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NSDate inherits from: NSObject

An NSDate object stores a date and time that can be compared to other dates and times.

One of the coolest features of NSDate is the Natural Language feature:

Creates and returns an NSDate set to the date and time specified by string. The argument string can be a colloquial specification of a date, such as “last Tuesday at dinner,” “3pm December 31, 2001,” “12/31/01,” or “31/12/01.” In parsing the string, this method uses the date and time preferences stored in the user’s defaults database. (See dateWithNaturalLanguageString:locale: for a list of the specific items used.)

Is a really cool feature. It doesn’t appear as if the opposite function exists: naturalLanguageStringForDate or something similar. Is there some way to do this easily or automatically? For example, in my program I want to say “Last Update: Today at 11 AM” instead of “Last Update 11/21/04 at 11 AM”… or in the extreme case: “Last Update: Yesterday at 11 AM”. I’d also like to have the ability to say “Next Update: Today/Tomorrow at 11 AM”.

The software update preference pane has this functionality.

Any insight/help would be great. Thanks, Joe

The answer ought to be NSDateFormatter, but it doesn’t actually have this functionality. Here’s a method from the cocoadev mailing list < >.