Working with Dates in AS3

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The Date examples that come with Flex (and, presumably, Flash) are all very well and good, but to me they don't seem to be very...practical. And it doesn't help that the documentation doesn't provide any clues about how to do simple things like, oh, figuring out how many days there are in a month. There's probably very good code for these things in opensource projects like the Flex scheduler, but I think you have to know where to dig.

So I played around with the Date object, and I discovered that you can use numbers outside the integers 1-31 in the date parameter (new Date(year, month, date)) and get some interesting results. Such as if you use 0, you get the last day of the previous month. As you might expect, negative numbers will go further back into the previous month. I suspect numbers higher than the last day of the month you're dealing with will continue into the next month, though I haven't tried it.

What I was trying to do was create an ArrayCollection that could be used as a dataprovider for a TileList and then that TileList could display a calendar page just like what you see when you look at the calendar on your wall...i.e. the first few days might be in the previous month and the last few days might be in the next month, because only February ever has a shot at fitting exactly in a grid that is seven days wide. I figured that I'd share my class, since I'm probably not the first or last person to ever want to do this. Note that it's not'll need to add the last few days when the end of the month doesn't fall on Saturday, but that's not rocket science.

package com.magnoliamultimedia.vo
import mx.collections.ArrayCollection;
public class DisplayMonth
private var _year:int;
private var _month:int;
private var _startIndex:int;
private var _dateColl:ArrayCollection;
public function DisplayMonth(monthNumber:int, yearNumber:int)
var tmpArray:Array=new Array();
var firstDay:Date=new Date(yearNumber, monthNumber);
var lastDay:Date=new Date(yearNumber, monthNumber +1, 0);
var lastDayNum:int =;
_startIndex =;
var tempDay:Date;
var i:int;
//fill blank days before beginning of month
for (i=0; i<_startindex; i++)
tempday = new Date(yearNumber, monthNumber); -= 6-i;
//fill in the rest of the dates here...

Sorry about the crap formatting...I haven't figured out the spiffy scrolling thing some other bloggers manage.

Updated 5/28/10. I noticed that part of the code had been "eaten" by Blogger. I replaced the relevant code, but may not have put back everything that was once there. For a better example of how to do this, look at my GroupingCollection example.


Indra Prastha said...

Amy, thanks for this useful post, I use to work with Coldfusion and it has a built in function to get the last day of the month like DaysInMonth(date), it was very handy and I went looking for the same thing in Flex. Before this, I use to create my own function to return the last day of the month, now no more ;-)
Keep the good posts coming


elnomdeguerre said...

Thanks for the post... saved me tons of time in implementing a daysinMonth function. :)