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Get MySQL date in RFC-822 format for RSS feeds

To get the PubDate element of an RSS feed to validate, it needs to be in RFC-822 format. MySQL has flexible ways of working with dates and times which make this a simple task.

Given a datetime column called pubdate, this select statement (which can be combined with other selections) will yield a column of dates named rfcpubdate formated in RFC-822 format:

SELECT DATE_FORMAT(pubdate,'%a, %d %b %Y %T') AS rfcpubdate FROM tablename WHERE 1

The full RFC-822 date includes a timezone value which is not included in the MySQL output. If using PHP, this value can be appended to the output (assuming a variable $rfcpubdate exists containing a date string from the above select statment) using:

echo "$rfcpubdate ".date('T')."";

This will yield output that looks like:

Mon, 19 Jun 2006 07:41:18 PDT

Quinn McHenry
Quinn McHenry
Quinn was one of the original co-founders of Tech-Recipes. He is currently crafting iOS applications as a senior developer at Small Planet Digital in Brooklyn, New York.


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