DesktopX Weather Widget Fixes

By on July 8, 2009 11:24:10 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

sViz

Join Date 04/2006
+504

The purpose of this thread is to compile and post fixes for the recent weather widget problem for anyone who has the patience to implement them. I'll try to edit this post to keep it up-to-date.

 Edit 7/10: Important information for DX authors.

 Edit 7/12: Added clarification to 2a for DX users - ZubaZ

 Edit 7/13 : Removed fixes due to legal ambiguity

 

Contents

1. The Problem

2. The Fixes

e. Disable the Weather

3. For Authors

a. Using The Weather Channel Feeds

b. Using Another Source

c. Weather & DX Themes

 

1. The Problem

If your weather widget has suddenly stopped working properly, it is likely because the source, Weather.com, has changed their site to prohibit unlicensed usage. The majority of weather widgets on this site were built with the same code which is now outdated.

Symptoms of this particular problem are:

-You get a message saying the location is invalid
-When you try to clear this message it keeps popping up

 

2. The Fixes (as far as we know)

 

*** UPDATE 7/13/09 ***

I have tried to find more information and understand the legalities of the TWC XOAP data feed services and due to ambiguity I have removed these fixes so as not to put anyone else at risk of violating known or unknown weather.com license agreements.

A very good read on the situation with weather.com and their feeds can be found here: http://www.rainmeter.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=615

At the present time the only remaining option for end-users is to disable and/or discontinue using the weather widgets.

 

 


E.  DISABLE THE WEATHER:

If you are using a combo widget or theme and would just like to disable the weather parts read below.

There are a few objects that need to be "turned off". To do this you will open the widget/theme in DX Builder (be sure to turn off internet connection first,) find the object, right-click and uncheck Script Enabled.

These objects may be several of the following. (You can ctrl + click to select more than one object in the object list, then r-click and uncheck Script Enabled.)


Version 1:

"weather_image"
"weather_temp"
"weather_location"


Version 2:

"kdockweatherimage" (and/or "kdockweatherimage2")
"Kdockweatherlocation" (and/or "kdockweatherlocation2")
"kdockweathertemp" (and/or "kdockweathertemp2")
"kdockforecastimage1" (through "kdockforecastimage5")


Version 3:

"Weather_Output"
"Weather_Script"
"WeatherFunction_ToggleUnits"
"CUI_SCripts"
"WeatherFunction_SetLocation"

 

 

 3. For Authors

A Notice From the WC Staff:

Starting Monday, July 20th, we will start exiling weather widgets from the WinCustomize galleries that have not been updated and/or violate any ToS/ToU in regards to weather feeds.

See here for more details.

 

Q: Can't I fix and reupload my widgets?

It's fairly certain that our widgets are not in compliance with The Weather Channel's license agreements. Among other things, a widget using TWC's feed now needs to include their logo and 5 advertisement links (to see the full details get registered and download the SDK file included in your confirmation email.)

This is aside from the fact that most of these fixes hard code YOUR license ID and KEY, and you CAN NOT allow others to use these; uploading a fixed widget with your ID and KEY is in violation of the license agreement.

The short answer is no. We can't use these fixes and then reupload our widgets.


Q: What CAN I do?

Right now you need to archive your skins before they are deleted from the galleries.


Q: So that's it? No more weather widgets?

Not necessarily. We have two options:  A. Re-build our widgets in compliance with TWC's license agreement or  B. find another data source.

 

 

A. USING THE WEATHER CHANNEL FEEDS

If you are looking to rebuild your widget in compliance with TWC's agreement you'll need to do the following:

- Register, download and thoroughly read the SDK file included in your confirmation email
- Comply
- Add a function to allow the user to input their license key and partner ID.
- Add a link to the registration page so users know where to get the key and ID.
- Be mindful of the fact that TWC could change their site again and consider putting contingencies in place to prevent further headaches. (i.e., Use and external script that can be copied onto the user's computer, and have as little code in the actual objects.)

 To be clear, anyone looking to make a weather widget using weather.com services MUST be in compliance with their terms of service and license agreements.

 

B. USING ANOTHER SOURCE suggestions by Zubaz

If you decide to part ways with TWC, here are some alternative weather feed sources to consider (You will need to abide by their Terms of Service as well):

-  Wunderground.com  -- LINK

- Yahoo! -- LINK 

- rssweather.com -- LINK

 

Again, I strongly advise using an external script to save yourself (and by extension your end-users) from any headaches in future.

 

C. WEATHER & DX THEMES

If you are a DesktopX theme author, the best advice for now is to exclude the weather widget from your theme and consider uploading weather as a separate widget in future.

 

 

 

 

 

That's all for now...

Leave questions, comments, and your experience reports below.

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July 8, 2009 11:49:57 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Thakns for spending the time compiling this.  You rock.

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July 9, 2009 12:05:53 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Thanks sViz!! I have a feeling this is what everyone wants to see. Just the answers. Good work and thanks for the effort of putting this together.

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July 9, 2009 12:36:17 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

thanks sViz.

 

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July 9, 2009 12:41:20 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

At first, I thought this would be too much of a run-a-round, but it was actually pretty easy. Thank you so much, sViz!

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July 9, 2009 1:16:26 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I'm probably too lazy, incompetent, and cowardly to try this, but it's great response to the problem. I like the way you always lay things out so clearly.

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July 9, 2009 1:46:10 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I'm probably too lazy, incompetent, and cowardly to try this, but it's great response to the problem. I like the way you always lay things out so clearly.

Yes, he did lay it out very clearly! It's not as daunting as it may seem, Will.

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July 9, 2009 2:16:30 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

"It's not as daunting as it may seem, Will"

I had to go into Windows sytem files once to remove the word "Professional" from two files so my Windows XP CD could be read. Microsoft had mistakenly put the word in for the non-Professional version, and I couldn't update the system files without doing it, because Windows demanded that I put the "Professional" CD in. I was lucky just to search and find that out. It got me sweating. Look at all those lines of code that she has for us. Scary monsters.

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July 9, 2009 2:45:48 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Thakns for spending the time compiling this. You rock.

Yes, she most certainly does!!

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July 9, 2009 2:47:00 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Yes, he did lay it out very clearly! It's not as daunting as it may seem, Will.

Bryan, don't look now, but he is a she...lol..

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July 9, 2009 3:38:28 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Another way to fix it and much more simple (independant off what version used)

 

And here's THE solution to keep using weather.com (well at least to keep widgets OK) but without having to get any Partner ID and License Key


- Load DesktopX Builder

- Before importing your widget, disconnect from/turn off the internet (unplug cable, etc.)

- R-click on the DX Builder icon in your system tray and Import your widget

- R-click on the DX Builder icon and choose List Objects

- Find the "weather_image" object. R-click and choose Edit Script

(If you don't see this object, you are likely using a different version)

- In the script editor, find the line that looks similar to this:

http.Open "GET", "http://xoap.weather.com/weather/local/" & location & "?cc=*&dayf=5" & str_UNITS & str_RANDOM_URL, False

- Replace in that line http://xoap.weather.com/weather/local/ by http://xml.weather.com/weather/local/ , save & apply the script


- R-click on the DX Builder icon and find the "weather_forecaststatus" object. R-click and choose Edit Script

- In the script editor, find the line that looks similar to this:

http.Open "GET", "http://xoap.weather.com/search/search?where=" & x, False

- Replace in that line http://xoap.weather.com/search/search?where= by http://xml.weather.com/search/search?where=, save & apply the sript

(you may have to do the same with the second line:  http.Open "GET", "http://xoap.weather.com/search/search?where=" & y, False - in case of two locations choice ...)


- This hardcodes NOTHING and the widget goes fine

- Restore your internet connection and test the widget (Use the change location button)

- If all goes okay (and it will), you can now export the widget again.

Funny isn't it ?

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July 9, 2009 4:29:45 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

good catch neo!

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July 9, 2009 4:40:37 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Don't hate me but I have to point out that none of the existing widgets comply the Weather.com's XOAP terms of use regarding advertising links and logo display.  I'm not a lawyer and I don't want to be, just don't want Weather.com coming after WC/Stardock with a hammer.  Not looking for a huge debate. I do appreciate the effort and intent of the post though.

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July 9, 2009 5:06:22 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

this doesn't help those of us outside the US. I tried to register with weather.com and there is no place to enter a non-specific US based zip code/city etc. Unfortunate

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July 9, 2009 5:17:19 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

neophil78 way works ok outside US

 

Just tried his way out on krome widget and tracer widget both now work ok in UK.

 

 

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July 9, 2009 5:18:13 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

this doesn't help those of us outside the US. I tried to register with weather.com and there is no place to enter a non-specific US based zip code/city etc. Unfortunate

If you really want to register, just enter your Town and Country that you are using currently in widgets in the box "U.S. Zip Code or City Name *"

 

ex: for me, living in FRANCE, i entered Trappes, FRANCE and i got the email with Partner ID and License Key BUT you don't have too, just read reply #10

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July 9, 2009 5:20:05 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

good catch neo!

Much more simple isn't it ?

 

BTW i don't know at all if there's any breach of Conditions of use as it's not the same Informations flux url (http://xml.weather.com/weather/local/ instead of http://xoap.weather.com/weather/local/) and search flux url (http://xml.weather.com/search/search?where= instead of http://xoap.weather.com/search/search?where= )

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July 9, 2009 7:56:44 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Awesome work neophil! I've updated the post. Thank you.

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July 9, 2009 7:59:25 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting DaveRI,
Don't hate me but I have to point out that none of the existing widgets comply the Weather.com's XOAP terms of use regarding advertising links and logo display.  I'm not a lawyer and I don't want to be, just don't want Weather.com coming after WC/Stardock with a hammer.  Not looking for a huge debate. I do appreciate the effort and intent of the post though.

Its up to the authors to make the necessary adjustments going forward. These solutions are for the end-users who have already downloaded the widgets.

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July 9, 2009 8:18:30 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Nimbin,
this doesn't help those of us outside the US. I tried to register with weather.com and there is no place to enter a non-specific US based zip code/city etc. Unfortunate

Hmm. Vad_M and adni both got it working. I tried entering some international zip codes with no luck. Then I entered the city/country names and they gave a list of suggested city/countries that had the place I was looking for. See if that works.

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July 9, 2009 11:41:18 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I was going with solution "E" In the object list I have mostly "weather..." showing.LOTS of them.It makes it hard to disable things with no more info than that. Even so, there is no way am I going through every single one in my collection.

It looks like I'll just have to mothball or delete most of my themes and hopefully get RedneckDude to walk me through fixing (disabling) a handful for use,then redownload updated(read legal) versions if they become available.  Doesn't this make all weather widgets/DX themes in the galleries that use weather dot com a direct violation of the TWC terms of usage? Same for Master DX themes for sale, if they don't comply and/or will not work in their present form shouldn't they all be removed. Flame me if you like,but why would anyone download a broken widget/theme? I see no disclamer or notification in any gallery that these will no longer work or require signing up with TWC and modification before they will function.(Even then,they won't comply unless the links and logo are added.)

I will continue to follow these threads,but I have no more comments on the subject. Thanks for letting me rant.I am very disappointed that an easier solution can't be found.

As Bob Dylan once sang "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."

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July 9, 2009 12:04:04 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Since watch a thread is currently down, I'm marking the thread so I can find it later.

 

Great job on what you all have come up with so far.

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July 9, 2009 12:45:38 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Wizard1956,
I was going with solution "E" In the object list I have mostly "weather..." showing.LOTS of them.It makes it hard to disable things with no more info than that. Even so, there is no way am I going through every single one in my collection.

Wiz, if all you are seeing is "weather..." it means the column isn't big enough. Go up to the top of the object list window, positions your cursor just after the ObjectID header; the cursor should turn into the column resizer icon. Click and drag to widen the column.

There are at most, only 3 or 4 objects that need to be disabled so it isn't a laborious process.


Doesn't this make all weather widgets/DX themes in the galleries that use weather dot com a direct violation of the TWC terms of usage? Same for Master DX themes for sale, if they don't comply and/or will not work in their present form shouldn't they all be removed. Flame me if you like,but why would anyone download a broken widget/theme? I see no disclamer or notification in any gallery that these will no longer work or require signing up with TWC and modification before they will function.(Even then,they won't comply unless the links and logo are added.)

Like I said, I think its really up to the author (unless Stardock wants to go around removing everything from the galleries.) I have put a notice in all my skins that use weather--thankfully, only two--with a link to this thread to disable (not modify) the weather parts until I can update them.

If the widgets are disabled/not working, then they aren't using the TWC feed, and therefore are not in violation, IMO.

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July 9, 2009 2:11:39 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

sViz and neophil...great work, and my thanks as well...just got back from work and found this. Who sez Xmas comes only once a year?

You folks totally rock and I truly am grateful!

Since watch a thread is currently down, I'm marking the thread so I can find it later.

Excellent advice, CG!

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July 9, 2009 2:21:45 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Great work neophil and sViz!

Don't forget to thank Vad_M who give us first the B. solution!

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July 9, 2009 6:05:36 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

- This hardcodes NOTHING and the widget goes fine

- Restore your internet connection and test the widget (Use the change location button)

- If all goes okay (and it will), you can now export the widget again.

 

Thanks sViz, that worked like a charm! The instructions were easy to follow (once I found the DesktopX Builder utility) and right on the money. I can't believe how much I missed having my weather icon on the top corner of my screen to let me know when the bad weather was blowing in from the West.      

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