Date formatting using luxon

The default rendering of dates from our models is very ugly: Tue Oct 06 2020 15:49:58 GMT+1100 (AUS Eastern Daylight Time). In this section we'll show how you can update the BookInstance List page from the previous section to present the due_date field in a more friendly format: Oct 6th, 2020. 

The approach we will use is to create a virtual property in our BookInstance model that returns the formatted date. We'll do the actual formatting using luxon, a powerful, modern, and friendly library for parsing, validating, manipulating, formatting and localising dates.

Note: It is possible to use luxon to format the strings directly in our Pug templates, or we could format the string in a number of other places. Using a virtual property allows us to get the formatted date in exactly the same way as we get the due_date currently. 

Note: This tutorial previously used the moment library for date formatting. We've moved to Luxon because moment has declared itself "legacy". Luxon is one of the moment project's main recommendations for a great alternative library.

Install luxon

Enter the following command in the root of the project:

npm install luxon

Create the virtual property

  1. Open ./models/bookinstance.js.
  2. At the top of the page, import luxon.
    const { DateTime } = require("luxon");

Add the virtual property due_back_formatted just after the url property.

BookInstanceSchema
.virtual('due_back_formatted')
.get(function () {
  return DateTime.fromJSDate(this.due_back).toLocaleString(DateTime.DATE_MED);
});

Note: Luxon can import strings in many formats and export to both predefined and free-form formats. In this  case we use fromJSDate() to import a JavaScript date string and toLocaleString() to output the date in  DATE_MED format in English: Oct 6th, 2020.
For information about other formats and date string internationalisation see the Luxon documentation on formatting

Update the view

Open /views/bookinstance_list.pug and replace due_back with due_back_formatted.

      if val.status != 'Available'
        //span  (Due: #{val.due_back} )
        span  (Due: #{val.due_back_formatted} )       

That's it. If you go to All book-instances in the sidebar, you should now see all the due dates are far more attractive!

Next steps