what is the proper way to convert between mysql datetime and python timestamp?

Happy to update this if I’m not properly understanding, but here are a few examples which may help. Note that this uses the datetime module instead of time.

>>> import datetime

Here we set up an example timestamp ts and a format f:

>>> ts="2013-01-12 15:27:43"
>>> f="%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S"

Similar to what you did above, we use the strptime function (from datetime.datetime) to convert our string into a datetime object based on the formatting parameter:

>>> datetime.datetime.strptime(ts, f)
datetime.datetime(2013, 1, 12, 15, 27, 43)

Now in reverse – here we use datetime.datetime.now() to get the current time as a datetime object:

>>> now = datetime.datetime.now()
>>> now
datetime.datetime(2013, 1, 12, 0, 46, 54, 490219)

In the datetime case, the strftime method is actually called on the datetime object itself, with the formatting parameter as an argument:

>>> now.strftime(f)   
'2013-01-12 00:46:54'

In your situation, the reason you were getting an error is because time.time() returns a float:

>>> time.time()

But time.strftime needs a time tuple, similar to what you had above. Without getting into the maddening spiral that is time, a function such as time.localtime() will return the aforementioned time tuple and will return as you expect:

>>> now = time.localtime()
>>> now
time.struct_time(tm_year=2013, tm_mon=1, tm_mday=12, tm_hour=0, tm_min=55, tm_sec=55, tm_wday=5, tm_yday=12, tm_isdst=0)
>>> f="%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S"
>>> time.strftime(f, now)
'2013-01-12 00:55:55'

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