Weather Desklet 2.8.4

UUID: bbcwx@oak-wood.co.uk
Score: 34

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(Formerly BBC Weather Desklet)

The Weather Desklet can retrieve weather data from several online weather services and display them on your Cinnamon desktop in a neat way.It comes with a choice of icons and plenty of options for configuring how it looks, and for those who like to keep an eye on the weather in several locations it supports multiple instances. At present it can work with data from the BBC, Yahoo! Weather, Open Weather Map, Weather Underground, World Weather Online, forecast.io and weather.com (The Weather Channel).

By default the forecast will be refreshed approximately every thirty minutes. You can always force a refresh by clicking the refresh button at the bottom right. Hovering over the icons in the forecast area will show a brief descriptions of the forecast, whilst clicking on the current weather icon or the credit link at the bottom of the desklet will take you to a more detailed forecast for your area.

Configuration

Right click on the desklet and select 'Configure...' to enter the configuration screen.

Select the sevice you wish to use to provide weather data. Note that some services require you to obtain an API key by registering with them.

The Location must be specified as a code and these codes are specific to the service that you are using. Below are notes on each of the services supported.

BBC

To find your location code visit the BBC Weather site and search for your city. The code you need is the numeric part at the end of URL for the city's weather. For example, a search for London takes you to:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2643743

The Location code is therefore 2643743.

Open Weather Map

Visit the Open Weather Map and search for your city. The code you need is the numeric part at the end of URL for the city's weather. For example, a search for Chicago takes you to:

http://openweathermap.org/city/4887398

The Location code is therefore 4887398.

You can also give a latitude and longitude. These should be decimals, separated by a comma, with positive being north or east. For example, for central London, 51.51N, 0.13W, use 51.51,-0.13.

Open Weather Map does not require an API Key, but it is recommended that you use one. To obtain an API Key for Open Weather Map register on the Open Weather Map website.

Yahoo

Visit Yahoo! Weather and search for your city. The code you need is the numeric part at the end of URL for the city's weather. For example, a search for Berlin takes you to:

http://weather.yahoo.com/deutschland/bundesland-berlin/berlin-638242/

The Location code is therefore 638242.

You can also give a latitude and longitude. These should be decimals, separated by a comma, with positive being north or east. For example, for central London, 51.51N, 0.13W, use 51.51,-0.13.

Weather Underground

Weather Underground requires an API key. You can obtain a free developer API key here. Weather Desklet uses the 10 day forecast data, so you will need to get at least the Cumulus Plan.

There are several ways to specify the location for Weather Underground. For locations in the USA you can simply use a zip code. You can also give a latitude and longitude. These should be decimals, separated by a comma, with positive being north or east. For example, for central London, 51.51N, 0.13W, use 51.51,-0.13.

You can also specify locations as Country/City, eg France/Paris, or within the USA as State/City, eg TX/Houston. You should check that your proposed location works by visiting the website, eg

http://www.wunderground.com/q/France/Paris

If you search for your city on wunderground.com and are taken to URL of this form:

http://www.wunderground.com/q/zmw:00000.16.03541

use the section following the q, eg zmw:00000.16.03541. If you are taken to a URL with a station ID such as:

http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/03541.html

you can convert this to a zmw code by taking the station number (03541 in this case) and prefixing it with zmw:00000.1. to give zmw:00000.1.03541

World Weather Online

World Weather Online requires an API key. You can register for a free API key here.

Locations can be specified as a US zipcode, a UK or Canadian post code, or as a latitude and longitude. Latitude and longitude should be given as decimals, separated by a comma, with positive being north or east. For example, for central London, 51.51N, 0.13W, use 51.51,-0.13.

Forecast.io

Forecast.io requires an API key. You can register for a free API key here.

Locations must be specified as a latitude and longitude. Latitude and longitude should be given as decimals, separated by a comma, with positive being north or east. For example, for central London, 51.51N, 0.13W, use 51.51,-0.13.

weather.com

Location codes for the weather.com service can be looked up here.

Please not that the weather.com XML feed used has officially been retired. You should treat the weather.com service as deprecated and likely to stop working at any time.

Refresh time

Select the period between refreshing forecasts. The default of 30 minutes should be adequate for most purposes. Please consider the impact of lower refresh times on the service provider's servers and do not use lower refresh periods unless you have a very good reason. In order to comply with the terms of use of some providers Weather Desklet will override low settings in some cases and enforce a minimum.

Location display settings

These settings allow you to use an alternative source for text displayed for the location. They are particularly useful for those whose language is not English.

By default the text is provided by the weather data service. If the service does not provide translations of city names, using names provided by Yahoo! or Google may do so. As a last resort you can manually enter a city name.      

Experimental and buggy settings

These are settings that should be used with caution.

Anchor desklet by

This setting allows you change the point on the desklet that is anchored. This point remains fixed as the desklet grows or shrinks. It is useful if you wish to place the desklet close to a screen edge. By default the desklet is anchored to the top left corner, so for example, if you place the desklet in the bottom right of your screen a long weather text may cause it to grow beyond the edge of the screen. By anchoring to the bottom right of the desklet this problem is avoided

However, Cinnamon's drag and drop functionality for desklets does not cope with a change of anchors. You will find drag and drop behaves oddly if you use this option and you will probably have difficulty positioning the desklet just where you want it. I recommend that when dragging and dropping you always grab the desklet by the top left corner. It's still weird, but slightly less so!

Other settings

Most of the other settings should be obvious - just experiment. Please note, however, that not all services support all settings. For example, some support only a limited number of days of forecast, or do not support humidity or pressure. If you change the configuration and the display doesn't seem to change, it's probably because the service you have selected does not support the new options. See the list of service capabilities for details.

Using your own icons

There are details of how to use your own icons in the Weather Desklet on the project wiki, or in the README file in the icons/user directory of the Weather Desklet's installation directory. A number of example configuration files are available in the extra directory.

Language support

The Weather Desklet provides partial support for languages other than English. The messages displayed by the Weather Desklet come from two different sources

  • Text descriptions of weather forecasts and current conditions are provided directly by the data service being used
  • Labels (eg 'Humidity', 'Pressure'), units, and all text in the settings dialogue come from translation files shipped with the Desklet

Data service provided translations

Some data services provide translations of their weather data. Where these are available in one of the preferred languages configured for your desktop, they will be used. The following services support translations. Click on the link to find out which languages are supported:

Note that although forecasts are translated, names of localities may not be. In this case you may wish to look at the Location display settings.

Internal translations

The Weather Desklet supports translation of most of the internal messages, and some forecast messages from services that do not support translated forecasts themselves. We have a small but growing number of translations contributed by users. If you are a native speaker of a language that we don't yet have a translation for, why not help out? Find out more about translating the Weather Desklet.

Found a bug?

The best place to report bugs is the issue tracker on the desklet's github page. I don't get  notified of comments made here, so whether or not I see your comment is a bit of lottery :)

Release notes

2.8.4

  • Updated French translation (thanks to Perco)

2.8.3

  • Added Basque translation
  • Added Dutch translation
  • Added Italian translation
  • Added French translation
  • Updated various translation
  • Added support for Italian and Polish forecasts from forecast.io
  • Added support for Croation and Catalan forecasts from Open Weather Map

2.8.2

  • Added Ukrainian translation
  • Added Finnish translation
  • Added German translation
  • Added Portuguese translation
  • Updated Spanish translation
  • Improved logging

2.8.1

  • Added Spanish translation (thanks to Fernando)
  • Minor bug fix

2.8

  • Added ability to get displayed city and country name from reverse geocode lookup at Yahoo! or Google, or to set it manually. This is primarily of use for non English speakers as most services return city names in English only
  • Added translations into Polish, Croatian and Slovenian

2.7.1

  • Fixed a bug handling empty strings and 'null' from some services

2.7

  • Added support for other languages where provided by data services (see above)
  • Added support for translations of internal messages - please help with translations!
  • Added support for using styling from the current Cinnamon theme
  • Fixed a bug handling place names that contain an apostrophe when using BBC data

2.6

  • Added new icon set 'Sketchy'
  • Added various example configuration files for use with icon sets available for download elsewhere. See the extra directory in the distribution
  • Experimental feature to allow desklet to be anchored at different points

2.5

2.4.1

  • Added 'adjust' property to iconmeta.json to improve handling of icons that have no inbuilt padding. See the wiki
  • Tidied up some debug code

2.4

2.3

  • Added new service forecast.io
  • Display of big current weather icon and text can now be turned off
  • Added ability to specify location as lat,lon for Yahoo! Weather and Open Weather Map. This leaves only the BBC for which lat,lon cannot be used
  • Added option of using kPa for pressure units

2.2

  • Added three new icon sets
  • For most items of data it is now possible to select whether or not they are displayed
  • Added current visibility and forecast pressure and humidity to items supported
  • Border width is now configurable
  • Clicking on the main weather icon now launches a full forecast in the default browser
  • Some tweaks to limit the extent to which themes and global settings interfere with the Weather Desklet's styling

2.1.1

  • Fixed a bug that caused multiple browser windows to be opened when clicking on the link to the service provider's website

2.1

  • Added two new services. Both require an API key from the service provider
    • Wunderground.com
    • World Weather Online
  • Option to use API key for Open Weather Map
  • Refresh period is now configurable. There is an enforced minimum of 10 minutes for all services and greater for some  service where the Terms of Use require it
  • Various tweaks

2.0

Version 2.0 is a major update. The Weather Desklet now supports three sources of weather data: the BBC, Yahoo! Weather and Open Weather Map. The internals have been extensively modified to make it easier to add additional weather sources in the future. The name has been changed to reflect the fact that the desklet is no longer tied to a single source of data.

Longer range forecasting is supported by the new sources, including up to 7 days from Open Weather Map.

1.0

Initial public release as 'BBC Weather Desklet'.

Help with development

The Weather Desklet's development is hosted on GitHub. Feel free to fork it and contribute!

Credits

Code

The Weather Desklet is written by Chris Hastie and released under the GNU General Public License version 3. It is a fork of Loganj's AccuWeather Desklet, which is released under the “use it as you like” license. Copyright © 2014 Chris Hastie, 2013 Loganj.

The desklet makes use of the marknote xml library, which is Copyright © 2011 jbulb.org and redistributed under the terms of Apache Licence, Version 2.0.

Icons

Translations

See translation credits here.

Other stuff

Alternative city name lookups are provide by Yahoo! and Google.

About The Author

tipichris


37 Comments

  1. tipichris says:

    4 months ago

    @elgigantor I'm happy to add any data feed that I can legally get access to without spending money, but with a quick look at the weather network site I couldn't find such a thing. It appears they offer data feeds, but it looks like a paid service negotiated with a sales team: http://media.theweathernetwork.com/web_datafeeds.php I could potentially parse their RSS feeds (which is what I do for the BBC), but this is more complex and it's not clear that it falls within the terms of use. It is also rather limited - they give only min, max and "POP", which I presume is probability of precipitation. POP I'm afraid Weather Desklet doesn't currently handle (none of the other feeds use it), so initially I'd have to drop this, leaving only min and max. Parsing RSS feeds has it's problems, the main one being that it relies on the feeds having a consistent format. It also requires the feeds to select weather descriptions from a limited fixed list, and I need to know what that fixed list is. To that end, if you're really keen to see this feature perhaps you could start scouring WN's RSS feeds and compiling a list of text used. Here's an example: http://rss.theweathernetwork.com/weather/caab2989

  2. elgigantor says:

    4 months ago

    Any way you could add a feed from the weather network? it's canadas weather.com equivalent.

  3. tipichris says:

    4 months ago

    @Brahim - I'd love to add Accuweather, but they do not make their data available in a way which allows use. I'm aware of Accuweather feeds, but they always contain the text "This document is intended only for use by authorized licensees of AccuWeather.com. Unauthorized use is prohibited. All Rights Reserved". If you can point me to an Accuweather data source that I am authorised to use I'll happily add it. @elgigantor - no idea I'm afraid! I just write code to make use of what they publish. Why they decide to publish what they do is down to them :)

  4. elgigantor says:

    4 months ago

    Works great in M17. one question though.. do you know why none of the weather services give a proper "feels like" temp due to humidex? works perfectly with "feels like" for windchill but during the summer months it's not accurate.

  5. Brahim says:

    4 months ago

    Thank you!! It works fine on Linux Mint 17. But can yyou please add accuweather to data service? Many thanks!

  6. alfonso says:

    5 months ago

    Great. Congratulations.

  7. arktika says:

    6 months ago

    great work!! bravo!

  8. SoundMind says:

    6 months ago

    Awesome desklet, really liking it except for one thing. I like to dock it in the top right corner of my screen but when the weather description changes from something short to something longer it automatically expands to the right and part of it gets cut off of my screen until I manually move it back to the left a bit. If possible perhaps a config option could be added to automatically expand to the right OR to the left side instead of only to the right? That would make it perfect to me!

  9. elgigantor says:

    7 months ago

    @tipichris Too bad. Thanks for the kPa add.

  10. tipichris says:

    7 months ago

    @elgigantor WWO don't provide 'feels like' information - at least not in their free API. Doesn't look as if the premium API includes it either

  11. elgigantor says:

    7 months ago

    on the next update could you add the "feels like" info for WWO?

  12. elgigantor says:

    7 months ago

    i think 1008 mb is equal to 100.8kPa. not a big deal but it would be a nice addition for us Canadian folk

  13. tipichris says:

    7 months ago

    @elgigantor that's straightforward enough. How many decimal places would be appropriate? I'm thinking 1 - pressure in mb is rounded to 0 places and in kPa the value would be one tenth (1 mb = 1HPa), so 1 decimal place would be the same precision. That sound sensible?

  14. elgigantor says:

    7 months ago

    Love the latest update. would it be at all possible to add kPa to pressure?

  15. tmlk says:

    7 months ago

    @tipichris - you did it. Now it display without that bar. And the new options are very useful. Thanks.

  16. tipichris says:

    7 months ago

    @tmlk - version 2.2 should hopefully resolve your issue @anandrkris You can now configure what is displayed and what not - hope that's what you were after

  17. tmlk says:

    7 months ago

    @tipichris That's great news. Thanks for your help!

  18. tipichris says:

    7 months ago

    @tmlk I can reproduce a line, though it doesn't look quite as bad as the one in your screenshot. I've fixed what I get, which I hope will fix what you see too. The fix will be included in the next release which will hopefully be sometime this weekend.

  19. tmlk says:

    8 months ago

    @tipichris I'm using Baldr ( http://cinnamon-spices.linuxmint.com/themes/view/38 )

  20. tipichris says:

    8 months ago

    @tmlk: can you let me know what desktop theme you are using? It seems you have a different stylesheet to me. I think I know where the problem is, but it would be easier to deal with if I could reproduce it.

  21. tmlk says:

    8 months ago

    Hi, First of all, thank you very much for this desklet, simple, beautiful an useful. I just have an annoying graphical issue. In the screenshots at the beginning of this very page I don't see horizontal lines. Check my screenshot ( http://imagebin.org/294697 ), why do I have that (ugly) horizontal bar/line? Thanks in advance for your help. Regards.

  22. elgigantor says:

    8 months ago

    Thanks for the latest update. Great work!!!

  23. anandrkris says:

    8 months ago

    Thanks for your reply. I didn't express myself correctly well last time. "Openweather predicted that there will be showers today in Chennai and it did shower although it usually does not at this time of the year. So, it was a perfect prediction :-)" Glad to know that display configuration is on your road-map. A suggestion - Screenshot above can show display of different service providers supported by desklet.

  24. tipichris says:

    8 months ago

    @anandkris Thanks. I've noticed some odd forecasts from Open Weathermap too - showers and freezing temperatures in Dahab, South Sinai. Turning on and off display of some parameters is a long term plan, but I think I need to get on with some other work just now ;)

  25. anandrkris says:

    8 months ago

    Awesome, 5 stars from me. One thing I would like to see is a configuration setting to show / hide humidity, pressure, etc. Perhaps units could be specified as N/A to hide the particular weather parameter? P.S. Openweather predicted that there will be showers today in Chennai although it usually does not at this time of the year. ;-)

  26. elgigantor says:

    8 months ago

    Great update!! i registered with OWM and have my own key now. Thanks for your work....

  27. tipichris says:

    8 months ago

    @elgigantor OK, ability to configure the refresh time has been added in 2.1, along with Wunderground and World Weather Online data. Please be kind to the service providers servers and only reduce refresh times if you really need to - weather information doesn't change that frequently.

  28. elgigantor says:

    8 months ago

    @tipichris I just noticed it does refresh every 30 mins or so. if i click the refresh button i can get updates like every 5 mins. is there a way to make the desklet update every 10 mins or so??? i looked through the config files but couldnt find it. any ideas??

  29. tipichris says:

    8 months ago

    @elgigantor refresh time is 30 minutes +/- 5 minutes (slightly randomised). If you think it isn't updating can you using lookingglass (Alt + f2, type lg) or the Cinnamon Developers' Tools desklet to view the cinnamon logs. It should record each refresh. If you're not seeing a change it could be simply that the feed hasn't changed - most weather feeds don't update that frequently. Feels Like is displayed if a backend supports it, but the Open Weather Map API doesn't return Feels Like or anything like it. Currently, Yahoo! Weather is the only backend I use that supports Feels Like.

  30. elgigantor says:

    8 months ago

    it seems to only update when i click the refresh icon..

  31. elgigantor says:

    8 months ago

    also. what's the refresh time while using Open Weather map??

  32. elgigantor says:

    8 months ago

    just a suggestion. could you add the "feels like" for OWM??

  33. mcutting says:

    8 months ago

    Superb update - thanks. Am now using Yahoo for weather, and locations are working perfectly.

  34. tipichris says:

    8 months ago

    I'll look at neatening up what happens when a 'null' appears - I've just seen one in a wind direction too.

  35. mcutting says:

    8 months ago

    Thanks - I did see the RSS feed myself, and also saw the "null". Good to hear that Braintree is working - I'll use that as it's close enough :)

  36. tipichris says:

    8 months ago

    Hi mcutting I don't think there's much I can do about this. If you look at http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/weather/feeds/en/2656194/observations.rss at the moment it is reporting the current weather as 'null'. The desklet is merely reporting what it finds in the feed. The question mark icon is the one used when the weather in the feed isn't recognised, which obviously it won't be with 'null'. You may find that the BBC's feed sorts itself out. Or try somewhere nearby. Braintree seems to be working: 2654938

  37. mcutting says:

    8 months ago

    Great applet. However, there seems to be a bug of sorts. For example, if I use 2656194 as the ID, the weather is not returned properly. I get a large question mark, and "null" where the current data should be. 5 stars from me - would give 6 if I could - any chances of sorting out this small bug ? Thanks