[kdepim-users] Tanzania Holidays

Stan Goodman stan.goodman at hashkedim.com
Thu Jul 3 17:35:58 BST 2008

At 18:16:14 on Thursday Thursday 03 July 2008, Christian Csar 
<cacsar at gmail.com> wrote:
> Stan Goodman wrote:
> > At 15:59:05 on Thursday Thursday 03 July 2008, "peter roots"
> >
> > <peterroots at googlemail.com> wrote:
> >> Hi
> >> I have been trying to put Tanzanian holidays into my calender but
> >> have run up against a bit of a problem.
> >> Some of the holidays are fixed date government holidays - no
> >> problem. Others are Christian - again no problem as easter exists as
> >> an entity in the holiday files to work with.
> >> My problem is some of our holidays are Islamic - Eid al-Fitr for
> >> example falls on 1 Shawwal.  Is there any provision for using dates
> >> based on the Islamic calender such as the Umm al-Qura Calendar of
> >> Saudi Arabia that Tanzania apparently bases its holidays on (though
> >> often a day later than Saudi Arabia).
> >> Any ideas would be welcome
> >
> > Like most software intended for general use, kde-pim views the world
> > in terms of the Gregorian calendar, and this should be no great
> > surprise. People who need dates that are calculated according to
> > Muslim or Hebrew (or French-Republican, Armenian, or Mayan) calendar
> > have to make their own arrangments.
> >
> > Just as there are utilities for listing holidays for Hebrew
> > calendarin terms of the Gregorian, I assume that there must be
> > similar ones for the Muslim calendar (which is, in  fact, a far
> > simpler one). In both cases, these are usually intended for Windows
> > operating systems of course, so may not be of much help.
> >
> > The algorithm for computing Islamic dates against Gregorian is a
> > simple one; a Google search for "muslim calendar" should enable you
> > to make a script for conversion, or even to generate a table of
> > holidays for a given year. I doubt that you will find something to
> > adapt kde-pim, which seems to be what you are seeking.
> There is a jewish calendar plugin for korganizer, which could probably
> provide a guide to creating a similar one; however, I believe this
> plugin may simply change the display information. Since the expressions
> in the date format can be C expressions, according to
> http://pim.kde.org/components/korganizer/holidays.php
> you should be able to put the conversion needed for the calculation as
> part of the expression.

I don't think this plugin would be very helpful, even as a guide. The 
blurb on the Korganizer web page says: "Plugin for Jewish calendar dates.  
When enabled this plugin shows the Jewish calendar dates for each day in 
the calendar view." In other words, if one already knows the Gregorian 
date, the plugin would tell to what Hebrew date it corresponds. You could 
not, for example, enter in your list of important dates, alerts for any 
given Jewish holiday, and expect to be reminded of its approach, or track 
the annual Gregorian recurrence of an event that is tied to a Hebrew 
date. The same would be true for an Islamic plugin based on it.

But the algorithm for conversion between Gregorian and Muslim calendars is 
so simple that just making a command-line script would save a lot of 
unnecessary grief. But of course, it wouldn't track events from year to 
year either.

Even easier, if the question is only about tracking holidays, is to use a 
web-based Muslim calendar; Google knows all about these.

One small problem, which the questioner has hinted at, is that in 
principle, the Muslim calendar still rolls over its months according to 
LOCAL observation of the New Moon, so that e.g. Ramadan may not 
necessarily begin on the same day everywhere. (The Hebrew calendar 
ditched this "low-tech" method of synchronization in the Middle Ages, in 
favor of a complex algorithm which wobbles a bit, but has kept the lunar 
year from ever getting more than twenty seconds out of synch with the 
solar in all that time. The Muslim calendar doesn't concern itself with 
synchronization, because it wasn't designed for an agrarian society), so 
it precesses around the solar year in a nineteen-year cycle.) That makes 
it difficult to rely on any calculated calendar that is intended to be 
accurate everywhere in the world.

Stan Goodman
Qiryat Tiv'on
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