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Parsing of dates in general format?

Bill Pugh

Joined: Jul 10, 2003
Posts: 12
Does anyone have suggestions for parsing of dates in general/unspecified formats? In other words, I want something that can parse either "6/14/2005" or "June 14, 2005" to the same Date value. If I have a specific Date format in mind, I can use DateFormat.parse. But if I don't want to require a specific Date format, the only thing I'm aware of is Date.parse, and that is deprecated.
Paul Sturrock

Joined: Apr 14, 2004
Posts: 10336

You could use regular expressions to get date from a string and set a date with the results. This gives you more flexability as to what formats you can match, and stops you running into ParseExceptions. However, if you don't restrict the formats your application can support, you will always run into problems. For example 6/7/05 - is that the 6th of July 2005 or the 7th of June 2005?

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Ulf Dittmer

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 42965
I generally avoid deprecated methods, but the Date object is an exception. It's got a number of methods that I find easier to use than the corresponding Calendar methods. And it's not like the deprecation is due to actual functional problems (like Streams vs. Readers).
If the warning really bothers you, you could lift the method from the JDK source and put it into your utilities library (not an option if you want to redistribute it, of course - check the JDK source license).
I agree. Here's the link:
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