The third beta release of the Zmanim API 1.1 is now available on the download page. The main change in this release is the addition of zmanim based on the psak of Chacham Yosef Harari-Raful of Yeshivat Ateret Torah. These zmanim were requested by members of the Syrian Community. Other changes in this release include various additions and fixes to the API JavaDocs. I hope to post some detailed information about the new “Ateret Torah” zmanim in the near future. I would like to thank Rabbi Rachamim Ashkenazi the publisher of a zmanim calendar for the Syrian Community for his help with the “Ateret Torah” zmanim.
A release candidate (RC1) of the Zmanim API 1.1 is now available on the download page. Changes in this release include a slight clean up of the recently releasedNOAACalculator code (does not change calculated times), as well as fixes to the date (but not time) of calculations for locations near the arctic circle. This date fix builds on the February release of the API to fix an arctic circle issue and a similar issue encountered when trying to generate zmanim for locations other than the local timezone. Also included in this release is the zmanimAstronomical-1.1.jar, a release that only includes the AstronomicalCalendar class and supporting classes. There was also some code refactoring to make the code easier to maintain. A detailed post will follow (hopefully within the next week or so).
In December when developing the Zmanim/Bearing to Yerushalayim map (blog post), I noticed a problem with the code used to generate zmanim. The API returns a Java Date object. Usually only the time is of interest, and the date is ignored, but in some cases (when a timezone offset is specified without using the Olson DB name (such as America/New_York) or if the GMT timezone is used for other locations, and the local standard time is calculated as an offset of GMT), the date of the sunset returned was earlier than the sunrise date. This caused zmanim such as Sof Zman Shema for some locations to be incorrect, since the math used was comparing surnise to a sunset on the incorrect date, causing some very odd behavior. Updated files that correct this issue were uploaded to the site on Dec 26th. I was notified today by a developer using the jar, that not all the download links were pointing to the updated versions, and this caused issues for his program (a post about his project will be posted in the near future). All the links have now been updated. Since the old code can sometimes generate incorrect zmanim, it is highly suggested that you replace your current jar with the latest version of zmanim.jar (or zmanim.zip).
Along with the fix mentioned above, a number of other small fixes were done. These include among other minor issues, fixed, better and simplified XML output from the toString method, better error handling for expected error conditions, that had previously caused errors in the generations of zmanim for areas in the arctic circle such as Thule, Greenland. In case you are curious, someone did actually try this, and the error logs lead me to find the issue. The IP address used for the request mapped back to the Thule Air Base.
The Hebrew date Plugin has not been in active development for a while, and I am pleased to announce that it now has a new home at mikeage.net. Mike added a config page as well as a few new options. The plugin can be downloaded from the WordPress Hebrew dates Plugin Page. As a backup, you can also download it from Mike’s Site. In addition to Mike’s work, Jacob Fresco has used the code to create an additional Jewish Date plugin that displays the current Jewish date. This plugin has since been merged to Mike’s version. Read the following posts at Mike’s site for more details.