Wikinews:WeatherChecker

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General[edit]

The WeatherChecker is a Windows client to retrieve current weather condition data from the U.S. National Weather Service. It is written in C# and is licensed under the GPL.

If you have a problem with the code, please post a note here, or see http://www.tiredbrain.com/wikinews/weatherchecker/ for current version information.

Download[edit]

You can always download the latest version from http://www.tiredbrain.com/wikinews/weatherchecker/WeatherCheckerSetup.msi

Contributors[edit]

The following people have contributed to the development of this application:

Change log[edit]

Release 1.0 (1.0.1805.40974)[edit]

  • initial release
  • use Load Countries to get a list of valid countries
  • click on a country to get a list of stations within that country
  • click on a station to see its temperature data
  • with a station selected, click the Add Selected button to add it to your list
  • Use the Save Preselected button to save your selections to a file
  • Later you can use the Load Preselected button to load your previous selections from that file
  • Clicking on a station in the list of your selections will also display its temperature data
  • you can run start the app with an input file as weatherchecker.exe "c:\path\to\input\file.wcheck"

Release 1.1 (1.1.1807.4324)[edit]

  • added support for generating output files in the format that Illustrator CS will take them
    • you can run the application non-interactively as
weatherchecker.exe "c:\path\to\input\file.wcheck" "c:\path\to\output\file.xml"
  • added status bar to reflect generation status
  • added search functionality: will search list of station for current country, looking at code, name and region.
    • will only show first matching search result

Release 1.2 (1.2.1808.42716)[edit]

  • the application won't abort after an exception during file generation
  • file generation will now output a header, and a fahrenheit and celsius record for each station in the selected list, even ones that were not reachable. in those cases, all visibility will be false and temperatures will be zero.

Release 1.3 (1.3.1809.40363)[edit]

  • fixed namespaces in header (removed duplicate ns_custom)
  • switched order of text/vis properties for black and white text in headers, fahrenheit and celsius records

Release 1.4 (1.4.1810.2370)[edit]

  • more fixes to output (varname -> varName, some namespace issues)

Release 1.5 (1.5.1825.23069)[edit]

  • temperature gradient expanded to include polar, bitter, cold, cool, mild, warm, hot, blazing, and burnt.

Release 1.6 (1.6.1835.1883)[edit]

  • added variables to automatically update the date and time.
  • added variables to control the visibility of the Fahrenheit and Celsius legends.

Release 1.7 (1.7.1835.33358)[edit]

  • Added resizing rules to allow the layout to resize with the parent window.
  • Updated various buttons and text labels to use more concise names and standard dimensions.
  • Moved UI elements around to better organize the layout.
  • Added "Phenomenon" text field and label, and updated its value when a station is clicked in either the Available or Selected station list. (To be used for Sunny/Cloudy icons.)
  • Added the station identifier to the alert message when attempting to add a previously selected station to the Selected Stations list.
  • Changed the member field name of the "_load" button to "_loadCountries".
  • Added exception handling with an error dialog.

Release 1.8 (1.8.1841.3168)[edit]

  • now using METAR data instead of CapeScience
  • use the new File->Update... menu to download the 500KB+ file from the NOAA when you feel it is out of date
  • rest of app should function like before

Release 1.8.1 (1.8.1841.38560)[edit]

  • updated installer to fix bug with 1.8 (was writing copy of app into the start menu)
  • include stationlist.txt on install
  • removed Load Countries button, will auto-load on startup as before and also after File->Update...

Release 1.8.2 (1.8.1844.40408)[edit]

  • fixed stationlist.txt parsing to properly pick up all coordinates and better deal with bad format in the file

Release 1.9 (1.9.1882.40071)[edit]

  • A milestone for WeatherChecker. The application is now capable of generating the weather map image on its own, without the use of any proprietary image creation tools.
    Create a JPEG ready for posting in three short steps:
  1. Click "Import..." to load the city selection ".wcheck" file. Your selection of cities appears in the Selected Station list.
  2. Click "Run Report..." to query NOAA for the current temperatures.
  3. Click the "Post Images..." button. WeatherChecker generates the Celsius and Fahrenheit images in your local directory, ready for posting.
  • There is also support for viewing and creating maps for the Australian and European regions.
    Choose "Australia" or "Europe" from the map region popup menu to view a particular region of the weather map.

Release 1.9.1 (available via CVS)[edit]

  • Added new Southeast Asia region.
    • Supported regions include: World, Southeast Asia, Australia, Europe, Middle East, and North America
  • Fixed bug that prevented es.wikinews.org from being updated.
  • A number of other features under construction for release 2.0.

Release 1.9.2 (available via CVS)[edit]

  • Changed exception handling as follows:
    • If image uploading fails, the current report cycle aborts, and goes back to waiting for the next cycle. (Avoids updating the templates to point at missing images.)
    • If template updating (to point at the uploaded images) fails, move on to the next cycle.

These changes have allowed WeatherChecker to remain up and running for five days without having to be restarted, which is a new record!

  • Commented out ilyawiki updates, now that active debugging is no longer being done.
  • Added updating for new language Wikis per request.

Support[edit]

If you are having issues using the software, please post a note below.

  • The CapeScience site went down sometime around 18:00 UTC on 09Jan05. The site is still down as of 01:00 UTC on 10Jan05. Weather reports will be delayed until the site resumes service.
    • Now resolved with v1.8 release which does not use the capescience service. -- IlyaHaykinson 10:20, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Requests[edit]

The weather reports look great and I'd love to use them on Wikitravel — but I don't support there's any way to get this to run without .NET? Even non-interactively, so it could sit on a Linux server somewhere? Jpatokal 10:16, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

We could just add WikiTravel to the list of sites that are automatically updated by the WeatherBot. WeatherChecker already directs the WeatherBot to update another wiki site other than Wikinews.
If you want to host a weather report page on Wikitravel, just copy the Weather pages from here on Wikinews, including the linked templates, and we can just add the URLs for WikiTravel's copy of the "CurWeatherMapImage" template, as well as WikiTravel's image upload page. WeatherChecker would then start updating WikiTravel just like any other site automatically, whenever the hourly reports are in service. (Sometimes WeatherChecker and WeatherBot are down when the server load is too high.)
If you're unsure how to set up the weather pages, just let me know and I'll be glad to help you out.
We don't use server-side controls, partly to avoid putting additional load on the Wikimedia servers, but mostly because I doubt we could convince the developers to permit it even if we implemented them, so a Linux version is kind of a moot point. In the current implementation, the work is all done on the local client on which WeatherChecker is left running. — DV 10:52, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the offer! I'll set up a test page or two and see if we can get this working. Ideally Wikitravel would feature weather reports for every country or major region... Jpatokal 18:41, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Sounds good. I just added the Southeast Asia region last evening. We might not cover every country, but we're getting close to covering every major region. — DV 12:57, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

.wcheck file for city selection[edit]

Here is a link to the .wcheck file for the selection of cities used in the current weather map.

Map request[edit]

Since I'm not running a windows machine, I'm not able to try it myself: Is there a possibiliy for me as a simple Wikinews-User to create other maps, let's say of Bavaria, Northrhine-Westfalia? --Elasto {de}