Monday, April 26, 2010

Plasma: It's an abomination I tell's ya...

Now that I have your attention and defences up, abomination is the name of my new plasmoids for showing the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (ABOM) National weather info, thus it is an ABOMiNation. Yes, my humour is offered for free, though you die a little with each joke.

Things are split up into Perl scripts, data engines, and plasmoids. Its still version 0.0.1 so expect a reading of the README and a bit of tinkering to get going.

One of the nice things is that the radar image loop can be offered on the desktop with just the latest doppler radar overlay. As the background, topographic and locations are all separate PNGs you can easily get a custom look and feel or theme for your version too.

Observations are downloaded for your nominated cities. The observations plasmoid can show the ambient and apparent temperature, wind average and gust speeds, and rainfall on a rolling graph. These screenshots were taken with a sample time of 1 second and a random multiplier to test, in reality you should see nicer bell like curves for temps and less sporadic curves for wind. Seeing the gust as a cumulative on the same graph is handy for motorbike riders so you can see how "choppy" things are at a glance. Especially if you have observations for other places that you are heading towards which might be 100-200km away from your abode. For temps as shown below the -1 as the offset to apparent temp from ambient temp. The time is always when the latest observation was taken.

As you see below, the blue area is the gust speed above the average. So a variable wind will show up graphically. The direction is shown in the title along with the average and gust relative to avg speeds. I particularly hate the weather applets that show the direction as an arrow, and wind speed as a smaller number. Chewing up screen for something I don't care about and not showing detailed wind observations.

As this was my first foray into KDE applets, I found the many tutorials on DataEngine and Applets to be a good start, but there are still times when you have to RTFS and grep the subversion to work out how to do things. I still have another plasmoid to write but a release will happen very soon. I infact tried today but its interface is annoying so I'll likely shove it up on in the next few days.


Sho said...

For "grepping Subversion" you might like

Aaron J. Seigo said...

very, very cool stuff. love it :)

you are more than welcome to host these in KDE's svn if you'd like, of course. extragear/plasma/applets/ would do well ...

oh, and if there are things that aren't documented in the techbase tutorials (and i guarantee you there are *sigh*), please either holler at me on irc or by email or just add them yourself to the techbase articles (it's a wiki for a reason :)


DexterSeibe2178 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
david said...

Thank you for refocusing the known
universe back on Nimbin. You will of
course be duly elected leader for life of the tribe.

monkeyiq said...

@aseigo: cool. I'm happy to shove it into kde's svn assuming a project like this is OK for extragear where you need to do a little manual setup to use the plasmoids. Due to separating out the fetching to Perl scripts it is unlikely to be turnkey any time soon.

I'll ping the plasma ML with a few thoughts too, hopefully make life easier for the next guy, if only by a tiny little bit.

monkeyiq said...

@david: actually, I removed a bunch of places that the BOM has on there, Nimbin was on there from the BOM and I left it on there.

For the original radar stuff see: