Zmanim API 1.2.1 Released

Zmanim API 1.2.1 ReleaseThe Zmanim API 1.2.1 was released today. Changed in this release were the addition of a few very early Tzais zmanim, and the removal of references to the GregorianCalendar in favor of the base Calendar class to ease Noah Blumenthal’s use of the Zmanim API in a zmanim application for the BlackBerry. This change has no impact on functionality as tested using Yitzchok’s new JUnit tests. Additionally, the JavaDoc Zmanim API documentation was modified to clearly indicate that zmanim can return nulls. A followup post will have details on this.
The main download is the Zmanim 1.2.1 release zip file that includes source files and JavaDoc documentation. Also available for download (included in the above zip file) is the main zmanim-1.2.1.jar and the zmanimAstronomical-1.2.1.jar that only includes the AstronomicalCalendar. The removal of the GregorianCalendar was in this class. Additional detail on the downloads can be seen on the Zmanim Download page

Bearing to Yerushalayim and Zmanim Map 2.0

Vintage Map with CompassThe availability of the Bearing to Yerushalayim and Zmanim Map was originally announced on December 30, 2007. At the time there were a number of bugs related to the Google Map API. These bugs were reported to Google and eventually fixed. Since that time, the only change was a minor JavaScript fix for IE. The Bearing to Yerushalayim worked, but the zmanim tabs had a major issue because the timezone calculated was done based on the user’s current browser timezone. This made it tricky to check zmanim in a different location or timezone than the user’s current timezone. Zmanim tab using timezonesI recently updated the map to look-up the actual timezone of the latitude and longitude selected by the user. This was implemented by doing a look-up at the geonames.org timezone web-service. The timezone is passed to the Zmanim API and used to generate the XML output of a list of daily zmanim that is displayed in the map. Since the Olson timezone database changes a few times a year, there will almost certainly be cases where the proper timezone can’t be determined. Some of these are changes of timezone names, such as the change from Asia/Calcutta to Asia/Kolkata (my host will not run the TZ Updater tool). In these cases a simple mapping between the old and new was added to the map. In cases where the timezone can’t be determined the timezone will default to GMT. Ocean locations within 10 km of land will use the closest landmass, but anywhere beyond 10 km will default to GMT. One issue with using the geonames.org webservice, is that when it is down, the map will timeout. I experimented with various ways of dealing with this, but unless my host updates the Java version from 1.4, they are too complex to use at this time.

See the Technical Information about the Bearing to Yerushalayim Map post for technical details about the original implementation.

Zmanim API 1.2 Released

Zmanim API ReleaseThe Zmanim API 1.2 was released today. The only change in this release is the removal of elevation as a factor in the calculation of all zmanim besides sunrise and sunset. Updated JavaDocs now reflect these changes. Please see the Elevation Now Only Impacts Sunrise and Sunset Calculations in the Zmanim API post for additional information.

I would like to thank the various people who contacted me on the subject.

The main download is the Zmanim 1.2 release zip file that includes source files and JavaDoc documentation. Also available for download (included in the above zip file) is the main zmanim-1.2.jar. The zmanimAstronomical-1.1.jar that only includes the AstronomicalCalendar was not impacted by this change, but the version has been updated to zmanimAstronomical-1.2.jar for consistency. Additional detail on the downloads can be seen on the Zmanim Download page

Plans for a Zmanim API FAQ

KosherJava Zmanim API FAQ
Questions communicated to me via the contact page far exceed the number of comments in the blog. In the hope of clarifying the most common questions related to the Zmanim API and to a lesser degree other parts of this site, I plan on a series of FAQ posts that will hopefully cut down on the number of questions. The list of FAQs may eventually be consolidated into a FAQ page.

Zmanim Calendar Generator Can Now Output Fewer Zmanim

Sunrise CalendarAfter numerous requests, the Zmanim Calendar Generator can now output a less extensive list of zmanim. While the “full” calendar option (the default) generates an Excel spreadsheet with 108 columns of zmanim, the “standard” output generates a spreadsheet with 15 columns containing the most commonly used zmanim. The exact list of what constitutes commonly used zmanim is likely to be tweaked over time. The spreadsheet was initially designed for developers as a sample of the various zmanim available in the API . Developers can compare the output of their zmanim using the API, or a ported version of the API to the spreadsheet for accuracy. Based on feedback, many people use it to generate shul calendars, and wanted a less daunting list of zmanim.