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timesince filter

Posted by Dan Jacob on 2010-07-13 @ 10:45 and filed in Template Tricks

This is a filter that takes a datetime instance and returns a "time since" string. For example, "3 minutes ago" or "4 weeks ago":

from datetime import datetime

def timesince(dt, default="just now"):
    Returns string representing "time since" e.g.
    3 days ago, 5 hours ago etc.

    now = datetime.utcnow()
    diff = now - dt
    periods = (
        (diff.days / 365, "year", "years"),
        (diff.days / 30, "month", "months"),
        (diff.days / 7, "week", "weeks"),
        (diff.days, "day", "days"),
        (diff.seconds / 3600, "hour", "hours"),
        (diff.seconds / 60, "minute", "minutes"),
        (diff.seconds, "second", "seconds"),

    for period, singular, plural in periods:
        if period:
            return "%d %s ago" % (period, singular if period == 1 else plural)

    return default

Further enhancement would include localization support for the various strings and a "timeuntil" filter that returns e.g. "3 minutes from now".

This snippet by Dan Jacob can be used freely for anything you like. Consider it public domain.