The Zmanim API version 1.3.0 was released on March 4th, 2013 כ״א אדר תשע״ג. Various changes in the new release VS the previous version 1.2.1 that was released in May 2010 can be seen below. This release includes beta support for Jewish Calendar calculations as well as a number of updated zmanim and refactored code. The Jewish Calendar support in the Zmanim API is based on Avrom Finkelstien’s HebrewDate project released in 2002. Unlike the Zmanim code, the Jewish calendar interfaces may change significantly in the future (see Jay Gindin’s various changes that may make it into this API) and should therefore be considered beta.
Changes in the Zmanim API 1.3.0 release
Refactoring of zmanim calculations to allow more flexibility in generating custom zmanim. New generic methods that take an arbitrary start and end of day for many zmanim such as sofZmanShema and getPlagHamincha etc. This makes calculating atypical zmanim that I had not anticipated when creating the API. I receive such requests from time to time, and the changes greatly simplify these types of calculations. Examples of recent requests are:
Zman krias Shema calculated from alos as 72 minutes before netz and tzais as 7.083 degrees
Plag hamincha from alos 7.083° to tzais 7.083°
Many rounds of general code refactoring to simplify and stabilize the code and make it easier to port. Thank you Jay Gindin for his many suggestions.
Deprecation of the getSofZmanShmaKolEliyahu() method. Thank you to Rabbi Yisroel Boruch Twerski for pointing out that the Yisrael Vehazmanim was incorrect in including this zman. This is something he discussed with Rabbi Harfenes.
Uniformly return zmanim based on sea level sunrise and sunset. Most zmanim had this fix a long time ago, but there were a few zmanim such as candle lighting time that were corrected.
How do I get the Jewish Date for … using the Zmanim API?
The current version of the Zanim API does not support Jewish calendrical calculations. Zmanim are almost exclusively based on the solar calendar, so for example, the sunrise on February 8th this year in Montreal (or any other date and location), will be almost the same every year. for this reason there was little point (as far as zmanim) to support Jewish date calculations in the API. One of the only zmanim to rely on a Jewish date is the sof zman kidush levanah calculation, though there are some opinions that it is purely molad based, and this can be calculated without a Jewish calendar component to the API. This zman is obviously not currently implemented in the Zmanim API. I am currently working on adding Jewish date support to the API. The code is based off Avrom Finkelstein‘s no longer active HebrewDate project. I refactored a lot of the code and fixed a number of bugs. Anyone interested in alpha testing this code can download the latest Zmanim SVN code (or download the Zmanim API 1.3.0 alpha release). I mentioned that it “will be almost the same every year” and this is due the the approximate 1/4 day drift between the 356 day calendar year and the approximately 365.25 days actually present in the astronomical year, a discrepancy corrected every leap year. A future FAQ (probably a few of them) may delve specifically into this drift as well as general zmanim accuracy issues in detail. If you are simply looking to convert a Hebrew date to Gregorian or Gregorian to Hebrew online without the API, try the JewishGencalendar conversion tools.
The 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
Moshe Wagner recently released ZmanimPlasma for the Linux platform. This KDEPlasma desktop widget displays the Hebrew date and zmanim on a Linux desktop. The zmanim calculations use Moshe’s C++ portZmanim CLI wrapper that enables a C++ program to call the Java Zmanim API. There are no current plans to make this widget available on any other platform. It can be downloaded from the Luach project download page. Moshe has in the past used the Zmanim API for use in Linux and some cross platform projects. These include the above mentioned Zmanim CLI, and Zmanim GUI that uses the ZmanimCLI.
Updated on 4/13/2010 to reflect information from Moshe explaining that this was not a port
The Zmanim API 1.1 was released early this morning. Information about what changed in this release can be seen in previous posts about various beta and patchreleases. A last minute change involved the removal of the misheyakir calculations commonly used by the Syrian community. The removal was due to the various different minhagim used, and Chacham Yosef Harari-Raful not endorsing any one, or including any, in his calendar. The API is flexible enough to be used for any calculation wanted by the various Syrian shuls even without “native” support for a built in “Ateret Torah” misheyakir. Some missing JavaDocs were also added.
I would like to again thank Rabbi Rachamim Ashkenazi the publisher of a zmanim calendar for the Syrian Community, and Victor Grazi for his input, testing and technical expertise used for adding the new “Ateret Torah” zmanim.
I was recently contacted by Moshe Wagner who wanted to know if there was a graphical front end to the Zmanim API. While there are variousprogramsthat douse the API, there is no standalone JavaGUI that uses the API (the zmanim clock applet is not easily useful for looking up zmanim for various locations). As first announced in Hebrew ( ZmanimGUI – ממשק להצגת זמני היום ההלכתיים ), Moshe took the API and wrote a Java Swing GUI for the API. The Zmanim GUI (called זמני היום in Hebrew) can switch between Hebrew and English display and shows the most common list of zmanim typically used. The program requires Java 6 and can be launched by double clicking on the ZmaniGui jar file (or execute the command ‘java -jar ZmaninGui.jar’ from a command prompt). As with the Zmanim API, the GUI was released under the GPL2 and is available (including source) on our download page (direct link to version 0.0.87updated on May 12, 2009). Questions and comments can be posted here, or sent directly to Moshe at moshe.wagner -AT- gmail.com.