Joshkunz Joshkunz - 4 months ago 35
Python Question

Best way to find the months between two dates

I have the need to be able to accurately find the months between two dates in python. I have a solution that works but its not very good (as in elegant) or fast.

dateRange = [datetime.strptime(dateRanges[0], "%Y-%m-%d"), datetime.strptime(dateRanges[1], "%Y-%m-%d")]
months = []

tmpTime = dateRange[0]
oneWeek = timedelta(weeks=1)
tmpTime = tmpTime.replace(day=1)
dateRange[0] = tmpTime
dateRange[1] = dateRange[1].replace(day=1)
lastMonth = tmpTime.month
months.append(tmpTime)
while tmpTime < dateRange[1]:
if lastMonth != 12:
while tmpTime.month <= lastMonth:
tmpTime += oneWeek
tmpTime = tmpTime.replace(day=1)
months.append(tmpTime)
lastMonth = tmpTime.month

else:
while tmpTime.month >= lastMonth:
tmpTime += oneWeek
tmpTime = tmpTime.replace(day=1)
months.append(tmpTime)
lastMonth = tmpTime.month


So just to explain, what I'm doing here is taking the two dates and converting them from iso format into python datetime objects. Then I loop through adding a week to the start datetime object and check if the numerical value of the month is greater (unless the month is December then it checks if the date is less), If the value is greater I append it to the list of months and keep looping through until I get to my end date.

It works perfectly it just doesn't seem like a good way of doing it...

Answer

If adding by a week, then it will approximately do work 4.35 times the work as needed. Why not just:

1. get start date in array of integer, set it to i: [2008, 3, 12], 
       and change it to [2008, 3, 1]
2. get end date in array: [2010, 10, 26]
3. add the date to your result by parsing i
       increment the month in i
       if month is >= 13, then set it to 1, and increment the year by 1
   until either the year in i is > year in end_date, 
           or (year in i == year in end_date and month in i > month in end_date)

just pseduo code for now, haven't tested, but i think the idea along the same line will work.