JavaScript Temporal API - A Fix for the Date API

JavaScript Temporal API - A Fix for the Date API

JavaScript Temporal API brings the following fixes to JavaScript date/time manipulation. Let’s see how Temporal API feature works with code examples. All Temporal API code is created using the Temporal Polyfill.

JavaScript has a bad date handling API because the Date object implementation was copied directly from Java’s Date Class. Java maintainers eventually deprecated many of Date class methods and created the Calendar Class in 1997 to replace it.

But JavaScript’s Date API never got a proper fix, which is why we have the following problems with it today:

  • Date object is mutable
  • Messy API for date and time computations (for example, adding and subtracting days )
  • Only support UTC and the local timezone
  • Parsing date from a string is unreliable
  • No support for non-Gregorian calendars

Currently, there’s no way to fix the bad parts of the Date API because of its widespread use in libraries and browser engines. Changing the way Date API works will most likely break many websites and libraries out there.

The new Temporal API proposal is designed to solve the problems with the Date API. It brings the following fixes to JavaScript date/time manipulation:

  • Creating and dealing only with immutable Temporal objects
  • Straightforward API for date and time computations
  • Support for all timezones
  • Strict date parsing from ISO-8601 format
  • Support for non-Gregorian calendars

Please keep in mind that the Temporal proposal is currently at stage 2, so it’s not ready for production use yet.

Let’s see how Temporal API feature works with code examples. All Temporal API code is created using the Temporal Polyfill.

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