n.evermind n.evermind - 7 months ago 20
Objective-C Question

How to compare two NSDates: Which is more recent?

I am trying to achieve a dropBox sync and need to compare the dates of two files. One is on my dropBox account and one is on my iPhone.

I came up with the following, but I get unexpected results. I guess I'm doing something fundamentally wrong when comparing the two dates. I simply used the > < operators, but I guess this is no good as I am comparing two NSDate strings. Here we go:

NSLog(@"dB...lastModified: %@", dbObject.lastModifiedDate);
NSLog(@"iP...lastModified: %@", [self getDateOfLocalFile:@"NoteBook.txt"]);

if ([dbObject lastModifiedDate] < [self getDateOfLocalFile:@"NoteBook.txt"]) {
NSLog(@"...db is more up-to-date. Download in progress...");
[self DBdownload:@"NoteBook.txt"];
NSLog(@"Download complete.");
} else {
NSLog(@"...iP is more up-to-date. Upload in progress...");
[self DBupload:@"NoteBook.txt"];
NSLog(@"Upload complete.");

This gave me the following (random & wrong) output:

2011-05-11 14:20:54.413 NotePage[6918:207] dB...lastModified: 2011-05-11 13:18:25 +0000
2011-05-11 14:20:54.414 NotePage[6918:207] iP...lastModified: 2011-05-11 13:20:48 +0000
2011-05-11 14:20:54.415 NotePage[6918:207] ...db is more up-to-date.

or this one which happens to be correct:

2011-05-11 14:20:25.097 NotePage[6903:207] dB...lastModified: 2011-05-11 13:18:25 +0000
2011-05-11 14:20:25.098 NotePage[6903:207] iP...lastModified: 2011-05-11 13:19:45 +0000
2011-05-11 14:20:25.099 NotePage[6903:207] ...iP is more up-to-date.


Let's assume two dates:

NSDate *date1;
NSDate *date2;

Then the following comparison will tell which is earlier/later/same:

if ([date1 compare:date2] == NSOrderedDescending) {
    NSLog(@"date1 is later than date2");
} else if ([date1 compare:date2] == NSOrderedAscending) {
    NSLog(@"date1 is earlier than date2");
} else {
    NSLog(@"dates are the same");

Please refer to the NSDate class documentation for more details.