Format Instant to String

I'm trying to format an Instant to a String using the new java 8 time-api and a pattern:

Instant instant = ...;
String out = DateTimeFormatter.ofPattern("yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss").format(instant);

Using the code above I get an Exception which complains an unsupported field:

java.time.temporal.UnsupportedTemporalTypeException: Unsupported field: YearOfEra
    at java.time.Instant.getLong(Instant.java:608)
    at java.time.format.DateTimePrintContext.getValue(DateTimePrintContext.java:298)
    ...

Answers


Time Zone

To format an Instant a time-zone is required. Without a time-zone, the formatter does not know how to convert the instant to human date-time fields, and therefore throws an exception.

The time-zone can be added directly to the formatter using withZone().

DateTimeFormatter formatter =
    DateTimeFormatter.ofLocalizedDateTime( FormatStyle.SHORT )
                     .withLocale( Locale.UK )
                     .withZone( ZoneId.systemDefault() );

Generating String

Now use that formatter to generate the String representation of your Instant.

Instant instant = Instant.now();
String output = formatter.format( instant );

Dump to console.

System.out.println("formatter: " + formatter + " with zone: " + formatter.getZone() + " and Locale: " + formatter.getLocale() );
System.out.println("instant: " + instant );
System.out.println("output: " + output );

When run.

formatter: Localized(SHORT,SHORT) with zone: US/Pacific and Locale: en_GB
instant: 2015-06-02T21:34:33.616Z
output: 02/06/15 14:34

public static void main(String[] args) {

    DateTimeFormatter DATE_TIME_FORMATTER = DateTimeFormatter.ofPattern("yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss")
            .withZone(ZoneId.systemDefault());

    System.out.println(DATE_TIME_FORMATTER.format(new Date().toInstant()));

}

The Instant class doesn't contain Zone information, it only stores timestamp in milliseconds from UNIX epoch, i.e. 1 Jan 1070 from UTC. So, formatter can't print a date because date always printed for concrete time zone. You should set time zone to formatter and all will be fine, like this :

Instant instant = Instant.ofEpochMilli(92554380000L);
DateTimeFormatter formatter = DateTimeFormatter.ofLocalizedDateTime(FormatStyle.SHORT).withLocale(Locale.UK).withZone(ZoneOffset.UTC);
assert formatter.format(instant).equals("07/12/72 05:33");
assert instant.toString().equals("1972-12-07T05:33:00Z");

DateTimeFormatter.ISO_INSTANT.format(Instant.now())

This saves you from having to convert to UTC. However, some other language's time frameworks may not support the milliseconds so you should do

DateTimeFormatter.ISO_INSTANT.format(Instant.now().truncatedTo(ChronoUnit.SECONDS))

Or if you still want to use formatter created from pattern you can just use LocalDateTime instead of Instant:

LocalDateTime datetime = LocalDateTime.now();
DateTimeFormatter.ofPattern("yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss").format(datetime)

DateTimeFormatter formatter = DateTimeFormatter.ofPattern("yyyy MM dd");
String text = date.toString(formatter);
LocalDate date = LocalDate.parse(text, formatter);

I believe this might help, you may need to use some sort of localdate variation instead of instant


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