Calculating Erev Pesach Zmanim

MatzosThe Zmanim API did not have dedicated zmanim to claculate the Erev Pesach zmanim of sof zman achilas chametz (the latest time one can eat chametz), and sof zman biur chametz (the latest time to burn chametz) till the April 14 check in to the KosherJava Zmanim Project GitHub repository. The latest time for eating chametz is at the end of the 4th hour of the day. This corresponds to sof zman tfila. The API has about 12 of those, so that does not require any special programming, but to help developers who are unaware of how they work I created 3 wrapper getSofZmanAchilasChametz methods (getSofZmanAchilasChametzGRA(), getSofZmanAchilasChametzMGA72Minutes() and getSofZmanAchilasChametzMGA16Point1Degrees()) calling the 3 most commonly used getSofZmanTfila methods (getSofZmanTfilaGRA(), getSofZmanTfilaMGA72Minutes() and getSofZmanTfilaMGA16Point1Degrees()). For example here is the exact code used in getSofZmanAchilasChametzGRA()

public Date getSofZmanAchilasChametzGRA() {
	return getSofZmanTfilaGRA();
}

The API itself is very flexible, and as long as you know the calculation of the zman, you can easily calculate it. For example, to calculate sof zman biur chametz according to the GR"A, the time would be 5 shaos zmaniyos after sunrise. Using the Zmanim API this would be coded as:

Date SofZmanBiurChametzGra = getTimeOffset(getSeaLevelSunrise(), getShaahZmanisGra() * 5);

The exact code used in the API is:

public Date getSofZmanBiurChametzGRA() {
	return getTimeOffset(getSeaLevelSunrise(), getShaahZmanisGra() * 5);
}

Developers who want to use the current API to generate these zmanim can use the following sample as a guide.

String locationName = "Lakewood, NJ";
double latitude = 40.09596; //Lakewood, NJ
double longitude = -74.22213; //Lakewood, NJ
double elevation = 0; //optional elevation
TimeZone timeZone = TimeZone.getTimeZone("America/New_York");
GeoLocation location = new GeoLocation(locationName, latitude, longitude, elevation, timeZone);
ComplexZmanimCalendar czc = new ComplexZmanimCalendar(location);
czc.getCalendar().set(Calendar.YEAR, 2011);
czc.getCalendar().set(Calendar.MONTH, Calendar.APRIL);
czc.getCalendar().set(Calendar.DAY_OF_MONTH, 18);
Date graAchilas = czc.getSofZmanTfilaGRA();
Date graBiur = czc.getTimeOffset(czc.getSeaLevelSunrise(), czc.getShaahZmanisGra() * 5);
Date mga72Achilas = czc.getSofZmanTfilaMGA72Minutes();
Date mga72Biur = czc.getTimeOffset(czc.getAlos72(), czc.getShaahZmanisMGA() * 5);
Date mga16Achilas = czc.getSofZmanTfilaMGA16Point1Degrees();
Date mga16Biur = czc.getTimeOffset(czc.getAlos16Point1Degrees(), czc.getShaahZmanis16Point1Degrees() * 5);
System.out.println("Erev Pesach Zmanim for " + locationName);
System.out.println("Sof Zman Achilas Chametz GRA: " + graAchilas);
System.out.println("Sof Zman Biur Chametz GRA: : " + graBiur);
System.out.println("Sof Zman Achilas Chametz MGA 72 Minutes: " + mga72Achilas);
System.out.println("Sof Zman Biur Chametz MGA 72 Minutes: " + mga72Biur);
System.out.println("Sof Zman Achilas Chametz MGA 16.1 Deg: " + mga16Achilas);
System.out.println("Sof Zman Biur Chametz MGA 16.1 Deg: " + mga16Biur);

this would output

C:\path\to\code>javac ErevPesachZmanim.java

C:\path\to\code>java ErevPesachZmanim

Erev Pesach Zmanim for Lakewood, NJ
Sof Zman Achilas Chametz GRA: Mon Apr 18 10:42:42 EDT 2011
Sof Zman Biur Chametz GRA: : Mon Apr 18 11:49:39 EDT 2011
Sof Zman Achilas Chametz MGA 72 Minutes: Mon Apr 18 10:18:42 EDT 2011
Sof Zman Biur Chametz MGA 72 Minutes: Mon Apr 18 11:37:39 EDT 2011
Sof Zman Achilas Chametz MGA 16.1 Deg: Mon Apr 18 10:13:56 EDT 2011
Sof Zman Biur Chametz MGA 16.1 Deg: Mon Apr 18 11:35:18 EDT 2011

Zmanim API Ported to .NET (C#)

Yitzchok ported the Zmanim API from Java to a .NET API using C#. The Zmanim .NET project was released under the LGPL. This is a change from the GPL used by the Java API, something that may change shortly. Also part of the project was the creation of a C# version of the Zmanim CLI, matching Moshe Wagner’s Java Zmanim CLI. When developing the project, Yitzchok created the ZmanimTest JUnit test case class to confirm that the C# port output matched the Java API. I will likely add this to the core Zmanim API in the near future. The port currently relies on IKVM assemblies as can be seen in the Java references in the code sample below, mostly because of the lack of a native .NET equivalent of the Java TimeZone class. Yitzchok also created some examples of the use of the Zmanim .NET API that will be of help to developers. Below are two of the simpler examples in C# and VB.NET demonstrating a very simple use of the API to output zmanim from the console.

C#

using Zmanim.TimeZone;
using Zmanim.TzDatebase; //in Zmanim.TzDatebase.dll assembly
using Zmanim.Utilities;

namespace Zmanim.Samples.Console
{
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            string locationName = "Lakewood, NJ";
            double latitude = 40.09596; //Lakewood, NJ
            double longitude = -74.22213; //Lakewood, NJ
            double elevation = 0; //optional elevation
            ITimeZone timeZone = new OlsonTimeZone("America/New_York");
            GeoLocation location = new GeoLocation(locationName, latitude, longitude, elevation, timeZone);
            ComplexZmanimCalendar zc = new ComplexZmanimCalendar(location);
            //optionally set it to a specific date with a year, month and day
            //ComplexZmanimCalendar zc = new ComplexZmanimCalendar(new DateTime(1969, 2, 8), location);

            System.Console.WriteLine("Today's Zmanim for " + locationName);
            System.Console.WriteLine("Sunrise: " + zc.GetSunrise()); //output sunrise
            System.Console.WriteLine("Sof Zman Shema MGA: " + zc.GetSofZmanShmaMGA()); //output Sof Zman Shema MGA
            System.Console.WriteLine("Sof Zman Shema GRA: " + zc.GetSofZmanShmaGRA()); //output Sof Zman Shema GRA
            System.Console.WriteLine("Sunset: " + zc.GetSunset()); //output sunset

            System.Console.WriteLine("Press enter to exit.");
            System.Console.ReadLine();
        }
    }
}

VB.NET

mports Zmanim.TzDatebase 'in Zmanim.TzDatebase.dll assembly
Imports Zmanim.Utilities
Imports Zmanim.TimeZone

Module Module1

    Sub Main()
        Dim locationName As String = "Lakewood, NJ"
        Dim latitude As Double = 40.09596 'Lakewood, NJ
        Dim longitude As Double = -74.22213 'Lakewood, NJ
        Dim elevation As Double = 0 'optional elevation
        Dim timeZone As ITimeZone = New OlsonTimeZone("America/New_York")
        Dim location As New GeoLocation(locationName, latitude, longitude, elevation, timeZone)
        Dim zc As New ComplexZmanimCalendar(location)
        'optionally set it to a specific date with a year, month and day
        'Dim zc As New ComplexZmanimCalendar(New DateTime(1969, 2, 8), location)
        System.Console.WriteLine("Today's Zmanim for " & locationName)
        System.Console.WriteLine("Sunrise: " & zc.GetSunrise().ToString)
        'output sunrise
        System.Console.WriteLine("Sof Zman Shema MGA: " & zc.GetSofZmanShmaMGA().ToString)
        'output Sof Zman Shema MGA
        System.Console.WriteLine("Sof Zman Shema GRA: " & zc.GetSofZmanShmaGRA().ToString)
        'output Sof Zman Shema GRA
        System.Console.WriteLine("Sunset: " & zc.GetSunset().ToString)
        'output sunset
        System.Console.WriteLine("Press enter to exit.")
        System.Console.ReadLine()

    End Sub

End Module

The current Zmanim .NET TODO list for the project includes:

  • Remove dependency to Java (IKVM assemblies)
  • The API should follow the .NET guidelines
  • Make it Linq friendly
  • Add examples how to use this project in a ASP.NET MVC site and WPF Application
  • Try to get it to work on Silverlight

Android Zmanim Using the KosherJava Zmanim API

Android ZmanimThere are various software projects using the KosherJava Zmanim API. One of the active ones is Jay Gindin’s open source Android Zmanim app for the Android platform. Activity in the project is constant. The upcoming version allows the selection of a specific calculation for zmanim you want such as the zman Talis/Tefilin pictured here. There are plans to add direction to Yerushalayim functionality using the Zmanim API. (For more information on calculating bearing using the API, see Calculating the Bearing/Direction to Har Habayis Using the Zmanim API article.) A large part of Jay’s motivations for developing the code was lezecher nishmas his nephew Shemuel Reuven ben Yehudit Rachel who, lost his battle with cancer on October 21, 2009. The one very minor issue Jay had with the API (and documentation) was the Ashkenazi spelling of the zmanim names, something that as an Ashekenazi I do not plan to change :), but as you can see his Android Zmanim front end used Sephardi labeling. Asked how he found the project, he answered with the typical answer to this question

I Googled around, and found your project.

One of my goals with the API was to make it easy for developers to use and port. This was confirmed by Jay

I found it to be very easy to pull into my app, even on Android…no changes necessary, not even a recompile

Calculating the Bearing/Direction to Har Habayis Using the Zmanim API

Vintage Map with CompassAn earlier “Bearing to Yerushalayim and Zmanim Map” post demonstrated the use of JavaScript to render the bearing to Har Habayis on a Google Map. A more detailed follow-up post “Technical Information about the Bearing to Yerushalayim Map” dealt with detailed technical information on these calculations. The main Bearing to Yerushalayim and Zmanim Map page usually has the most up to date information on the subject. What was not detailed in previously published posts and pages was that most of the calculations available via JavaScript are now in the core Zmanim API. Available since the July, 2008 beta 2 release of version 1.1 is the ability to bearings/directions using both the great circle and rhumb line methods in Java. The GeoLocation Object was modified to calculate the great circle bearings (both initial and final), and rhumb line bearing from any GeoLocation Object to another. In addition, distance calculation between the two points using both of these line types is supported. What was not ported from the JavaScript version was the less accurate Haversine formula, or the simpler spherical law of cosines algorithms that yield identical results. Instead, the Zmanim API uses the far more accurate Vincenty formulae using the WGS84 geoid model of the earth. Published by the geodesist/mathematician Thaddeus Vincenty, it is said to be accurate to about one-half millimeter, more than adequate for our calculation. The code in the API is a Java port of the previously published, slightly modified version of Chris Veness’s JavaScript implementation . Below is a simple Java example of generating bearing and distances.

/**
 * This program demonstrates how to calculate bearing to Yerushalayim
 * using the kosherjava.com Zmanim API. Both the great circle and
 * rhumb line method are shown
 * To compile, ensure that the Zmanim Jar is in your classpath.
 */
import net.sourceforge.zmanim.util.GeoLocation;
import java.util.TimeZone;

public class BearingToYerushalayim{
	public static void main(String [] args) {
		GeoLocation lakewood = new GeoLocation("Lakewood, NJ", 40.09596, -74.22213, 0, TimeZone.getTimeZone("America/New_York"));
		GeoLocation harHabayis = new GeoLocation("Har Habayis", 31.77805, 35.235149, 0, TimeZone.getTimeZone("Asia/Jerusalem"));

		double greatCircleInitialBearing = lakewood.getGeodesicInitialBearing(harHabayis);
		double greatCircleDistance = lakewood.getGeodesicDistance(harHabayis);

		double rhumbLineBearing = lakewood.getRhumbLineBearing(harHabayis);
		double rhumbLineDistance = lakewood.getRhumbLineDistance(harHabayis);

		System.out.println("Great circle initial bearing: " + greatCircleInitialBearing + " degrees ");
		System.out.println("Great circle distance: " + greatCircleDistance / 1000 + " km");

		System.out.println("Rhumb line bearing: " + rhumbLineBearing + " degrees");
		System.out.println("Rhumb line distance: " + rhumbLineDistance / 1000 + " km");

	}
}

ZmanimCLI (Command Line Interface)

Moshe Wagner who wrote the Zmanim GUI notified me in August that that he created a command line interface for zmanim using my Zmanim API. The technical approach of using reflection was similar to the way I used reflection in the Zmanim Clock Applet, but he took it to new heights. Sample use of accessing zmanim using his CLI interface is:

moshe@debian:~/Desktop$ java -jar ZmanimCLI.jar sunrise
6:10:28
moshe@debian:~/Desktop$ java -jar ZmanimCLI.jar --date 2010/08/12 tzais72
20:38:15
moshe@debian:~/Desktop$ java -jar ZmanimCLI.jar
Usage: ZmanimCLI [options] [Time]

Options:
       -d      --date <yyyy/mm/dd>             Set date. (Year first!)
       -lat    --latitude <latitude>           Set location's latitude
       -lon    --longitude <longitude>         Set location's longitude
       -e      --elevation <elevation>         Set location's
elevation; Positive only
       -tz     --timezone <timezone>           Set location's TimeZone

Help:
       -h      --help                          Show this help
       -stl    --time-list                     Show common available
times to display
       -ftl    --full-time-list                Show all available
times to display
       -tzl    --timezone-list                 Show available timezones

Example:
       ZmanimCLI --latitude 31.7780 --longitude 35.235149 --elevation
600 --timezone Israel Sunrise
       Will show the sunrise time today in Jerusalem

While your first reaction may be that it is interesting in a theoretical geeky way, but has no practical value, I will quote Moshe’s explanation as to why it is useful:

Why is this useful? Well, first of all it was a nice experiment. But mainly, you can now use Zmanim (although externally), via any language you want, no longer being tied to Java.

Months later, Moshe actually put this to practical use in his C++ based Luach project. This Luach (similar to the known Kaluach) uses the Qt framework. utilizing libhdate for the date stuff (something not offered by the Zmanim API, and the topic of a future Zmanim API FAQ), displaying zmanim using the Zmanim API via CLI for the zmanim calculations. While you would expect such an approach to be slow, using the Luach seemed almost instantaneous. I will post more about his Luach program (recently reviewed at KosherDev.com) at some point in the future.

FAQ: Where is the Zmanim API Main Method?

KosherJava Zmanim API FAQ

Question:

Where is the main method?

Answer:

This is a more technical variant of the “How do I install the Zmanim API Program?”, but coming from someone who already knows that it is a Java program that can’t be installed, but assumes that it can be run. The main method is the entry point to a Java program. Since this is a library/API and not a program, it does not have a main method. The code to generate zmanim is spelled out in the How to Use the Zmanim API page. Below is a full example of a very simple zmanim program that outputs sunrise, sof zman krias shema and sunset for the current day in Lakewood, NJ. Please ensure that the Zmanim jar (download) is in your classpath.

/**
 * This program is a simple demonstration of the kosherjava.com Zmanim API.
 * To compile, ensure that the Zmanim Jar is in your classpath.
 */
import net.sourceforge.zmanim.*;
import net.sourceforge.zmanim.util.*;
import java.util.TimeZone;
public class SimpleZmanim{
	public static void main(String [] args) {
		String locationName = "Lakewood, NJ";
		double latitude = 40.096; //latitude of Lakewood, NJ
		double longitude = -74.222; //longitude of Lakewood, NJ
		double elevation = 0; //optional elevation
		//use a Valid Olson Database timezone listed in java.util.TimeZone.getAvailableIDs()
		TimeZone timeZone = TimeZone.getTimeZone("America/New_York");
		//create the location object
		GeoLocation location = new GeoLocation(locationName, latitude, longitude, elevation, timeZone);
		//create the ZmanimCalendar
		ZmanimCalendar zc = new ZmanimCalendar(location);
		//optionally set the internal calendar. If not set it will default to the current date
		//zc.getCalendar().set(1969, Calendar.FEBRUARY, 8);
		System.out.println("Today's Zmanim for " + locationName);
		System.out.println("Sunrise: " + zc.getSunrise()); //output sunrise
		System.out.println("Sof Zman Shema GRA: " + zc.getSofZmanShmaGRA()); //output Sof Zman Shema GRA
		System.out.println("Sunset: " + zc.getSunset()); //output sunset
	}
}

The following would compile and execute this code (sample from a DOS prompt in Windows).

C:\path\to\code>javac SimpleZmanim.java

C:\path\to\code>java SimpleZmanim

Today's Zmanim for Lakewood, NJ
Sunrise: Thu Nov 05 06:30:27 EST 2009
Sof Zman Shema GRA: Thu Nov 05 09:05:21 EST 2009
Sunset: Thu Nov 05 16:50:02 EST 2009

Please see the Zmanim API documentation for a more complete view of the API.

Zmanim API 1.1 Released

Zmanim API ReleaseThe 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 patch releases. 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.

The main download is the Zmanim 1.1 release zip file that includes source files and JavaDoc documentation. Also available for download (included in the above zip file) is the main zmanim-1.1.jar and the new zmanimAstronomical-1.1.jar that only includes the AstronomicalCalendar and supporting classes. Additional detail on the downloads can be seen on the Zmanim Download page