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This function helps to affix the current date to a filename. This is useful when writing agent and/or informant objects to disk as part of a continuous process. The date can be in terms of UTC time or the local system time. The date can be affixed either to the end of the filename (before the file extension) or at the beginning with a customizable delimiter.

The x_write_disk(), yaml_write() functions allow for the writing of pointblank objects to disk. Furthermore the log4r_step() function has the append_to argument that accepts filenames, and, it's reasonable that a series of log files could be differentiated by a date component in the naming scheme. The modification of the filename string takes effect immediately but not at the time of writing a file to disk. In most cases, especially when using affix_date() with the aforementioned file-writing functions, the file timestamps should approximate the time components affixed to the filenames.


  position = c("end", "start"),
  format = "%Y-%m-%d",
  delimiter = "_",
  utc_time = TRUE



The filename to modify.


Where to place the formatted date. This could either be at the "end" of the filename (the default) or at the "start".


A base::strptime() format string for formatting the date. By default, this is "%Y-%m-%d" which expresses the date according to the ISO 8601 standard (as YYYY-MM-DD). Refer to the documentation on base::strptime() for conversion specifications if planning to use a different format string.


The delimiter characters to use for separating the date string from the original file name.


An option for whether to use the current UTC time to establish the date (the default, with TRUE), or, use the system's local time (FALSE).


A character vector.


The basics of creating a filename with the current date

Taking the generic "pb_file" name for a file, we add the current date to it as a suffix.

affix_date(filename = "pb_file")

## [1] "pb_file_2022-04-01"

File extensions won't get in the way:

affix_date(filename = "pb_file.rds")

## [1] "pb_file_2022-04-01.rds"

The date can be used as a prefix.

  filename = "pb_file",
  position = "start"

## [1] "2022-04-01_pb_file"

The date pattern can be changed and so can the delimiter.

  filename = "pb_file.yml",
  format = "%Y%m%d",
  delimiter = "-"

## [1] "pb_file-20220401.yml"

Using a date-based filename in a pointblank workflow

We can use a file-naming convention involving dates when writing output files immediately after interrogating. This is just one example (any workflow involving a filename argument is applicable). It's really advantageous to use date-based filenames when interrogating directly from YAML in a scheduled process.

  filename = system.file(
    "yaml", "agent-small_table.yml",
    package = "pointblank"
) %>% 
    filename = affix_date(
      filename = "small_table_agent.rds",
      delimiter = "-"
    keep_tbl = TRUE,
    keep_extracts = TRUE

In the above, we used the written-to-disk agent (The "agent-small_table.yml" YAML file) for an interrogation via yaml_agent_interrogate(). Then, the results were written to disk as an RDS file. In the filename argument of x_write_disk(), the affix_date() function was used to ensure that a daily run would produce a file whose name indicates the day of execution.

Function ID


See also

The affix_datetime() function provides the same features except it produces a datetime string by default.

Other Utility and Helper Functions: affix_datetime(), col_schema(), from_github(), has_columns(), stop_if_not()