Display Time Left To a Date

A PHP function to display the time between now and a future date supplied as Unix time, in human readable format, using two blocks of time periods (year, month, week, day, hour or minute.)
function TimeTo($future) // $original should be the future date and time in unix format
    // Common time periods as an array of arrays
    $periods = array(
        array(60 * 60 * 24 * 365 , 'year'),
        array(60 * 60 * 24 * 30 , 'month'),
        array(60 * 60 * 24 * 7, 'week'),
        array(60 * 60 * 24 , 'day'),
        array(60 * 60 , 'hour'),
        array(60 , 'minute'),
    $today = time();
    $since = $future - $today; // Find the difference of time between now and the future
    // Loop around the periods, starting with the biggest
    for ($i = 0, $j = count($periods); $i < $j; $i++)
        $seconds = $periods[$i][0];
        $name = $periods[$i][1];
        // Find the biggest whole period
        if (($count = floor($since / $seconds)) != 0)
    $print = ($count == 1) ? '1 '.$name : "$count {$name}s";
    if ($i + 1 < $j)
        // Retrieving the second relevant period
        $seconds2 = $periods[$i + 1][0];
        $name2 = $periods[$i + 1][1];
        // Only show it if it's greater than 0
        if (($count2 = floor(($since - ($seconds * $count)) / $seconds2)) != 0)
            $print .= ($count2 == 1) ? ', 1 '.$name2 : ", $count2 {$name2}s";
    return $print;
echo TimeTo(1359101056);

The provided PHP function, TimeTo, calculates the time remaining until a specified future date and time, given in Unix timestamp format. Here’s a breakdown of its functionality:

  1. Function Definition: function TimeTo($future) takes $future, a Unix timestamp representing a future date and time.
  2. Time Periods Array: The $periods array contains common time units (year, month, week, day, hour, minute) in seconds.
  3. Calculating Time Difference: The function calculates the time difference $since between the current time ($today = time();) and the future time ($future).
  4. Finding the Largest Applicable Time Unit: The function loops through $periods to find the largest time unit that can be used to express the time until $future. It breaks out of the loop once it finds this unit.
  5. Formatting the Output: The $print variable is set to a string representing the time in the largest unit found, in singular or plural form based on the count.
  6. Adding a Second Time Period: If applicable, the function adds a second, smaller time unit to provide a more precise time description.
  7. Returning the Result: The function returns the formatted string $print, indicating the time remaining until the future date.
  8. Example Usage: echo TimeTo(1359101056); prints the time remaining until the Unix timestamp 1359101056.

This function is useful for displaying countdowns or time until future events in a human-readable format.

Nathan Pakovskie is an esteemed senior developer and educator in the tech community, best known for his contributions to Geekpedia.com. With a passion for coding and a knack for simplifying complex tech concepts, Nathan has authored several popular tutorials on C# programming, ranging from basic operations to advanced coding techniques. His articles, often characterized by clarity and precision, serve as invaluable resources for both novice and experienced programmers. Beyond his technical expertise, Nathan is an advocate for continuous learning and enjoys exploring emerging technologies in AI and software development. When he’s not coding or writing, Nathan engages in mentoring upcoming developers, emphasizing the importance of both technical skills and creative problem-solving in the ever-evolving world of technology. Specialties: C# Programming, Technical Writing, Software Development, AI Technologies, Educational Outreach

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