Zmanim Pages Updated

pocket watchThe static pages for the Zmanim project have been slightly updated. The main zmanim page has been revamped, an instruction page added and some other minor changes made. One change to the main page has been the addition of the list of types of zmanim that can be calculated. One reason for this change was for search engine optimization. I ran AWStats on the log files for the last month and a half and the following search phrases brought people to the site (listed in order of popularity)
“hebrew date”, “zman krias shema”, “hebrew date php”, “kosher coffee”, “zmanim nassau”, “zman tefilah”, “time of sun in zenith calculate”, “zmanim”, “wordpress hebrew”, “elevation of sun time of day”, “harfenes”, “asia generator”, “date hebrew”, “xsd time format”, “hebrew plugin”, “plag hamincha”, “get calendar java calc”, “zmanim calendar”, “jewish zmanim”, “calendar generator”, “milliseconds xsd time”, “annual calendar generator”, “java calculate start of the day”, “calculating sun zenith angle”, “calendrical spreadsheet”, “calculate mincha gedola”, “milliseconds into minutes”, “sun s zenith”, “javadoc api “, “time formats milliseconds”, “sof zman krias shema”.
The logs also showed that many people who were searching for zmanim related searches never moved beyond the JavaDocs pages that matched their query. The technical nature of the page probably threw them off. The addition of the listing of types of zmanim will hopefully lead many searchers to the main page instead of the JavaDocs page in the future.

New Version of the Hebrew Date Plugin Available

WordPress MugA new version (v0.3.0) of the Hebrew Date Plugin is now available. This fixes the post time formatting issue. The code is crude and relies on the detection of a ‘:’ in the Date String to determine that it is a time and not date. This works well with the default WordPress 1.5 theme (Kubrick). Other themes that use alternate date formatting might not work perfectly with this plugin. It is worth noting that as far as I know, this plugin will only work with WP 1.5. The plugin does not require changes to the theme, and can simply be activated from the Admin plugin screen.

WordPress Hebrew Date Plugin Alpha Release

WordPress MugI just hacked a simple plugin that displays Hebrew dates alongside the current Gregorian dates on posts. This is now active on this site. The alpha quality code (v0.2.0) is now available for your testing. For the most part the code is almost identical to the PHP code that I wrote to display Jewish dates in PhpGedView. While the PhpGedView code has various display options, for the sake of simplicity and the fact that I never wrote any WordPress plugins before, I did not code any of these options yet. Also not done is parsing of the “Month, Year” format of the archive pages. The PhpGedView code has many options such as displaying the dates in

  • Hebrew Only – י"ז סיון תשס"ה
  • Hebrew and Gregorian – June 24th, 2005 – י"ז סיון תשס"ה
  • Hebrew using the Latin characters – 17 Sivan 5765

and more. These may eventually be added to the plugin.

WordPress “Site Unavailable” Plugin Tweak

WordPress MugSince I am constantly tweaking things here (will settle down soon), I found myself looking for an easy way to temporarily bring the site offline. I came across the Site Unavailable plugin. It did exactly what I expected it to do, but the simple

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html code that the plugin generated left a lot to be desired in terms of look and feel. I tweaked the file to add the site’s header and footer to make the unavailable message match the look and feel of the site. Being new to WordPress and too lazy to debug the PHP error message, I just suppressed them with an @. It works well with the default theme that I am using but not exactly proper with the Coffee Cup theme that I was testing. Since you will not likely hit the “Unavailable” message, here is a screen shot of the original plugin look, the default theme look and the Coffee Cup look. You can download the modified file here. There is a slight problem with the mod in that the nav bar bgcolor seems to still show. In the Site Unavailable blog, the author mentioned an option that he might include implementing a request to allow an admin to see the site. This should be done with great care, since it is very easy for one to not realize that the site is still offline in this scenario and leave it that way.

The Site Redesign is Now Live

The site is now running WordPress and seems to be running well. The install was relatively painless and will allow greater flexibility in running the site as well as in receiving feedback. There seems to be a DNS issue when trying to reach http://kosherjava.com, but http://www.kosherjava.com seems to be working fine. A small glitch that has been corrected was the layout of the calendar generator . This turned out to be a minor CSS issue.
Enjoy and please let me know of any problems.