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View Full Version : Announce: SpiceyWeather; Animated Weather forecast screensaver plugin



cparker
2009-09-08, 09:26
SpiceyWeather a Weather forecast screensaver plugin with a few unique twists and features.

FEATURES
Experimental Animation for Conditions; Drizzle, Partly Cloudy, Sunny, Rain.
Experimental Localisation for Conditions; Rain, Drizzle, Cloudy, Sunny.
Utilises the full 3x line screen of the Squeezebox. (See below)
Experimental Duet icons for a few common weather types.
It is designed to be simple and efficient(probably), no bells, no whistles required
Simple to update and maintain, so no degree in Perl to be able to tweak it your way
Best practice Async request for the http stream
The usual UP and DOWN keys to step through the 10 day forecast

THINGS TO NOTE
Temperature is fixed to Celsius.
Customisation of the 3x Line display is not supported and was built for the SB3.
If you dont like the icons then craft some better ones
Only a few of the weather conditions are currently animated.
Localisation is only for a few conditions, you can change these by altering the strings.txt file.
If you make the localised lines to long then it will scroll and mess up the display.
I couldnt get foreign chars to work in the strings.txt file SC would through up a backtrace error, no idea why!
ONLY tested on SC version 7.3x


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This screen saver is based on the framework of three other screensavers.
Based on the SuperDateTime plugin by Greg Brown - www.gregbrown.net/squeeze
The graphical weather icons and the code to support them are based on the WeatherTime screensaver written by Martin Rehfeld.
The standard SlimServer DateTime screensaver written written by kdf.
Some of the Weather symbols resized are originally from www.vectorportal.com
Weather data stream from www.weather.com


VERSION HISTORY
1.0 Alpha
+ Added FOG icon, removed extraneous icons
+ Added 3rd line to display text
+ Rebalanced display to ensure no overlapping text with icons
+ Added data protection in the case of a network issue, current forecast will be retained (probably)
+ Added basic gfx icons for Duet

1.0 Beta - 8th Sept 2009
+ Added Experimental Language Localisation; Rain, Drizzle, Cloudy, Sunny
= Fixed Data Refresh which wouldnt update display correctly
+ Added Experimental Animation for a few of the main icons; Drizzle, Partly Cloudy, Sunny, Rain.
+ Added condition capture for "Clear"
+ Added condition capture for "Fog Late"

1.01 - 17th Sept 2009
+ Added restart of datastream pull if it appears to be corrupted
= Reduced size check before datastream gets marked as corrupt

1.02 - 21st Sept 2009
= Performance tweak, removal of unnecessary disk read on each screen update which may improve performance on low powered NAS devices etc.

Please let me know if this improves your experience or not.



Installation
Unzip to your plugin directory, e.g. C:\Program Files\SqueezeCenter\server\Plugins
Ensure to retain the integrity of the folder structure
Restart Squeezecenter, then go to the web settings to configure your location, see the URL bar for your ID at www.weather.com

THINGS TO DO
Where do you start.....


Please let me know your experiences

Nautiwolf
2009-09-09, 09:20
At last - precipitation makes a comeback to my SB3s!

I'm guessing that many people will be grateful for restoring this functionality having lost it from Martin Rehfeld's (excellent) WeatherTime plug-in a while back - and that (like me) they'll also be grateful for kudos with their Significant Others for the precipitation stat being back on screen, but let me be the first to thank you!

I've got some weirdness going on with the text forecast scrolling over the 3-line forecast, which is probably to do with the interface with Music Information Screen & TitleSwitcher, which I also have installed. What font size do you have in your screenshots there?

Anyway, thanks again.

cparker
2009-09-11, 09:32
I've also got Music Information Screen and TitleSwitcher installed. I have mine set to Threeline.

Yep the PREC was driving me crazy as well :) Which was the main reason I spent a few weeks writing the plugin, that and to start to learn how the gfx display works on these players.

Cheers

Paul_B
2009-09-13, 02:32
Nice update (or probably more accurately re-write) of the plugin. I've got the problem with the font being too large as well. I also have the Music Information Screen. WHere is the font for this line controlled, MIS, SC?

Cheers

Paul

cparker
2009-09-13, 02:37
I set threeline via the sc web interface -> Settings -> Player tab -> Display. I have threeline as the standby and font.

It might be possible to force the font size as part of the startup and shutdown routines of the plugin, but I have no idea how, if anybody knows drop me a line

Cheers

Edit; I also have under the player tab -> Music Information Screen -> Use SqueezeCenter's font size setting as OFF.. dont know if that makes any difference though

Paul_B
2009-09-13, 13:35
I set threeline via the sc web interface -> Settings -> Player tab -> Display. I have threeline as the standby and font.


Changed mine from whatever I had to the same as you and it resolved the problem of over-sized. Need to see what knock-on effect this now has. Thanks

Paul

Nautiwolf
2009-09-14, 06:22
Thanks for the answer, got that setting right. Unfortunately, probably because I'm running SC on just a QNAP TS-209 (which isn't particularly powerful), I got terrible buffering problems when I started playing back music.

These stopped when I disabled the plug-in again, so I've had to leave it disabled for now. I haven't had a chance to do an in-depth investigation, but I didn't have these problems with WeatherTime. As a temporary fix, is it possible (say) to build in the ability to control how often SpiceyWeather looks for updates, which is something WeatherTime lets you do?

NW

cparker
2009-09-14, 09:09
Unfortunately, probably because I'm running SC on just a QNAP TS-209 (which isn't particularly powerful), I got terrible buffering problems when I started playing back music.

Hi Nautiwolf,

Thanks for the feedback, I'm assuming that this occurs when you have SW running on one or more players but not on the player that you are listening to music on? or is it an issue that shows once you exit out of the screensaver and then play music.

In terms of updates it only pulls data initially and then sits quietly for 1hr before checking again.

My thoughts are that it may be the animation side that is nailing your system as this seems fairly heavy on CPU to refresh the screen, in which case I can look at an option to disable this in the config.

Cheers

Nautiwolf
2009-09-17, 01:58
My thoughts are that it may be the animation side that is nailing your system as this seems fairly heavy on CPU to refresh the screen, in which case I can look at an option to disable this in the config.


Hi again

Sorry for the delay in responding, I've been running a few checks. Basically, it looks to me as if it may be the animated icons. I was using SpiceyWeather (I'll call it SW if that's OK) on 2 of my SB3s, and was originally getting the buffering problem on one while the other one was showing SW.

I turned SW off on one of the SB3s, and then checked the QNAP's system resources. These showed nearly constant 90-100% CPU usage on just the one SB3 using SW in standby (that's not normal for the QNAP).

What I haven't done is tried playback while SW was enabled on the single SB3, but given the CPU useage, a buffering problem is highly likely if not definitely going to occur.

Disabling the SW plugin has resulted in CPU useage reverting to a more normal 10-15% in standby.

If, having read this, you still feel that the animation side of things is the likely cause, and an option to disable it can be integrated, then I'll gladly try that out and post my results. Just for info, I had WeatherTime on a 15 minute refresh and that didn't have any material impact on playback.

thanks again for your interest.

NW

madpatrick
2009-09-17, 14:23
Nice plugin !!
I see constantly a scrolling text "Loading spiceweather .... Please wait" and this is not disappearing.
The log file gives no errors.



[09-09-17 23:11:33.0905] Plugins::SpiceyWeather::Plugin::getWeather (1929) async request: http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/NLXX0025?from=36hr_topnav_undeclared
[09-09-17 23:11:34.0236] Plugins::SpiceyWeather::Plugin::gotWeather (2089) got http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/NLXX0025?from=36hr_topnav_undeclared
[09-09-17 23:11:34.0254] Plugins::SpiceyWeather::Plugin::gotWeather (2105)
ContentLength;124589
[09-09-17 23:11:34.0259] Plugins::SpiceyWeather::Plugin::gotWeather (2106)
ContentLength was small, possible data stream error
[09-09-17 23:11:34.0269] Plugins::SpiceyWeather::Plugin::gotWeather (2138) Data completed, refresh timer set
[09-09-17 23:11:34.0274] Plugins::SpiceyWeather::Plugin::refreshData (2159) Drawing screens...
[09-09-17 23:11:34.2313] Plugins::SpiceyWeather::Plugin::doneDrawing (2184) Data refresh completed
[09-09-17 23:17:02.3741] Plugins::SpiceyWeather::Plugin::refreshData (2149)
Data refresh in process...
[09-09-17 23:17:02.3748] Plugins::SpiceyWeather::Plugin::getWeather (1929) async request: http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/NLXX0025?from=36hr_topnav_undeclared
[09-09-17 23:17:03.2084] Plugins::SpiceyWeather::Plugin::gotWeather (2089) got http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/NLXX0025?from=36hr_topnav_undeclared
[09-09-17 23:17:03.2097] Plugins::SpiceyWeather::Plugin::gotWeather (2105)

cparker
2009-09-17, 15:17
Nice plugin !!
I see constantly a scrolling text "Loading spiceweather .... Please wait" and this is not disappearing.
The log file gives no errors.

Hi,

Yep I noticed this today as well, please download 1.01 as above which should fix the problem.

Cheers

In terms of the animation issue on low CPU boxes, I'll take a look at this shortly. If anybody knows a "lighter" screen update method please let me know.

cparker
2009-09-21, 09:15
I turned SW off on one of the SB3s, and then checked the QNAP's system resources. These showed nearly constant 90-100% CPU usage on just the one SB3 using SW in standby (that's not normal for the QNAP)

Hi, I did a quick 5 minute review of the code and found a disk read command in each screen refresh that didnt need to be in there. I've now removed this in v1.02. It may make some difference or it may have no affect at all, but let me know your experience :)

Cheers.

Nautiwolf
2009-09-23, 13:50
I've downloaded and installed 1.02, and the QNAP is still showing 100% CPU usage, I'm afraid.

NW

Heuer
2009-10-03, 11:43
Great plugin and good to have 'chance of rain' back. If you are going to make any further changes you might want to consider getting the display to default back to 'today' after say 15 seconds. Can cause confusion if someone has left it displaying a few days ahead.

NickA
2009-10-03, 23:22
you might want to consider getting the display to default back to 'today' after say 15 seconds. Can cause confusion if someone has left it displaying a few days ahead.

Yes, this caused a minor argument in our household the other day ;)

But, otherwise a great plugin.

Cheers,
Nick

mortod
2009-10-08, 06:43
the download seem to be corrupted - could you update please?

njanda
2009-10-25, 00:01
I stumbled upon Sipceyweather whilst looking for a fix to running another Weather plugin on a Boom. No matter what I've tried I cannot get it to fit the little display size.

Will Spiceyweather be available via the Extension Downloader ?

Nautiwolf
2009-10-25, 00:30
Will Spiceyweather be available via the Extension Downloader ?

I can't help on the Boom display question, but you should be able to add the SW repository to your repositories (http://spicefly.f-snet.com/repo.xml) in "Plugins" (in SC7 upwards)and then use Extension Downloader to install it.

Nw

Heuer
2009-10-27, 07:03
This plugin seems to have stopped updating. My SB still shows the weather for Sunday (today is Tuesday) as the first forecast screen. Is there a problem?

Heuer
2009-10-28, 10:19
Stopping and re-starting SS solved it!

Heuer
2010-06-17, 12:16
Just upgraded to 7.5.1 but the plugin is shown as not compatible. I edited the install.xml file and set <max version> to 7.5+ but still not working after a re-start. Is this the end if this great little plugin?