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DateTime::Format::IBeat - Format times in .beat notation


No Time Zones

No Geographical Borders

How long is a Swatch .beat? In short, we have divided up the virtual and real day into 1000 beats. One Swatch beat is the equivalent of 1 minute 26.4 seconds. That means that 12 noon in the old time system is the equivalent of @500 Swatch .beats.

Okay, so how can a surfer in New York, or a passenger on a transatlantic flight know when it is @500 Swatch .beats in Central Europe for example? How can the New York surfer make a date for a chat with his cyber friend in Rome? Easy, Internet Time is the same all over the world.(see converter)

How is this possible? We are not just creating a new way of measuring time, we are also creating a new meridian in Biel, Switzerland, home of Swatch.

Biel MeanTime (BMT) is the universal reference for Internet Time. A day in Internet Time begins at midnight BMT (@000 Swatch .beats) (Central European Wintertime). The meridian is marked for all to see on the façade of the Swatch International Headquarters on Jakob-Staempfli Street, Biel, Switzerland. So, it is the same time all over the world, be it night or day, the era of time zones has disappeared.

The BMT meridian was inaugurated on 23 October 1998 in the presence of Nicholas Negroponte, founder and director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology`s Media Laboratory.




Parses a .beat time and returns a DateTime object. The object uses the current date for its date and will have UTC set as its timezone. Feel free to use 'set' to convert to your local time.

    my $first = DateTime::Format::IBeat->parse_time( '@765' );
    print $first->datetime; # 2003-04-01T17:21:36

    $first->set_time_zone( "Australia/Sydney" );
    print $first->datetime; # 2003-04-02T03:21:36

Note that the leading @ is optional. Also, if using direct strings, and leading @s, be careful to not have it interpolate it as an array by accident.


Parses an .beat date and returns a DateTime object representing that date.

     my $dt = DateTime::Format::IBeat->parse_date('@d01.04.03');
     print $dt->ymd('.'); # "2003.04.01"

Note: this assumes the number of .beats elapsed in the day to be 0, thus it will appear to be returning the day before. If you display a full time with it, you will find it's at UTC rather than BMT (+0100), thus 11pm the day before. The important thing to remember is that it is an accurate conversion to the usual notation, despite appearances.


Parses an ibeat datetime string and returns a DateTime object representing that datetime.

    my $dt = DateTime::Format::IBeat->parse_datetime(
        '@d01.04.03 @765');
    print $dt->datetime; # "2003-04-01T17:21:36"



Given a DateTime object, returns a string representating that time in ibeats.


Given a DateTime object, returns a string representating that date.


Given a Datetime object, returns a string representating that date and time in .beats format.


Dave Rolsky (DROLSKY) for kickstarting the DateTime project.

Swatch, for coming up with this mad format.

Jerub, from opn, who wrote the python original, from which I retain no code. D'oh.


Support for this module is provided via the email list. See for more details.

Alternatively, log them via the CPAN RT system via the web or email:

This makes it much easier for me to track things and thus means your problem is less likely to be neglected.


Copyright © Iain Truskett, 2003. All rights reserved.

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

The full text of the licences can be found in the Artistic and COPYING files included with this module.


Iain Truskett <>

SEE ALSO ^ mailing list.

perl, DateTime

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