public abstract class Duration extends Object

Immutable representation of a time span as defined in the W3C XML Schema 1.0 specification.

A Duration object represents a period of Gregorian time, which consists of six fields (years, months, days, hours, minutes, and seconds) plus a sign (+/-) field.

The first five fields have non-negative (>=0) integers or null (which represents that the field is not set), and the seconds field has a non-negative decimal or null. A negative sign indicates a negative duration.

This class provides a number of methods that make it easy to use for the duration datatype of XML Schema 1.0 with the errata.

Order relationship

Duration objects only have partial order, where two values A and B maybe either:

  1. A<B (A is shorter than B)
  2. A>B (A is longer than B)
  3. A==B (A and B are of the same duration)
  4. A<>B (Comparison between A and B is indeterminate)

For example, 30 days cannot be meaningfully compared to one month. The compare(Duration) method implements this relationship.

See the isLongerThan(Duration) method for details about the order relationship among Duration objects.

Operations over Duration

This class provides a set of basic arithmetic operations, such as addition, subtraction and multiplication. Because durations don't have total order, an operation could fail for some combinations of operations. For example, you cannot subtract 15 days from 1 month. See the javadoc of those methods for detailed conditions where this could happen.

Also, division of a duration by a number is not provided because the Duration class can only deal with finite precision decimal numbers. For example, one cannot represent 1 sec divided by 3.

However, you could substitute a division by 3 with multiplying by numbers such as 0.3 or 0.333.

Range of allowed values

Because some operations of Duration rely on Calendar even though Duration can hold very large or very small values, some of the methods may not work correctly on such Durations. The impacted methods document their dependency on Calendar.

See Also

Public Constructor Summary

Public Method Summary

abstract Duration
add(Duration rhs)

Computes a new duration whose value is this+rhs.

abstract void
addTo(Calendar calendar)
Adds this duration to a Calendar object.
addTo(Date date)
Adds this duration to a Date object.
abstract int
compare(Duration duration)

Partial order relation comparison with this Duration instance.