New feature (very nearly ready) - Weather Records

I’ve just opened up a new category - Weather Records for you all to look at.

This is a feature that I’ll make available to you soon. I’ll need a few testers, but I can’t invite anyone to test if the category is hidden. I could open it up using a group, but the forum content looks OK to me so there’s no reason you can’t all see what’s being tested.

So what is this?

I’ve written a script that people who have Weather Display (or compatible) clientraw files (specifically clientrawextra.txt) can run once per day using cron. The script reads current records from your clientrawextra.txt file and compares them to values stored by the script. For any record that’s been beaten in the last day (or few days if you didn’t run it for a while for some reason) it will post a new messsage on the Weather Records category.

On the first run, it will add all your current records to the existing posts in the category. Subsequent runs will only post a message when there’s a record that’s been beaten.

The idea behind this is three-fold, i.e.

  1. Discourse gives developers and admins some cool things to use, so why not use them!
  2. I think it’s interesting to see other people’s records being beaten
  3. It gives your website a mention so you might get more visitors who find your site relevant.

I’ll work with the first one or two testers to confirm that the script works OK and that the documentation (fairly simple) addresses the needs of script users.

Comments on the concept and what you can see so far are welcome in this topic.

I am willing to try it.
I assume I will need a script to run on my server?

You will. I’ve got a change to make to it tomorrow and then pull my notes together to create some documentation. I’ll be in contact when I’ve got things ready.

I’ll test it for you.


I’m willing to test it also.

I’m a bit behind with the script work. I got a genealogy enquiry this morning which has taken more time than I expected.

I know, I’ve got too many hobbies :roll_eyes:

I found time for my weather scripting hobby today :crazy_face:

A copy of the script and associated files have been sent out to three testers. Hopefully we’ll see their records appear in the relevant category in the not too distant future. If it takes a while then that means I’ve messed something up with the script or instructions!

v1.0 of the script had a few issues which I think have now been addressed in v1.1. I’ve done my first test run and it’s also scheduled for an automatic overnight run tonight so I’m hoping that by tomorrow I’ll know if it’s behaving itself. Then I’ll package it for the three testers so they can try to break it.

Biggest changes are:

  • It no longer reports all 11 possible records on the first run, which added a lot of messages to the forum quite quickly. It now reports one new record per day.
  • Imperial, and other, unit conversions how been applied, so users of the commonest sets of units won’t have to convert the numbers in their head. I’ve not added a furlongs per fortnight wind speed conversion though.

I’d be willing to give it a shot :slight_smile:

Once myself and the first three testers have tested v1.1 then I’ll expand usage a little so I’ll need in touch soon.

Version 2 of Weather Records is here.

It quickly became apparent with version 1 that there would probably be floods of record posts which apart from being irritating would also probably mean that most of them would go unnoticed. Version 2 works in a completely different way, which means that there will only ever be a maximum of 2 new records posted each day. Records might take a bit longer to be published, but it probably means that more people will look at them. Once the initial flurry of historic records has been published the number of posts will probably reduce significantly because records aren’t broken every day.

There are 11 different records for each station - essentially the main records to be found in all clientrawextra files. For each record (historic and new ones as they arise) there will be one post looking like this…

All Time Record High Gust Speed Post

If there’s a previous record being beaten that will also be included in the post.

The system now also maintains a record table for each record type, looking like this…

All Time Record High Gust Speed Table

Each time a new record is published the record will be added to the table (or the table updated if there’s already a record for that station).

There are now four stations feeding records in, so I’ll be monitoring how that goes for a little while before asking for more volunteers.

I’m looking forward to seeing how my records compare with others. I’m pretty sure we don’t have the extremes like many others do, but it’s still going to be interesting to see how hot, cold, windy, etc it gets in other places!