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4854RE: [wuhu_software_group] Re: Typical operating system on this group

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  • Mark Wyman
    Feb 1, 2007
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      Thanks for your input.

                  You downloaded the file quickly, the zoom value reset was a quick but that lasted about 5 minutes, you must have downloaded in that minute window! The current download fixes that one.

      A double-click zoom/unzoom is a great idea! I will up the size of the sliders, which is easy enough. I added the text entry on the transparency/size control in there so you can set precise sizes for aligning gauges for transparency overlays.

                  The feature of restore to last operational state is already there in the current revision, it should be working, though I am going to overhaul it to an XML file format so it is a format that is human readable and human editable.

                  The program can load and monitor local XML files, the URL is not specific to just the NOAA data over the internet. However there is no current way to point to a file to monitor it, it should be easy though. I will add that in very soon (the wife told me it is time to spend some time with her, so it may be a while). If you set your field names to the same as NOAA, and extend it to include your additional data, it would work right off the bat once I add “select and monitor local XML file…”. Behind the scenes in the program there is a large class with all of the data I think I will ever need to use that is weather related. All I have to do is stuff data in the appropriate elements and link a control/gauge to it. Local XML reading can come before WU data since WU short-hand data doesn’t work with VS.NET DOM. That one is tricky.

       

      One drawback of XML is it is rather bandwidth-intensive. Custom packed-binary data streams are very efficient on bandwidth, but XML is sort of poor in that regard. A singe value tag looks like this:

      NOAA:

      <tempf>32.5<tempf/>

      WU:

      <tempf val="47.1"/>

       

      Tempf is in there twice as well as the brackets and slash in the NOAA version. The text value alone takes 4 bytes. By contrast a packed byte format could have this value in only two bytes, so to compare:

      XML for this value: 21 bytes (including CRLF)

      Packed binary: 2 bytes.

      What would pound the server and which would be light?

      Oh well, most of us have something more than a 9600 modem these days.

       

      -Mark

       


      From: wuhu_software_group@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wuhu_software_group@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of wuhu_software
      Sent: Thursday, February 01, 2007 9:43 AM
      To: wuhu_software_group@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [wuhu_software_group] Re: Typical operating system on this group

       

      Mark,

      I thought of a couple of suggestions but did not want to bother you
      with it as I know you are busy.

      Something that would be nice to have is the ability to quickly zoom
      to a set of gauges, say by double clicking them. Perhaps you could
      determine the resolution of the display and size them accordingly. If
      you want to put the gauges back to their original location, you could
      then double click it again.

      I noticed that after I had up 3-4 sets of gauges, they are a bit hard
      to read (bad eyes and a 19 inch monitor). When I want to read a
      particular set of gauges, I need to move them to the center of the
      screen and re-size them. Once I am done, I need to re-size and then
      move them back.

      Another issue with the zooming that I found is that if you drag the
      lower right corner to zoom, then say you move it elsewhere, if you
      right click to access the transparency/ size, the slider is not in
      sync with the current zoom level that you chose with the dragging.

      It would be nice if the sliders were a bit larger as well. If I move
      just a tad, I have to wait until the gauges are re-drawn before I can
      make another attempt. Since the sliders are small, it is a bit
      difficult to guess the correct zoom level I am shooting for.

      On a fast machine, the above issues are probably not a big deal. One
      a slower machine it definitely has an impact. The machine I am
      running on for weather stuff is an old AMD 900 Mhz, not exactly a
      speed demon. There is a noticable re-draw time for any
      zooming/movement.

      One last suggestion for future reference would be on exit to save the
      current station list, gauge position and sizes. This would be nice if
      you had everything setup the way you like it, but you need to peform
      say a reboot. If you could re-launch the gauges just as they were the
      next time you run the application, that would be a nice feature for
      sure.

      Speaking of retrieving data from WU, I am looking forward to your
      application pulling local XML files from the hard drive. When you do
      that, I will pursue outputing the XML files from within the WUHU
      application.

      I think that your use of the NOAA XML standard is the way to go for a
      standard data interchange format for personal weather stations.

      As you know, right now, all of these stations use a different custom
      export method (if at all). Maybe your application will help drive the
      PWS software developers in the right direction. One can hope.

      Thanks for your efforts and a great application.

      --- In wuhu_software_ group@yahoogroup s.com, "Mark Wyman" <mark@...>
      wrote:

      >
      > No problem!
      >
      > Hopefully I can figure out how to properly read the XML
      output
      > from WeatherUnderground. Their data is updated more rapidly than
      the NOAA
      > sheets, depending on the weather station sending the data. The neat
      part is
      > this little program would then display any weather station's data
      on just
      > this one program. However it would probably be prudent to limit the
      refresh
      > time as to not kick the pants off of the WU servers.
      >
      >
      >
      > A neat way to use this program is to spawn two or more
      dials,
      > set the reference (bottom) dial to 100% transparency (opacity, my
      bad) and
      > then the other dials to 40% or so, and then line them all up with
      the same
      > sizes. You have to turn off auto-scale to make this work, but then
      it is
      > very easy to compare two or more stations together visually.
      >
      >
      >
      > One thing I forgot about and remembered as I dragged
      myself off
      > to bed was the feature of being able to click on any indicator and
      get
      > information about its value and time of measurement. For example
      peak wind
      > gusts and temperatures. I had commented out the feature to debug
      something
      > else, and forgot to put it back in! No big deal, but it is handy.
      In the
      > mean time I added the ability to customize the dial colors. I also
      intend on
      > adding a few other features but it could be a ways off.
      >
      >
      >
      > I like the idea of setting up dials around a storm and
      > monitoring the stations, though for quick events like thunderstorms
      the NOAA
      > data is too slow. That is why it would be very nice to tap into WU
      XML to
      > speed it up!
      >
      >
      >
      > -Mark
      >
      >
      >
      > _____
      >
      > From: wuhu_software_ group@yahoogroup s.com
      > [mailto:wuhu_software_ group@yahoogroup s.com]
      On Behalf Of DKee
      > Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2007 11:04 PM
      > To: wuhu_software_ group@yahoogroup s.com
      > Subject: Re: [wuhu_software_ group] Re: Typical operating system on
      this
      > group
      >
      >
      >
      > No kidding, Steve! It will be interesting to see come tornado
      season ...
      >
      > Mark, I've installed the new version and so far I'm not getting any
      slow
      > down of the system. Have no clue why it happened before.
      >
      > Thanks for sharing this cool program - I look forward to beta
      testing your
      > future versions as well.
      >
      > ~ Deborah
      >
      >
      >
      > On 1/31/07, steve_03222 < steve_03222@ <mailto:steve_ 03222@... >
      > yahoo.com> wrote:
      >
      > Ya know, this system will be awesome for tracking storms as they
      move
      > into your area. Being able to monitor multiple stations has many
      > advantages.
      > You could strategically select stations in the path of the incoming
      > storm and watch the pressure changes, wind direction changes, temp
      > changes etc.
      >
      > Something new to play with,
      > Thanks Mark,
      >
      > Steve
      >

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