Joda-Time provides a comprehensive formatting system. There are two layers:
The class ISODateTimeFormat contains a large number of pre-defined formatters based on the ISO-8601 specification (although not all are fully compatible). These handle many common cases.
The class DateTimeFormat contains an additional set of pre-defined formatters based on Locale. These "style-based" formatters handle the case where the application needs to format a date-time in a manner appropriate to a particular global location.
The class DateTimeFormat provides a single method forPattern(String) that supports formatting by pattern. These "pattern-based" formatters provide a similar approach to that of SimpleDateFormat.
LocalDate date = LocalDate.now(); DateTimeFormatter fmt = DateTimeFormat.forPattern("d MMMM, yyyy"); String str = date.toString(fmt); // might output "6 October, 2013"
The pattern letters are:
Symbol Meaning Presentation Examples ------ ------- ------------ ------- G era text AD C century of era (>=0) number 20 Y year of era (>=0) year 1996 x weekyear year 1996 w week of weekyear number 27 e day of week number 2 E day of week text Tuesday; Tue y year year 1996 D day of year number 189 M month of year month July; Jul; 07 d day of month number 10 a halfday of day text PM K hour of halfday (0~11) number 0 h clockhour of halfday (1~12) number 12 H hour of day (0~23) number 0 k clockhour of day (1~24) number 24 m minute of hour number 30 s second of minute number 55 S fraction of second number 978 z time zone text Pacific Standard Time; PST Z time zone offset/id zone -0800; -08:00; America/Los_Angeles ' escape for text delimiter '' single quote literal '
The count of pattern letters determine the format.
Text: If the number of pattern letters is 4 or more, the full form is used; otherwise a short or abbreviated form is used if available. Thus, "EEEE" might output "Monday" whereas "E" might output "Mon" (the short form of Monday).
Number: The minimum number of digits. Shorter numbers are zero-padded to this amount. Thus, "HH" might output "09" whereas "H" might output "9" (for the hour-of-day of 9 in the morning).
Year: Numeric presentation for year and weekyear fields are handled specially. For example, if the count of 'y' is 2, the year will be displayed as the zero-based year of the century, which is two digits.
Month: 3 or over, use text, otherwise use number. Thus, "MM" might output "03" whereas "MMM" might output "Mar" (the short form of March) and "MMMM" might output "March".
Zone: 'Z' outputs offset without a colon, 'ZZ' outputs the offset with a colon, 'ZZZ' or more outputs the zone id.
Zone names: Time zone names ('z') cannot be parsed.
Any characters in the pattern that are not in the ranges of ['a'..'z'] and ['A'..'Z'] will be treated as quoted text. For instance, characters like ':', '.', ' ', '#' and '?' will appear in the resulting time text even they are not embraced within single quotes.
All formatting is ultimately built using DateTimeFormatterBuilder. The builder allows a format pattern to be built up step by step, consisting of literal, text, numeric, pattern and localized elements in any order. Some facilities are only available via the builder.
For example, this will build a formatter consisting of the month and year:
DateTimeFormatter monthAndYear = new DateTimeFormatterBuilder() .appendMonthOfYearText() .appendLiteral(' ') .appendYear(4, 4) .toFormatter();