examples in
the file.


The simplest way to install the library is:

$ pip install dateinfer


>>> import dateinfer >>> dateinfer.infer(['Mon Jan 13 09:52:52 MST 2014', 'Tue Jan 21 15:30:00 EST 2014']) '%a %b %d %H:%M:%S %Z %Y' >>>

Give dateinfer.infer a list of example date strings. infer returns a datetime.strftime/strptime-compliant
date format string for its “best guess” of a format string that will correctly parse the majority of the examples.

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