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From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel) Date: Mon, 2 Dec 1996 20:34:35 -0500 Subject: RE: Jewish Calendar Algorithm: Visual Basic Code Joseph Greenberg (Vol 25 # 27) asks about visual basic code to convert a Hebrew date to an English date. I frequently hear questions like this and my response is simple You can probably write it yourself. Let me explain: The algorithm (ie. rules) for getting a Hebrew date are clearly set forth in Rambam, Calendars Chapters 6 - 10. The Rambam himself notes that these laws are easy and can be mastered in a few days (and are not as difficult as the other laws in chapters 11-end of book). Thus a person studying these laws and making appropriate tables and lists of cases would then have the program before him except for a few technical terms Personally I can think of no better way to test ones knowledge of a Soogya then by writing code to deal with it. The above arguments hold in any domain where there are a finite number of outcomes numerical outcomes many cases to consider. Some example might be the Shabbath laws, divorce laws, Toomah taharah laws, Niddah laws, etc. Of course some software exists for some of these but a person starting on his own can periodically modify the software. Furthermore she/he knows exactly what cases the program covers. I personally have increased my learning by writing such code for many areas. Usually my first attempt has some flaws (not bugs but omissions of cases) and this helps me become aware of distinctions I didn't originally see. From a computer point of view the reason these programs are easy is because they really involve only ONE statement: if-then-else or a case statement. In the case of calendars some simple functions to divide and calculate remainders are also necessary. I hope the above increases some peoples learning the way it has increased mine. Russell Jay Hendel, Associate Professor Dept of Math and Computer Science Drexel University