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Old 20-11-2007, 13:31   #1
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Windbuoy Webpage & Widget

Sometime back, I created the Windbuoy widget. I've since updated and added a bit more functionality to the backend webpages at Windbuoy (I can't put the url here, but you should be able to figure it out :-)

The widget and webpage display the NOAA wind/weather report for any of hundreds of NOAA buoys.

The webpage has a search feature that can help you find a widget nearby using your zip code -- or you can simply click on the map near the area that you'd like to search for a buoy.

The Mac OS X widget can be configured with your favorite/most viewed buoy and will deliver the most recent wind report right to your desktop. You can download the widget from Windbuoy/widgets

Take a look and let me know what you think. If you've got ideas for improvement, please let me know!

thanks
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Old 20-11-2007, 14:00   #2
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Thanks JakeDog,

Looks interesting.

I'm stuck in Windows here at work, but use OS X at home and on the boat. Will try your widget this week!

John
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Old 21-11-2007, 07:37   #3
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Very nice!

The widget is quite useful. You might note the NOAA dataset draws on all available weather buoys, US or not. For example, #46146 is the Canadian weather buoy on Halibut Bank in the Georgia Strait.

It's a bit odd that the website does not seem to include a link to download the widget, unless it's in the footer of the signup page (which, unfortunately, is throwing a couple errors.) A bit describing the software and how to locate buoys which aren't near your home (especially for people not in the USA) might help people who aren't particularly internet savvy.

I love the idea of the website and the widget! Are you thinking about adding all CAP weather station designations as well? (Having written a tool like that in the past, it can be a challenge.)
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Old 21-11-2007, 08:16   #4
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Thanks for the heads up -- looks like some code was inadvertently promoted into production prematurely. (We'll soon be adding some functionality to the website that will allow users to save preferences, frequently accessed buoys, etc. -- at which time we'll need to implement the sign in functionality.)

We've considered adding more info to the widget. As you can see real estate there is limited and generally accepted widget guidelines suggest that widgets should be simple and have a specific use. That said, we've considered adding a link from the widget to the website that, when clicked, would bring the user to the website and automatically bring up the 'Recent Readings' report -- would that be useful??

Additional weather sources and increased search functionality are on the feature request list -- as are a few other useful functions. Hmmmmm, maybe time for an online poll to determine where we should focus our efforts??

Thanks very much for the feedback, it is always appreciated!

tom
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Old 21-11-2007, 10:44   #5
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Well, again this if for me personally, I'd love a link to the recent readings report: a nice 24 hour snapshot of what's been happening. Since the widget doesn't work without an internet connection anyway, this is a quick and easy way to "add real estate" by moving the user to a website (and, from a commercial model point of view, allows a close integration between the desktop interface and a webapp API.)

If you're talking about adding functionality to the widget itself, I'd add a drop-down menu to view a short "favourites" list of buoys. I always want to know what's happening in two or three locations since my sailing area has lots of local winds.

My personal choice for where you should concentrate your efforts would be to create and maintain an openly-licensed index of all public weather stations ::wry grin::, but that's not what you're trying to do. As a user of the widget, I'd love to have it do a million and one things related to weather; feeping creaturism could easily kill the project though, so keep it simple, write a mission statement and stick to it. It's a good software, so now you just want to do more:

  • more weather sources/coverage
  • more places/methods to use the widget (menu bar? port to Windows/Linux? cli-based apple/php script?)
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Old 21-11-2007, 19:48   #6
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New updates to the Windbuoy widget!

Thanks for the on and offline feedback. We've added the following to the widget and website:

o FAQ added to the website. Hopefully this will help folks get better use out of the website.

o Link to the widget download added to the website. Thanks for the suggestion!

o The widget now links to the recent reports for the displayed buoy. Look near the bottom of the widget for the 'Click for recent reports' link.

thanks again for all of the suggestions!!

tom
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