Re: YoWindow XML weather format

Personnal Weather Station (PWS) support
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gemini06720

Re: YoWindow XML weather format

Post by gemini06720 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:28 am

Pavel, I have to comment on your original message as you do not seem to understand the concept of personal weather stations and their operation...

And yes, I am bias, PHP IS ONE THE BEST AND EASIEST WAY TO OBTAIN RESULTS...
I want YoWindow XML file to be created without PHP if possible. So, if a weather parameter (supported by YoWindow) can be passed to YoWindow without PHP, it should be passed.
First, no weather software is or will be (in a near future) producing an XML file that is directly compatible with YoWindow, and not even Weather Display. The software operator will thus have to create a template file into which he/she will have to place tags that are peculiar to that weather software. Then that template file has to be processed by the weather software in order to replace the tags with values. And, finally, that newly created XML file has to be uploaded (either by the weather software or by a FTP software) to the web server.
However, it may happen that only PHP will give us some parameter or maybe more precise parameter value. In such a case we will use PHP script.
To my knowledge (and I have been involved with PWSs for the last 7-8 years) no weather station and no weather station software produce all the required data/information needed by YoWindow - the information needed by YoWindow is obtained from either YR.NO or METARs and is entered by humans, such as the visibility, the type of clouds, the type and intensity of rain, just to indicate a few (there are others).

Using PHP will allow us to 'fudge' that information, that is to use other bits of weather data to produce a new result - so PHP will definitively be needed, otherwise the YoWindow user might as well get his/her YoWindow weather data directly from YR.NO or METARs...
Suppose a user wants to keep the file locally on her computer. She would need to install PHP to generate YoWindow XML file, and that's a problem for most users. I hope a plain text file will work for most weather stations.
There is no way for a user (either he or she) to have the XML file locally, at least not at this time as YoWindow needs a URL and not a local path - and that local XML file would need to be produced by a locally operated weather software. Most owners of new PWSs have the option/possibility of connecting their station receiver to their computer so they can have their own weather Web page.

Unless a server software, PHP cannot be installed and run on a local computer - obviously, PHP is a server side operating software...

In some cases, a plain test file can/may/might be used. But, as I have indicated above, that plain test file must include the tags that are required by the weather software and then, that file has then to be processed by the weather software to finally produce an XML file that will contain only some of the YoWindow required weather values.
I have the following picture in mind.
In the end for each Weather Station (software) we should have
1. Plain template file
2. PHP script (if we need one).
Do you have any idea on the number of PWS software out there - remember that you will also have to find out the name of all the tags produced by all those weather stations - and you will eventually end up with a possibly large number of plain text templates...

The PHP script (the script from Jim) that I am working on will eventually be compatible with at least 2 different weather station software, Weather Display (Jim designed the PHP script for that software) and Cumulus. But, then, within the same PHP script, it will be possible to add other weather station software.

I have been using Weather Display for some 7-8 years and I have been using PHP scripts/templates for the past 6 years - the scripts/templates I have adapted to the canadian bilingual needs are Ken True's "Weather Display/PHP/AJAX Website Template Set". Although designed for the Weather Display software, some of those templates already contain the code necessary to import weather data from a few other weather software.

As I wrote above, I am biased - I will keep developing and use Jim's PHP script to produce the YoWindow XML file... Why, because I do not have to 'touch' my reliably running Weather Display software. Although Weather Display produces about a thousand bits of weather data every minutes, I will need PHP to create a good number of the values required by YoWindow... And it is a lot easier to edit and modify a PHP script as I do not need to stop at any time my weather software - I just upload the modified PHP script to my Web server and that is it.

Also, by having the PHP script on my Web server, I can make that information available to anyone installing and running YoWindow in my area - and I am sure that the weather information provided by my online PHP script and obtained from my weather station will be more accurate than the weather information provided by the locally available METARs (that I have asked you to replace with more reliable ones).

One thing that I just realize: When a plain text file, it has to be continually processed by the weather software in order to update the weather values - with a PHP script, this is not the case as the weather values are only updated when a user (such as a YoWindow program) requires an update.

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nico
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Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:40 pm
Location: Maurik, Netherlands
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Re: YoWindow XML weather format

Post by nico » Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:10 am

Gemini06720
First, no weather software is or will be (in a near future) producing an XML file that is directly compatible with YoWindow
Correct.
But especially in the countries where there are a lot of metars at a close distance you can always find a metar close to your pws. So why would one have to install php as an additional layer in order to fudge your own data to get the same result as the metar data.

I think the current situation suits us all;
- I use a template to generate the possible yowindow values
- you use php to generate all yowindow values even including the fudged ones
Using PHP will allow us to 'fudge' that information, that is to use other bits of weather data to produce a new result - so PHP will definitively be needed, otherwise the YoWindow user might as well get his/her YoWindow weather data directly from YR.NO or METARs...
Disagree, I have now most data from my own station and just the sky/visibility condition from the metar.
Do you have any idea on the number of PWS software out there - remember that you will also have to find out the name of all the tags produced by all those weather stations - and you will eventually end up with a possibly large number of plain text templates...
There are a lot of software packages, but the major ones are less then 10 in my opinion. I think Yowindow-people are NOT using all formats of the different software, it is up to the pws to generate the suitable yowindow-xml!

At this moment in time we can still make tweaks to the xml to make it 'more simple' (possible to use without php). IMHO php adds another layer to your weatherstation software, maybe it is in the end easier to use, but also requires maybe additional support from your hosting-company.
But please go ahead and develop your script, I envy you for being able to do that as I have no clue about php (you gathered that didn't you).
best regards
Nico
http://www.wsMaurik.nl/

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par
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Name: Pasha
Location: Saint-Petersburg, Russia
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Re: YoWindow XML weather format

Post by par » Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:08 am

There is no way for a user (either he or she) to have the XML file locally, at least not at this time as YoWindow needs a URL and not a local path
Disagree.
YoWindow accepts a local file-system path, like "C:\My Weather Station\weather.xml"
The PHP script (the script from Jim) that I am working on will eventually be compatible with at least 2 different weather station software, Weather Display (Jim designed the PHP script for that software) and Cumulus. But, then, within the same PHP script, it will be possible to add other weather station software.
If I were creating these PHP scripts, I would create an individual script for each weather station/weather software.
I would not mix 2 or more weather stations in one script.
Usually this is a better choice in software design.
But maybe you have a good reason to mix stations.
Please, listen to my advice.
I've been programming since 12 and I have read a couple of books on software design.
-...by having the PHP script on my Web server, I can make that information available to anyone installing and running YoWindow
-When a plain text file, it has to be continually processed by the weather software - with a PHP script, this is not the case as the weather values are only updated when a user requires an update.
Agree.
Yes these two are advantages of PHP.
Please keep on developing the script.
Thank you for the support and the care!
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