Weathermap 0.98 hit 5000 downloads yesterday… woo!
Also, work is going well on the database changes for 0.98a. The actual database stuff has all been replaced and about 70% tested. Some of the other changes have highlighted some issues though, so I’m working on those now. The solution has been to pull in some of the refactored code from last year, which is tricky in places – it is all interdependent, so you have to try and break bits off cleanly. So now I am working through, weaving the two parts back together again.
Anyway, the end result will be some nicer code that most people won’t care about, and PHP 7 working, which they will! I don’t plan on this taking a lot longer, spare time permitting.
Just a quick note about known current issues with Weathermap 0.98:
- It doesn’t work with PHP 7.0 – In PHP 7.0, the ancient mysql_xxxxx() functions that WM uses for database access are no longer available. The rest of the world moved on to PDO some time ago, but I didn’t bother because Cacti didn’t. PHP 7.0 is the default in some distros now (Ubuntu 16 at least) though, which makes it a bigger problem. I’m in the process (about 70% through) of fixing this by replacing all the database access code. This has some other benefits for the future, like the possibility of supporting other databases, and better database security (I’m moving to prepared statements everywhere too). I’m also separating out the actual database stuff from the Cacti plugin, so writing a plugin for something else should be easier too. The editor and command-line tool don’t use a database currently, so those are not affected.
- (some of) It doesn’t work with PHP 5.3 – Well, this is embarrassing! In fixing a deprecated code issue for PHP 5.6+, I added a problem for PHP 5.3. Luckily it’s a one-line fix, and only affects the command-line ‘weathermap’ tool. If you get PHP Parse errors with 0.98 and PHP 5.3, here is the solution until 0.98a comes out.
Photo Credit: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
To get the blog functionality, I’ve switched from a simple static template to WordPress. This currently has limited content – just the text from the previous static page and the manual pages as before. In particular I want to add some images to the the front page – a graphical tool with no pictures isn’t so good! I hope it will all appear in the coming days.
I recently posted a survey for Weathermap users, asking how they use it, which features they use, and which features they would value most for future versions. One thing that was surprising was requests for features that already exist! So that implies that some better documentation, or tutorial information would also be good.
With that in mind, I’ve converted the static network-weathermap.com site to a blog, so that I can add tutorials here. I’ll try to think of ways to improve the reference documentation too.
I’ll also share some more of the results, once I have more, and have had time to process them.