NNW International
NNW International

Part of why I have been relatively inactive here on Off on a Tangent lately is that I am continuing to devote a good amount of my free time toward developing No-Nonsense Weather. The live version right now is still 0.7.4, but I am hard at work on developing the next big beta: 0.8.0.

In addition to bug-fixes and performance improvements, and support for nautical miles and knots if you prefer them for distance and speed measurements, I am planning two really big feature enhancements for the 0.8.0 beta:

First, No-Nonsense Weather will support international locations (the 0.7.x series only supports U.S. locations). Severe weather watches and warnings will still be U.S.-only, but you’ll be able to get current conditions and a seven-day forecast for pretty much any location in the world. This is feature-complete and working in my testing instance (see screenshot), but I am still working on some performance issues. It turns out that searching a MySQL database of practically every named location in the world takes much longer than searching practically every named location in the United States. I have it optimized to the point where many world-wide location searches are even faster than U.S. searches were in the previous version, but I’m still having performance issues in some cases that I need to resolve before I can roll out a release. In the end though, I expect location finding to be much faster in 0.8.0 than it is today, no matter where you are.

The second big new feature is that I am making major improvements to the weather radar view. Right now, I just grab the appropriate U.S. National Weather Service radar image and pop it into the No-Nonsense Weather interface . . . but this is not particularly flexible. I am going to make it much nicer and easier to use in 0.8.0. You’ll be able to pan around and zoom in and out like you do in Google Maps and other similar services. At the moment I am planning to offer radar world-wide (well, in places that have weather radar, at least) . . . but fair warning, I might reduce the scope to just the U.S. depending on how big a project this ends up being. I’ve just started working on it, so I don’t have a good idea of how much time it will take just yet. If the 0.8.0 radar feature ends up being U.S. only, I’ll still come back (probably in 0.9.0) with world-wide support.

If you have used No-Nonsense Weather and experienced any bugs or problems with the current version, please either submit a bug or use the feedback feature on the site itself. I might have already fixed it in my 0.8.0 development efforts, but if not, there’s still time for me to get fixes in before the next release!