Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog
Sunday 3 March 2013

I don't know what to do with myself the rest of the day. I've just deployed the completely-redesigned Weather Now application. I feel 10 kilos lighter.

Check out the preview on Windows Azure.

The application started in mid-1997 as a feature of the now-defunct braverman.org, my proto-blog. The last major changes happened in 2006, when I gave it a face-lift. I've occasionally pushed some bug fixes, but really, until today it has looked and acted essentially the same way for 6 years. (The GetWeather application, which downloads and parses data from outside sources, hasn't changed significantly since 2002.)

So what's new? In sum:

  • The application now runs on Microsoft Windows Azure, up in the cloud. (Check out the preview!)
  • This means it also runs on Azure SQL Database instead of on-site SQL Server.
  • Since I had to port the database anyway, I completely re-architected it.
  • The database rearchitecture included moving its archives to Azure Storage, which will pay benefits once I update the UI to take advantage of it.
  • The ancient (1997, with revisions in 1999, 2002, and 2005) GetWeather application, which downloads weather data from outside sources, got rebuilt from byte 0 as well.
  • Finally, I fixed 35 bugs that the old architecture either caused or made fixing overly difficult.

There are a few bugs in the preview, of course. This morning I found and fixed 6 of them, all related to architectural changes under the hood that the creaky user interface didn't understand. And just now, I discovered that it thinks the sun never shines anywhere—again, almost certainly a problem related to changing from using the broken System.DateTime object to its replacement, System.DateTimeOffset. Always another bug to fix...

Still: I'm done with the port to Azure. I'll bang away on it for the next week, and if all works out, on Saturday I'll finally, finally, finally turn off my servers.

Sunday 3 March 2013 12:37:48 CST (UTC-06:00)  |  | Weather | Windows Azure#
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David Braverman and Parker
David Braverman is a software developer in Chicago, and the creator of Weather Now. Parker is the most adorable dog on the planet, 80% of the time.
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