Microsoft® JScript
parse Method

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Parses a string containing a date, and returns the number of milliseconds between that date and midnight, January 1, 1970.


Date.parse( datestring )

The datestring argument is a string containing a date in a format such as "Jan 5, 1996 08:47:00"


The parse method returns an integer value representing the number of milliseconds between midnight, January 1, 1970 and the date supplied in datestring.

The parse method is a static method of the Date object, and is always used as Date.parse( datestring ) rather than invoked as a method of some created Date object.

The following rules govern what the parse method can successfully parse:
  • Dates can use either the "/" or "-" date separator, but must follow the month/day/year format, for example "7/20/96".
  • Dates of the form "July 10 1995" can be given with the year, month, and day in any order, and the year in 2- or 4-digit form. If the 2-digit form is used, the year must be greater than or equal to 70.
  • Any text inside parentheses is treated as a comment. These parentheses may be nested.
  • Both commas and spaces are treated as delimiters. Multiple delimiters are permitted.
  • Month and day names must have two or more characters. Two character names that are not unique are resolved as the last match. For example, "Ju" is resolved as July, not June.
  • The stated day of the week is ignored if it is incorrect given the remainder of the supplied date. For example, "Tuesday November 9 1996" is accepted even though that date actually falls on a Friday.
  • JScript handles all standard time zones, as well as Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) and Greenwich Mean Tim (GMT).
  • Hours, minutes, and seconds are separated by colons, although all need not be specified. "10:", "10:11", and "10:11:12" are all valid.
  • If the 24-hour clock is used, it is an error to specify "PM" for times later than 12 noon. For example, "23:15 PM" is an error.
  • A string containing an invalid date is an error. For example, a string containing two years or two months is an error.

© 1996 by Microsoft Corporation.

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