Julia has a **rich standard library** that is available with *every* Julia installation. Contrary to everything that we have seen so far, e.g. types, data structures and filesystem; you **must load standard library modules into your environment** to use a particular module or function.

This is done via `using`

or `import`

. In this book, we will load code via `using`

:

`using ModuleName`

After doing this, you can access all functions and types inside `ModuleName`

.

Knowing how to handle dates and timestamps is important in data science. As we said in *Why Julia?* (Section 2) section, Python’s `pandas`

uses its own `datetime`

type to handle dates. The same is true in the R tidyverse’s `lubridate`

package, which also defines its own `datetime`

type to handle dates. In Julia packages don’t need to write their own dates logic, because Julia has a dates module in its standard library called `Dates`

.

To begin, let’s load the `Dates`

module:

`using Dates`

`Date`

and `DateTime`

TypesThe `Dates`

standard library module has **two types for working with dates**:

`Date`

: representing time in days and`DateTime`

: representing time in millisecond precision.

We can construct `Date`

and `DateTime`

with the default constructor either by specifying an integer to represent year, month, day, hours and so on:

`Date(1987) # year`

`1987-01-01`

`Date(1987, 9) # year, month`

`1987-09-01`

`Date(1987, 9, 13) # year, month, day`

`1987-09-13`

`DateTime(1987, 9, 13, 21) # year, month, day, hour`

`1987-09-13T21:00:00`

`DateTime(1987, 9, 13, 21, 21) # year, month, day, hour, minute`

`1987-09-13T21:21:00`

For the curious, September 13th 1987, 21:21 is the official time of birth of the first author, Jose.

We can also pass `Period`

types to the default constructor. ** Period types are the human-equivalent representation of time** for the computer. Julia’s

`Dates`

have the following `Period`

abstract subtypes:`subtypes(Period)`

`DatePeriod`

`TimePeriod`

which divide into the following concrete types, and they are pretty much self-explanatory:

`subtypes(DatePeriod)`

`Day`

`Month`

`Quarter`

`Week`

`Year`

`subtypes(TimePeriod)`

`Hour`

`Microsecond`

`Millisecond`

`Minute`

`Nanosecond`

`Second`

So, we could alternatively construct Jose’s official time of birth as:

`DateTime(Year(1987), Month(9), Day(13), Hour(21), Minute(21))`

`1987-09-13T21:21:00`

Most of the time, we won’t be constructing `Date`

or `DateTime`

instances from scratch. Actually, we will probably be **parsing strings as Date or DateTime types**.

The `Date`

and `DateTime`

constructors can be fed a string and a format string. For example, the string `"19870913"`

representing September 13th 1987 can be parsed with:

`Date("19870913", "yyyymmdd")`

`1987-09-13`

Notice that the second argument is a string representation of the format. We have the first four digits representing year `y`

, followed by two digits for month `m`

and finally two digits for day `d`

.

It also works for timestamps with `DateTime`

:

`DateTime("1987-09-13T21:21:00", "yyyy-mm-ddTHH:MM:SS")`

`1987-09-13T21:21:00`

You can find more on how to specify different date formats in the Julia `Dates`

’ documentation. Don’t worry if you have to revisit it all the time, we ourselves do that too when working with dates and timestamps.

According to Julia `Dates`

’ documentation, using the `Date(date_string, format_string)`

method is fine if it’s only called a few times. If there are many similarly formatted date strings to parse, however, it is much more efficient to first create a `DateFormat`

type, and then pass it instead of a raw format string. Then, our previous example becomes:

```
format = DateFormat("yyyymmdd")
Date("19870913", format)
```

`1987-09-13`

Alternatively, without loss of performance, you can use the string literal prefix `dateformat"..."`

:

`Date("19870913", dateformat"yyyymmdd")`

`1987-09-13`

It is easy to **extract desired information from Date and DateTime objects**. First, let’s create an instance of a very special date:

`my_birthday = Date("1987-09-13")`

`1987-09-13`

We can extract anything we want from `my_birthday`

:

`year(my_birthday)`

`1987`

`month(my_birthday)`

`9`

`day(my_birthday)`

`13`

Julia’s `Dates`

module also has **compound functions that return a tuple of values**:

`yearmonth(my_birthday)`

`(1987, 9)`

`monthday(my_birthday)`

`(9, 13)`

`yearmonthday(my_birthday)`

`(1987, 9, 13)`

We can also see the day of the week and other handy stuff:

`dayofweek(my_birthday)`

`7`

`dayname(my_birthday)`

`Sunday`

`dayofweekofmonth(my_birthday)`

`2`

Yep, Jose was born on the second Sunday of September.

Here’s a handy tip to just recover weekdays fromNOTE:`Dates`

instances. Just use a`filter`

on`dayofweek(your_date) <= 5`

. For business day you can checkout the`BusinessDays.jl`

package.

We can perform **operations** in `Dates`

instances. For example, we can add days to a `Date`

or `DateTime`

instance. Notice that Julia’s `Dates`

will automatically perform the adjustments necessary for leap years, and for months with 30 or 31 days (this is known as *calendrical* arithmetic).

`my_birthday + Day(90)`

`1987-12-12`

We can add as many as we like:

`my_birthday + Day(90) + Month(2) + Year(1)`

`1989-02-11`

In case you’re ever wondering: “What can I do with dates again? What is available?” then you can use `methodswith`

to check it out. We show only the first 20 results here:

`first(methodswith(Date), 20)`

```
[1] convert(::Type{DateTime}, dt::Date) in Dates at /opt/hostedtoolcache/julia/1.6.5/x64/share/julia/stdlib/v1.6/Dates/src/conversions.jl:30
[2] convert(::Type{Day}, dt::Date) in Dates at /opt/hostedtoolcache/julia/1.6.5/x64/share/julia/stdlib/v1.6/Dates/src/conversions.jl:37
[3] show(io::IO, ::MIME{Symbol("text/plain")}, dt::Date) in Dates at /opt/hostedtoolcache/julia/1.6.5/x64/share/julia/stdlib/v1.6/Dates/src/io.jl:613
[4] show(io::IO, dt::Date) in Dates at /opt/hostedtoolcache/julia/1.6.5/x64/share/julia/stdlib/v1.6/Dates/src/io.jl:615
[5] optimize_ticks(x_min::Date, x_max::Date; extend_ticks, k_min, k_max, scale, granularity_weight, simplicity_weight, coverage_weight, niceness_weight, strict_span, span_buffer) in PlotUtils at /home/runner/.julia/packages/PlotUtils/xekml/src/ticks.jl:371
[6] firstdayofmonth(dt::Date) in Dates at /opt/hostedtoolcache/julia/1.6.5/x64/share/julia/stdlib/v1.6/Dates/src/adjusters.jl:84
[7] firstdayofquarter(dt::Date) in Dates at /opt/hostedtoolcache/julia/1.6.5/x64/share/julia/stdlib/v1.6/Dates/src/adjusters.jl:157
[8] firstdayofweek(dt::Date) in Dates at /opt/hostedtoolcache/julia/1.6.5/x64/share/julia/stdlib/v1.6/Dates/src/adjusters.jl:52
[9] firstdayofyear(dt::Date) in Dates at /opt/hostedtoolcache/julia/1.6.5/x64/share/julia/stdlib/v1.6/Dates/src/adjusters.jl:119
[10] lastdayofmonth(dt::Date) in Dates at /opt/hostedtoolcache/julia/1.6.5/x64/share/julia/stdlib/v1.6/Dates/src/adjusters.jl:100
[11] lastdayofquarter(dt::Date) in Dates at /opt/hostedtoolcache/julia/1.6.5/x64/share/julia/stdlib/v1.6/Dates/src/adjusters.jl:180
[12] lastdayofweek(dt::Date) in Dates at /opt/hostedtoolcache/julia/1.6.5/x64/share/julia/stdlib/v1.6/Dates/src/adjusters.jl:68
[13] lastdayofyear(dt::Date) in Dates at /opt/hostedtoolcache/julia/1.6.5/x64/share/julia/stdlib/v1.6/Dates/src/adjusters.jl:135
[14] +(t::Time, dt::Date) in Dates at /opt/hostedtoolcache/julia/1.6.5/x64/share/julia/stdlib/v1.6/Dates/src/arithmetic.jl:20
[15] +(dt::Date, t::Time) in Dates at /opt/hostedtoolcache/julia/1.6.5/x64/share/julia/stdlib/v1.6/Dates/src/arithmetic.jl:19
[16] +(dt::Date, y::Year) in Dates at /opt/hostedtoolcache/julia/1.6.5/x64/share/julia/stdlib/v1.6/Dates/src/arithmetic.jl:27
[17] +(dt::Date, z::Month) in Dates at /opt/hostedtoolcache/julia/1.6.5/x64/share/julia/stdlib/v1.6/Dates/src/arithmetic.jl:54
[18] +(x::Date, y::Quarter) in Dates at /opt/hostedtoolcache/julia/1.6.5/x64/share/julia/stdlib/v1.6/Dates/src/arithmetic.jl:73
[19] +(x::Date, y::Week) in Dates at /opt/hostedtoolcache/julia/1.6.5/x64/share/julia/stdlib/v1.6/Dates/src/arithmetic.jl:77
[20] +(x::Date, y::Day) in Dates at /opt/hostedtoolcache/julia/1.6.5/x64/share/julia/stdlib/v1.6/Dates/src/arithmetic.jl:79
```

From this, we can conclude that we can also use the plus `+`

and minus `-`

operator. Let’s see how old Jose is, in days:

`today() - my_birthday`

`12532 days`

The **default duration** of `Date`

types is a `Day`

instance. For the `DateTime`

, the default duration is `Millisecond`

instance:

`DateTime(today()) - DateTime(my_birthday)`

`1082764800000 milliseconds`

One nice thing about `Dates`

module is that we can also easily construct **date and time intervals**. Julia is clever enough to not have to define the whole interval types and operations that we covered in Section 3.3.6. It just extends the functions and operations defined for range to `Date`

’s types. This is known as multiple dispatch and we already covered this in *Why Julia?* (Section 2).

For example, suppose that you want to create a `Day`

interval. This is easy done with the colon `:`

operator:

`Date("2021-01-01"):Day(1):Date("2021-01-07")`

`2021-01-01`

`2021-01-02`

`2021-01-03`

`2021-01-04`

`2021-01-05`

`2021-01-06`

`2021-01-07`

There is nothing special in using `Day(1)`

as the interval, we can **use whatever Period type** as interval. For example, using 3 days as the interval:

`Date("2021-01-01"):Day(3):Date("2021-01-07")`

`2021-01-01`

`2021-01-04`

`2021-01-07`

Or even months:

`Date("2021-01-01"):Month(1):Date("2021-03-01")`

`2021-01-01`

`2021-02-01`

`2021-03-01`

Note that the **type of this interval is a StepRange with the Date and concrete Period type** we used as interval inside the colon

`:`

operator:```
date_interval = Date("2021-01-01"):Month(1):Date("2021-03-01")
typeof(date_interval)
```

`StepRange{Date, Month}`

We can convert this to a **vector** with the `collect`

function:

`collected_date_interval = collect(date_interval)`

`2021-01-01`

`2021-02-01`

`2021-03-01`

And have all the **array functionalities available**, like, for example, indexing:

`collected_date_interval[end]`

`2021-03-01`

We can also **broadcast date operations** to our vector of `Date`

s:

`collected_date_interval .+ Day(10)`

`2021-01-11`

`2021-02-11`

`2021-03-11`

Similarly, these examples work for `DateTime`

types too.

Another important module in Julia’s standard library is the `Random`

module. This module deals with **random number generation**. `Random`

is a rich library and, if you’re interested, you should consult Julia’s `Random`

documentation. We will cover *only* three functions: `rand`

, `randn`

and `seed!`

.

To begin, we first load the `Random`

module. Since we know exactly what we want to load, we can just as well do that explicitly:

`using Random: seed!`

We have **two main functions that generate random numbers**:

`rand`

: samples a**random element**of a data structure or type.`randn`

: samples a random number from a**standard normal distribution**(mean 0 and standard deviation 1).

`rand`

By default, if you call `rand`

without arguments it will return a `Float64`

in the interval \([0, 1)\), which means between 0 inclusive to 1 exclusive:

`rand()`

`0.9137696763535239`

You can modify `rand`

arguments in several ways. For example, suppose you want more than 1 random number:

`rand(3)`

`[0.6218280859207155, 0.790813609262391, 0.1359220379203927]`

Or, you want a different interval:

`rand(1.0:10.0)`

`1.0`

You can also specify a different step size inside the interval and a different type. Here we are using numbers without the dot `.`

so Julia will interpret them as `Int64`

and not as `Float64`

:

`rand(2:2:20)`

`16`

You can also mix and match arguments:

`rand(2:2:20, 3)`

`[16, 2, 18]`

It also supports a collection of elements as a tuple:

`rand((42, "Julia", 3.14))`

`3.14`

And also arrays:

`rand([1, 2, 3])`

`1`

`Dict`

s:

`rand(Dict(:one => 1, :two => 2))`

`:one => 1`

For all the `rand`

arguments options, you can specify the desired random number dimensions in a tuple. If you do this, the returned type will be an array. For example, here’s a 2x2 matrix of `Float64`

numbers between 1.0 and 3.0:

`rand(1.0:3.0, (2, 2))`

```
2×2 Matrix{Float64}:
1.0 1.0
1.0 2.0
```

`randn`

`randn`

follows the same general principle from `rand`

but now it only returns numbers generated from the **standard normal distribution**. The standard normal distribution is the normal distribution with mean 0 and standard deviation 1. The default type is `Float64`

and it only allows for subtypes of `AbstractFloat`

or `Complex`

:

`randn()`

`0.2851881446923781`

We can only specify the size:

`randn((2, 2))`

```
2×2 Matrix{Float64}:
0.78097 -0.662013
-0.37555 -0.84263
```

`seed!`

To finish off the `Random`

overview, let’s talk about **reproducibility**. Often, we want to make something **replicable**. Meaning that, we want the random number generator to generate the **same random sequence of numbers**. We can do so with the `seed!`

function:

```
seed!(123)
rand(3)
```

`[0.7684476751965699, 0.940515000715187, 0.6739586945680673]`

```
seed!(123)
rand(3)
```

`[0.7684476751965699, 0.940515000715187, 0.6739586945680673]`

In some cases, calling `seed!`

at the beginning of your script is not good enough. To avoid `rand`

or `randn`

to depend on a global variable, we can instead define an instance of a `seed!`

and pass it as a first argument of **either rand or randn**.

`my_seed = seed!(123)`

`MersenneTwister(123)`

`rand(my_seed, 3)`

`[0.7684476751965699, 0.940515000715187, 0.6739586945680673]`

`rand(my_seed, 3)`

`[0.3954531123351086, 0.3132439558075186, 0.6625548164736534]`

Note that these numbers might differ for different Julia versions. To have stable streams across Julia versions use theNOTE:`StableRNGs.jl`

package.

One last thing from Julia’s standard library for us to cover is the ** Downloads module**. It will be really brief because we will only be covering a single function named

`download`

.Suppose you want to **download a file from the internet to your local storage**. You can accomplish this with the `download`

function. The first and only required argument is the file’s url. You can also specify as a second argument the desired output path for the downloaded file (don’t forget the filesystem best practices!). If you don’t specify a second argument, Julia will, by default, create a temporary file with the `tempfile`

function.

Let’s load the `Downloads`

module:

`using Downloads`

For example, let’s download our `JuliaDataScience`

GitHub repository `Project.toml`

file. Note that `download`

function is not exported by `Downloads`

module, so we have to use the `Module.function`

syntax. By default, it returns a string that holds the file path for the downloaded file:

```
url = "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/JuliaDataScience/JuliaDataScience/main/Project.toml"
my_file = Downloads.download(url) # tempfile() being created
```

`/tmp/jl_kSePDc`

With `readlines`

, we can look at the first 4 lines of our downloaded file:

`readlines(my_file)[1:4]`

```
4-element Vector{String}:
"name = \"JDS\""
"uuid = \"6c596d62-2771-44f8-8373-3ec4b616ee9d\""
"authors = [\"Jose Storopoli\", \"Rik Huijzer\", \"Lazaro Alonso\"]"
"version = \"0.1.0\""
```

For more complex HTTP interactions such as interacting with web APIs, see theNOTE:`HTTP.jl`

package.