The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Weather Now 4.0 released to Beta

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, 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.

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