Older blog entries for spstarr (starting at number 2)

WeatherEngine now in KDE Trunk!

We had a Plasma meeting yesterday. One of the things discussed was to move the weather engine bits into KDE trunk. This is now done.

Richard Moore is planning on taking a look at a bug in the UKMET BBC datasource. Once that issue is fixed. I plan on finishing the ion. I will be adding to the Techbase Wiki information on how the dataengine works, how the data formatting should be done so that each ion can be used by anyone's own weather applets.

Richard has been busy hacking away on the Plasma JavaScript support bindings. I will be using these bindings to write the applet. It is possible this weekend you might get to see a screenshot of the weather applet displaying current conditions.

I plan to have the following 'screens' depending on the datasource (ion)

- Current conditions (Screen #1)
* Place information
* SVG (or PNG?) icon showing the current reported condition
* Temperature in your favourate metric (metric, imperial)
* Comfort Temperature: (Humidex/Heat Index, Windchill)
* Dewpoint Temperature
* Pressure (in inches or kilopascals)
* Pressure tendency (if available)
* Visibility (in kilometers or miles)
* Humidity
* Wind Speed (in kilometers or miles per hour)
* Wind Direction
* Wind Gust

This will contain the minimal current observations where available.

- 5 Day forecast (Screen #2, if available)
* Place information
* SVG (or PNG) image containing the expected weather condition for that period
* PNG/JPG/GIF image of the respective Weather agency (Credit requirements)
(top left side of applet)
* Short expected weather summary: Period, Condition expected, High Temp or Low Temp followed by
POP (Probability of Precipitation).
-I believe if the user clicks on a specific period we can make it display extended weather
forecast information (wind speed, etc) via some sort of visualization popup.
- For future, I will be also providing a rough gestimate of potential severe weather
(where available) such as CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy), SI (Storm Index).
This is likely for 2.0 of the applet.

- Almanac Information/Seasonal Normals/Records (Screen #3, if available)
- Rises/Sets (if available)
* Sunrise/Set
* Moonrise/Set
- Normal temperatures for time of year (if available)
* High temperature (in metric or imperial)
* Low temperature
* Mean temperature
- Record weather (if available)
* Record High temperature
* Record Low temperature
* Record Rainfall
* Record Snowfall

- Miscellaneous Information (Screen #4, if available)
* UV Index
* UV scale (high, low, extreme, etc)

This is a lot of weather data. The idea is to have the weather applet cycle though these 'screens' on a timed interval, fading in or some other effects to transition between screens.

For configuring the applet, the user will be able to set time intervals for fetching updated information (on 30 minute intervals).

More on the configuration later.

Syndicated 2007-09-11 01:35:49 from spstarr's blog

KDE Holidays

Seems like I'm not the only one taking the KDE 'holiday' vacation days. Usually the last two weeks of August are typically quiet. I did hack up the testapplet locally to connect to the WeatherEngine, so far, it returns a list of available datasources (Ions) in a kDebug() Smiling.

As I'm new to how Qt/KDE drawing / widgets work, I hope to design a dialog that will test out the dataengine fully so I can make sure there's no API issues with the Ion interface. Otherwise most of the time I've been reading other people's blogs and watching the commit changelogs on Plasma.

For all those who love screenshots or screencasts, I'm afraid there won't be one for a while yet. This project is complex and managing the datasource types is taking much longer than I had hoped. But the end result will be a very robust API for weather data.


Syndicated 2007-08-25 04:46:07 from spstarr's blog

The Weather Applet for Plasma

Thanks to Chris Lee for adding me to the Planet!

First, an introduction. Hello, I'm Shawn Starr, I've been busily working on the weather engine for Plasma. The plan is to begin working on an applet as soon as some javascript bindings for the dataengine are ready to use.

Currently, You can get weather data from Environment Canada (conditions + 5 day forecast and more) and NOAA's National Weather Service (conditions only). Work is underway with the BBC/UK MET Office ion.

You may have seen aseigo's screencast demoing the weather dataengine.

I'd like to find out what people want in the weather engine/applet.

For those living in Canada, the thinking was of mimicing the way The Weather Network does it's local forecast screens. Something with rotating 'screens' inside a plasmoid. Then there's the whole idea of themes. I'm open to ideas, I'd like to make the dataengine/datasource flexable for other people to write their own applets too. The more plasmoids the better Smiling

Here is an overview of how the Plasma weather engine currently functions:

In order to make the engine flexable and modular and support multiple datasources (Ions). I split the concept of the dataengine and datasources. This made it easier to develop different weather datasources. For example, If you owned a USB weather device that reports data wirelessly back to a USB device you could parse the data and display it in the applet.

I am still working out how the applet is going to determine how to handle all these types of datasources. I hope to begin testing that theory once the js bindings are usable. There should be fixed datasource key names that the applet can then determine based on which ion is loaded, the goal is to keep the datasource key names identical across all ions where the information is the same and provide the applet a way of displaying advanced weather information somehow.

Syndicated 2007-08-13 23:42:57 from spstarr's blog

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