The "End" of DesktopX...

...weather

By on March 29, 2012 9:13:42 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

sViz

Join Date 04/2006
+504

…weather. DesktopX weather. The end of DesktopX is a topic for another day.

So, it seems the current weather feed—you know, the one which replaced the The Weather Channel feed because TWC moved to a license-based system—will be deprecated. Weather Underground is also moving to a license-and-fee-based system. It will affect some of the more recent weather widgets and gadgets in the DesktopX galleries. When will the current feed no longer be available? Dunno. Perhaps, it will coincide with the end of the world this December.

For now, it’s still functioning, but there are already features that are no longer supported, such as location search & search results (when you don’t know the name or code for the location, or when there are multiple locations with the same name.)

Are there any other weather provider alternatives? Looking into it (likely for the last time.)

More importantly, is there a point to finding another weather provider? Clearly, the market has spoken. Weather providers have decided the free service business model is unsustainable, considering having to keep up with the sheer volume of traffic. Find another service, and once use of their feed spikes, they, too, will adpot a fee-and-license-based system to manage the onslaught.

So, unless you’re a company that can afford and manage a license, like Stardock vis a vis AccuWeather, the days of free-range, customized desktop weather are coming to a close. And, really, mobile computing is putting most desktop applications out to pasture, anyways.  

This has been your heads-up.   (<--not really how I looked when I found out.)

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March 29, 2012 9:23:04 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

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March 29, 2012 9:25:16 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

That's too bad, but not surprising.

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March 29, 2012 9:39:02 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

The money grubbers have spoken!

I'm packin' up my stuff and moving to Mars.

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March 29, 2012 9:53:50 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

This may well happen to every desktop application (not only DX) using a feed.

I wonder though, will this happen if the METAR code is used? I know that with the Winstep weather module there were problems with the Weather Channel feed but not for those using the METAR code.

That might be the solution... not every location has a METAR code, but a close by location might...

@sViz - you might try pm'ing Jcrabbit (Jorge). He might have some good ideas for you... {I hope }

 

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March 29, 2012 12:26:06 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Damn...

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March 29, 2012 1:10:04 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

so many freeloaders here at Wincustomize? of course those services want to earn money.

i use Rainmeter with BBC Weather (thanks British taxpayers )

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March 29, 2012 1:30:45 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

i hope this dosent affect the sysmetrix weather.... uvah? do you know if it would?

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March 29, 2012 1:52:44 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Sysmetrix also uses METAR.

METAR information is retrieved by parsing a METAR coded string from an actual web page at NOAA, so it's unlikely it will ever go down unless they change the URLs or the page format. The problem with METAR is that it does not include forecast information, only very detailed current conditions, which are reported by airports all over the world.

The other problem is that because the information relies on airports and not weather stations, METAR does not support as many locations as, say, Weather.com.

Now let me say something about the Weather providers: I fully understand them wanting to get paid for the information. That is not the problem. The problem is HOW MUCH they want to charge for that information - they're absolutely crazy! Weather information is simply NOT worth its weight in gold, unless you're a weather service of some kind and make all your profit from that.

Let me give you an example regarding Weather.com. I think it will make your hair stand, it sure did mine:

Had a look at their Pricing Wizard page for PC gadgets. They want $977.98 per month for 2,000,000 monthly data requests, which is their maximum permitted number of requests. That's an outrageous price, IMO.

Furthermore, 2 million requests per month may seem like a lot, but if you take into account that the forecast in Winstep applications is updated every hour, then you'll know that each running copy of Nexus or Xtreme would be making 24 requests per day.

2,000,000 / 30 days = 66,666 requests allowed per day. Divide that by 24 hours/requests and, at most, those 2 million permitted requests per month would only be enough for 2,777 copies of active Winstep applications. Even if weather forecast requests were cached and only performed once every 24 hours, those 2,000,000 requests would only be enough for about 66,000 Winstep users.

It's nearly impossible to say how many Winstep applications are in use today, as, besides the regular user base, lots of people are constantly installing and uninstalling Winstep Xtreme and Nexus. But it's a LOT more than 66,000, that's for sure.

So, not only is the price they're asking outrageous (even for a commercial application like Winstep Xtreme: Winstep is in the business of selling Windows customization applications, NOT weather information, which is just a commodity for its users), as they also impose unreasonable limits.

And I personally know the current price of bandwidth, and I can tell you it does NOT justify in ANY way the price they want. Not even close by an order of magnitude.

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March 29, 2012 2:20:00 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I'm really only interested in the desktop feeds for current conditions anyway, when I'm wanting forecasts I want more detailed information and look harder.  "Rain tomorrow" isn't enough information for me anyway. Perhaps I'm not the only one.  I do find the current conditions to be extremely helpful though.

So I suppose if I had to choose between only current conditions or nothing at all, only current conditions would be an easy choice for me.

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March 29, 2012 2:34:43 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

The problem is that METAR information needs a script to parse it from the HTML page and decode the information itself. Here is an example of a METAR string for the current conditions at Lisbon Portugal:

2012/03/29 18:00 LPPT 291800Z 10007KT CAVOK 21/03 Q1014

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March 29, 2012 4:16:10 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Jorge... thanks for cruising by.

66,001 - renewed.

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March 29, 2012 4:39:07 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

omg Jorge!!!!

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March 29, 2012 4:42:40 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

So....What WILL happen now then ??

JC, do you think that it´s the beginning of the end....? for real ??

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March 29, 2012 5:03:14 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

The end?  No.

It may be time for the community to find a more extensible plugin for DesktopX.  Something that can be easily modified to handle these types of changes.

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March 29, 2012 5:18:00 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

So, do I stop making weather widgets? Or wait and see?

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March 29, 2012 5:22:02 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Nope, not at all. There are always alternatives, listen to Zubaz.

When Weather.com closed their XOAP feed in November with barely any advanced warning (two weeks warning, or so), I got pissed off and coded support for two alternative weather feeds (besides METAR). If one fails, the other is used as a backup.

In the mean time I found out that the XML feed is still available, so now Winstep applications have four possible feeds: METAR/NOAA, Weather.com, MSDN and Google.

Nothing like some redundancy.

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March 29, 2012 5:28:59 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting JcRabbit,
Nothing like some redundancy.

Nothing like some redundancy.

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March 29, 2012 5:31:18 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting JcRabbit,
so now Winstep applications have four possible feeds: METAR/NOAA, Weather.com, MSDN and Google.
Show off.  

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March 29, 2012 5:35:01 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

First goes the weather then goes.....................

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March 29, 2012 5:36:35 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Uvah,
First goes the weather then goes.....................

.............the memory, or is it the hair?

 

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March 29, 2012 6:43:49 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Philly0381,



Quoting Uvah,
reply 19
First goes the weather then goes.....................


.............the memory, or is it the hair?

 

The whole damn body actually. Head to toe.

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March 29, 2012 8:02:51 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Is there over here ONE person who can swear he didn't download anytime any music or video/film on the WWW

 

So what ? i'm still using Weather.com data (but through xml feed not through Xoap one) and you can trust me i still sleep well ...

 

 

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March 29, 2012 8:24:13 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

What about "The Weather Network" www.weathernetwork.com

 

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March 29, 2012 10:32:40 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Or even, accuweather. www.accuweather.com

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March 29, 2012 10:47:45 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I just look out the window...I know...it's old tech...but it still works! And you can almost smell the weather...very realistic! Let's see a gadget do that!

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