Lunarium Newsletter #11

November 2014

The Mansions of the Moon

I am delighted to announce the biggest addition to Lunarium since the launch of the current version of the website. The Astrological Moon Calendar always displayed the Mansions – the number and the time for each of them – but no description whatsoever. That’s because to put together some reasonable descriptions for lunar mansions a lot of work was needed, and a substantial amount of time. All that work was just completed.

Now, if you hover your mouse over a rounded square with a number in it, which marks the entry of the Moon into the next mansion in the Astrological Moon Calendar, you will see a brief description for that mansion, and a link to the detailed description.

In addition, a new article, The Mansions of the Moon, was added to Lunarium. It explains what the mansions are, how they were traditionally used, and lists the sources of information about the mansions. It also provides links to 28 pages, one per a manion.

For each mansion, I tried to write a very brief description: what it is good for, what it is not good for, what is its essence. After that, I listed quotations from different sources that provide more details about the mansion. Here is the page for the Mansion 13, as an example. In many cases, those different opinions confirm and complement each other, but occasionally you will notice some contradictions.

If you want to know more about the mansions and their traditional use, The Mansions of the Moon article offers a list of sources of information which I was able to compile over the years.

New versions of the iLuna mobile app are going to have the mansions in them, which brings me to the next topic of this newsletter.

iLuna 2, a Rough Start

iLuna was my first mobile app, initially released in 2009. It exists as both iLuna for iPhone and iLuna for Android. The app is quite simple. It displays time and date, as well as a brief description for the Moon’s phase, sign and void-of-course periods, and it can do that for a wide range of years – from 2000 to 2029. It also allows to navigate the time in a few different ways.

iLuna proved to be reasonably popular, and over the years thousands of people began to use it, many of them on a daily basis. I received a good feedback, and many users requested new features or different kinds of content. Unfortunately, in the way it was initially created, iLuna didn’t have any space for new features and content. It wasn’t easily extensible.

I kept thinking on what the new iLuna could look like, and I kept working on the lunar mansions, as a new kind of content for it. Admittedly, I should have updated the app long time ago, but you know how it happens – it just worked, and the users were generally happy about it.

Then iOS 8 arrived, and iLuna stopped working properly on those devices that were upgraded to the new operating system. I tried to fix the problem by simply recompiling the old code with the new tools, in a hope that that will give me time to complete iLuna 2 properly, but while I was jumping through the hoops of the notorious Apple’s submission process, I introduced an even worse problem. At that point, I decided to put aside any new content and functionality and complete iLuna 2 as quickly as possible, basically putting the same old content into a new user interface – the one that could work and scale properly on both newest and oldest of devices, and that would allow iLuna to grow in the coming years.

The new version was released not so long ago, and I received a bunch of happy emails from people with the new iPhones running iOS 8. iLuna 2 seemed to work well. But then I started to get emails of a very different kind: people with older devices, like iPhone 4 or iPhone 4s, for whom iLuna just kept working all those years were now complaining that it doesn’t work anymore…

Now that the massive work on the Mansions of the Moon was completed, my top priority is to make iLuna 2 for iPhone working successfully on both old and new devices. Only then I will have the moral right to start adding the new content and the new functionality.

As for iLuna for Android, its user interface requires a major upgrade too. It was initially lacking some of the nice features of iLuna for iPhone, and that wasn’t fair. Now is the time to do it right, and once the technical issues in the iPhone app will be sorted, I am planning to concentrate on iLuna 2 for Android.

The plan for the next year is to focus my mobile development efforts on both versions of iLuna and to make the app a reliable friend and a valuable source of information for all its users.

 

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