Ben Nadel
On User Experience (UX) Design, JavaScript, ColdFusion, Node.js, Life, and Love.
Ben Nadel at cf.Objective() 2014 (Bloomington, MN) with: Steve 'Cutter' Blades
Ben Nadel at cf.Objective() 2014 (Bloomington, MN) with: Steve 'Cutter' Blades@cutterbl )

Hours And Seconds Work In ColdFusion DateFormat()

By Ben Nadel on
Tags: ColdFusion

This is probably the most useless piece of information, but I accidentally discovered that the hours (h) and seconds (s) masks work in ColdFusion's DateFormat() method. Yesterday, I was trying to format a time stamp but absent mindedly used the DateFormat() instead of the TimeFormat() method. To my surprise, it actually worked (at least partially). Running this code several times:

  • #DateFormat( Now(), "hh ss" )#

... gives me:

08 28
08 31
08 35
08 40

I am running this a 8:07 AM and as you can see, even though we are using ColdFusion's DateFormat() method, the hours comes out correctly (8) and the seconds are incrementing as refresh the page.

This is very strange to me. Applying a mask must take processing time. I wonder why ColdFusion would take the effort to apply any masks that were not supposed to be used in the DateFormat() function.

Reader Comments

It's probably just a side-effect of the underlying algorithm. I can't imagine that this is useful in any way. Minutes don't work because the (m) maps to months in DateFormat(). And, TT for AM/PM doesn't do anything - it just comes back as TT in the resultant formatted string. If TT worked, I could maybe imagine using hTT as part of a DateFormat() call... but, oh well.

It does seem like it would make more sense to just combine the two into DateTimeFormat() I get so annoyed with this line of code:
#DateFormat(now(), "m/dd/yyyy)# #TimeFormat(now(), "hh:mm:ss tt")#

I noticed this while working on performance optimization but I did not change it because it didn't hurt and more importantly, wanted to avoid any risk of breaking existing app even though it is undocumented. Sometimes backward compatibility makes you do strange things :-)


Yeah, very true. Especially since it's not hurting anyone, just leave it alone. However, if there was a subset of TimeMasks that were documented to work in DateFormat(), I bet that would make a TON of people happy :)

n = minutes in Dateformat()

All valid datepart masks:
yyyy - Year
q - Quarter
m - Month
d - Day
w - Weekday
ww - Week
h - Hour
n - Minute
s - Second