Monday, May 28, 2007

Weather Message 3.1 Beta 9 Released

I have uploaded Weather Message 3.1 Beta 9. We are reaching the final changes for the 3.1 release. Due to some errors found in the 3.0 release, I have been pushing forward to release version 3.1.

I have a number of pending changes that I am looking at now. I may hold them so that 3.1 can be released and make them available in the 3.2 beta.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Changes to consider

I have been running over my list of changes to catch up some old items. In the process I have thought of a couple of items that I want to note to check on as time permits.

1. Add the ability to test the smtp settings from the email setup options window.
2. Add the ability to create a test message from the main setup screen. Right click on an alarm and select "Test Alarm" or "Send Test".
3. What about having a test option on the email, page, and fax group page. Right click on a group and select "Send Test Message". (This could probably be accomplished with item 2)
4. Consider disabling the state and county boxes when the product is not coded as having UGC. The same for VTEC. (There are warning messages now.)

From a support position, I believe items 1 and 2 need to be completed. Some users have difficulty getting their email server information setup properly. A test option would let them know if they have that part correct.

Item 2 would be a big help with "knowing that it works". It however would basically require me to rewrite WxMesgText in the setup program.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Retry ability added to the paging subsystem

The Email subsystem has had a retry mechanism for some time. The Paging subsystem now has this capabililty. The paging services setup screen now allows you to specify the number of retries and minutes between retries.

Both options are available for http-get, http-post, snpp and wctp. The number of retries is available for TAP. Neither option is available for pagegate.

The Fax subsystem has always had support for retries. The number of retries are currently hardcoded in the software.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

ByteBlaster Server Beta Changes

I have been studying changes to the ByteBlaster Server to make it more efficient. We know that the EMWIN data stream will be moving from 9600 baud to 19200 baud in the near future. Due to this change the bandwidth required to run a ByteBlaster server will double.

With that thought in mind, I have implemented changes in the ByteBlaster Server code to compress the data block and make it variable length. My initial tests for a 20 minute period indicates a 30% decrease in packet size. This test period included a number of graphic products that do not compress.

I will be testing this server code on my production system. I will release a beta version of Weather Message that incorporates these changes in WxByte. If the tests are successful, I will publish a paper on the protocol changes.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


I have been working with one user to write some scripts in WxScheduler. I have to admit that this feature is nice. It allows for a degree of flexibility that could not be implemented in the base application. I really want to seriously look at adding plugin capability to weather message server. This could provide some additional capabilities with short messages and archiving.

Map Changes

I have started making some changes to WxMap. The color information for the legend items and other colors has now been consolidated in the same area of the ini file. This change allowed for some optimization in the code.

The other color products now have the option "legend". If you check this item, the product is added to the legend on the main window.

I have added a label counties option to the map menu. This option will try to label counties depending on the zoom level. The program attempts to fit the county name inside the county. Right now the program requires 60 pixels of space to show the county name. Zooming in will show more of the names. I may need to add an option to allow users to set the minimum pixel size.

I have found that if you enable this option while there are active alarms, it may take a little while for the program to label the active counties. The same goes for disabling the alarms. I will find out why the mapping program does that. The name is displayed with a yellow background to help make it stand out. This also may require a user setting.

The next change for the map involves optimization. Right now when a new product is received, the program redraws all of the active weather. This takes a considerable amount of CPU time. This change will be involved. I will see if I can get that started today. This issue must be resolved before adding other capabilities.