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.
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.
There are now 3 native iPhone programs in the iPhone App Store that display Zmanim. Pocket Luach from Tebeka Software, Zmanim from Avi Shevin and the iPhone Siddur from Rusty Brick. It is interesting to note that 2 out of the 3 use an open source Zmanim library. Zmanim uses Ken Bloom’s zmanim code the optional ZmanimCalculator (since replaced by the SunTimesCalculator) module in our Zmanim API uses a Java port of Ken’s code), and the iPhone Siddur uses a port of our own KosherJava Zmanim API (as mentioned in an email from the developer). With all of these available (and I am sure there are more to come), I am abandoning the iZmanim project to build a zmanim UI for the iPhone, since there is little need for it. My effort will concentrate on enhancing the API itself. I hope to be able to release the Rusty Brick Objective-C port of the API in the near future.
The release of the iPhone 3G got me thinking about zmanim on the iPhone. While I would eventually like to create a free native iPhone zmanim app, for now I created a simple iPhone web app to test out the UI. While only of alpha quality, the iZmanim web app (no longer available) should properly work on an iPhone (tested in Safari on Windows and iPhone emulators). These is a settings page that persists changes made. The iZmanim web app was built using the iUI framework. iZmanim can be tested with any Webkit browser. For the full effect, try it using the iPhone Tester on Safari. Please note that it will not properly load in IE or Firefox.