back to article Met Office cuts off Linux users with new weather widgets

Linux users face increased inconvenience getting a weather forecast from March onwards when the Met Office will withdraw its web-based weather gadgets and replace them with desktop widgets – for Windows and Mac only. Previously the Met Office's Firefox and iGoogle weather gadgets allowed anyone with internet access to check …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here we go again, it's the iPlayer fiasco all over again!

    I don't see the Met Office bending over to help the Amiga, Atari ST or ZX Spectrum platforms for that matter. Development costs time and money, so to recoup that they need to "pander" to the most common platforms to see a reasonable ROI.

    1. David Harper 1
      Linux

      There's a better solution

      The Met Office should dump Flash, and use a platform-neutral technology instead.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: There's a better solution

        You want a site delivering Met Office weather forecasts that isn't tied to a particular OS because of its uses of non-standard tech? Try http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/.

        You want something to embed on your desktop because you can? Congratulations. You are an insufferable geek and will just have to live with the fact that the rest of the world does not exist to pander to your taste in consumer electronics. Frankly I think it is silly that they've developed widgets for Windows, let alone any other platform. Can't they just spend the money on forecasting the weather?

      2. Mike Tubby
        Go

        HTML5, CSS3, WebSockets anyone?

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Foresight is cheaper than development

      "Development costs time and money, so to recoup that they need to "pander" to the most common platforms to see a reasonable ROI."

      Picking the wrong technology and doggedly ploughing on with development also costs time and money.

      One would hope the Met Office would have the sense to implement one backend which can serve any number of different front ends over a simple JSON or XML request. Then they can throw the APIs open so that platforms which are not officially supported can still receive data through 3rd party apps. e.g. someone could write a GNOME shell extension which called the same service. Done properly, the Met Office probably even make some money off it.

      1. Luke 12
        Meh

        They charge money for their an XML feed (which is basically giving you an FTP read access to a DAT file), that is why they won't have a XML/JSON api.

        1. DrXym Silver badge

          Doesn't make sense

          "They charge money for their an XML feed (which is basically giving you an FTP read access to a DAT file), that is why they won't have a XML/JSON api."

          The format of the data is irrelevant, it is the data itself which matters and I am quite certain the Met Office has ways to monetize their data such that the basic info is free for powering weather widgets but the more detailed data is charged for.

          The amount of data required to power a weather widget is likely to be fairly minimal - a location temperature, temperature range, wind, weather outlook, humidity for today and maybe up to a week ahead for up to 5 locations (for example). With updates occurring maybe every 1 hour. They could also have some reasonable terms of use such that a widget say "powered by the Met Office" and provide a link to their website.

          More heavy duty apps which wished detailed information would have to supply a key with their request which is purchased and billed for in some way.

      2. Chemist

        "Foresight is cheaper than development "

        Agree entirely.

        As a Linux only user I might be devastated by this news except I don't use Met Office widget for Firefox anyway.

        "but that involves at least one more click than usual" - er ? Bookmarks anyone ?

        As for iPlayer - simples use get_iplayer instead

      3. hrf
        Go

        Met Office DataPoint for free XML and JSON

        Met Office DataPoint

        The Met Office already have a free XML and JSON API since November 2010, it's called DataPoint and will have more feeds on it within the next few months. For now see http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/ddc/. DataPoint is aimed at professional application developers, the scientific community and student or amateur developers, in fact anyone looking to re-use Met Office weather data within their own innovative applications.

    3. Code Monkey

      Publishing an RSS feed or similar costs time and money, but not much.

    4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Meh

      They are "profit-oriented"

      "to recoup that they need to 'pander' to the most common platforms to see a reasonable ROI."

      Someone doing profit/loss calculations at a government outfit?

      Please clarify.

    5. PassiveSmoking
      FAIL

      You, sir, are a moron.

      Nobody's talking about forcing the Met Office to implement ZX Spectrum support, just wanting them to use an open standard (say, XML) instead of a closed one (Flash/AIR).

      It surely wouldn't take a lot more effort to implement the client widgets in HTML/Javascript (as the widget engines in both Mac OS and Windows use anyway) and feed them from an XML file would it? That way, even if they choose not to develop a Linux widget themselves, the fact that the data to be consumed is provided in an open format means that anyone who wants to create their own widget is free to do so.

    6. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      ROI?

      'Development costs time and money, so to recoup that they need to "pander" to the most common platforms to see a reasonable ROI'.

      How are they going to get a return on investment from something they give away for nothing?

      The development costs come from taxpayers, so it's not unreasonable to expect that any taxpayer with internet access will be able to see the benefit.

    7. Homer 1
      Mushroom

      What "ROI"?

      So how much do YOU pay to access the Met Office Website?

      What "return" does the Met Office expect to get from something it gives away for free, exactly?

      "ROI" my arse.

      As for your snide "Amiga, Atari ST or ZX Spectrum" reference, I bet there's a helluva lot more people running those systems under emulation than there are Mac users (currently only 6%, according to Hitslink), so why should the Met Office be "bending over" to support that platform, but not others, especially when an interoperable solution could easily be implemented using open standards, without resorting to proprietary junk like AIR®?

      Not that the "ROI" from Mac users will be any more significant than that from other platforms anyway. After all, 6% of zero is still zero.

      Looks like Adobe has just greased somebody's palm to boost adoption of their failing technology.

      Screw the Met Office. Their "predictions" are useless anyway. I'd probably have better luck tossing a coin.

      1. Sean Baggaley 1
        FAIL

        Context: it's a real thing. You may want to look it up sometime.

        Macs have a damned sight more than 6% of the consumer PC market, which is the only market Apple have targeted until very recently. Unfortunately, nobody seems to be surveying that market alone as getting solid data for it is much harder than just letting a computer read HTTP headers from lying web browsers, servers, and all those PCs sitting in offices all over the world doing bugger all for 16 hours each day.

        Almost every single consumer also has access to a work computer of some sort. The latter is the computer they're going to be sitting in front of for about 8 hours of every working day. Breaking out the figures that apply only to the consumer market is therefore tricky, although it'd be interesting to see what Apple's market share becomes if you only check data from weekends.

      2. ThomH Silver badge

        @Homer 1

        The Met Office isn't doing anything to support the Mac. If they're bending over backwards at all, it's to support Adobe's AIR. The complaint isn't the cheap flame bait of "oh look, the Met Office are supporting the Mac" but rather the one you almost hit — that they've decided to use a proprietary (and almost useless) standard for platform independence rather than an open standard.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    But why

    But why can't they just release a API and let others sort out widgets and wongles and desktop pondles.

    What about the blackberry tablet, seriously think of the children.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They do, sort of...

      Mythtv's weather system uses XML files from the met office - under Linux.

      1. A Known Coward
        Headmaster

        Actually, it uses the BBC rss feeds. The BBC data is derived from met office data though, so it's really no different. There's no API for location searches so that part still breaks each time the BBC web monkeys decide to redesign it once a year.

  3. mrmond

    Met office aint the only fruit.

    So stuff them. Just use a widget from another provider. there's plenty of them.

    The one on my google page isn't from the met office,and the only weather gadget I use on my linux system isn't either.

  4. s. pam
    FAIL

    New MetOffice gadgets and apps are pure SHIT

    Why the fuck can't they just get the fucking weather report right and quit fucking around with other stuff?

    They even have a iPad and Android app now, FFS!

    Worst / Epic Fail is the latest version of the iPad app CRASHES, can lock up your iPad and is such an abortion of an app people are removing it en masse.

    If you contact the Met's support email address, ipadapps@met.co.uk:

    "We are sorry to learn you are experiencing difficulties with it and confirm we are aware that some users have experienced a service which has not met our usual high standards. The application is proving very popular, but there is a known "bug" which for some users is causing it to crash. Thank you for your patience whilst our developers are working hard in the background to resolve this issue. Full service should be restored without too much delay."

    SCREW that, tell us accurately what the fucking weather will be!

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
      WTF?

      Do the Met. Office, or original article, really deserve such a vitriolic comment ?

      1. Richard 81

        No, not really.

        El Reg may enjoy ribbing them, but personally I've found their predictions for this last year to be spot on.

        That is, after all, what they're there for. Apps and widgets are just gravy.

      2. Silverburn
        Happy

        @ Non e-mouse

        He does have a point though - the only thing they seem to get right these days in the UK is the damned temperature, and that's not always right either.

        The one they simply can't seem to get right is precipitation - unless you're on the west coast of scotland, where you don't need to have a meto. degree to forecast rain. Every day.

        Though for balance, he does sound like a man who gave up smoking 3-4 days ago...

        1. Ian 16

          Ayrshrie and southwest...

          The only thing guaranteed is rain, but like everything else 80% of the time it just pretends to do that too.

    2. Wyrdness

      It does seem as if the Met Office manage to screw up just about everything they touch. Their iPhone app contains horrible bugs that make me wonder what their developers are smoking. Every time they update their web page, the usability deteriorates still further. I just can't understand how they're managing to get these things so wrong, unless they're outsourcing to the cheapest and most incompetent bidder.

  5. Tom 7 Silver badge

    I only use the metoffice site

    to look at atlantic isobars - as a 'weather' site is been so dumbed down its useless - almost as bad as Metchecks semi-permanent 'Subscript out of range:'

  6. Refugee from Windows

    The Norweigians seem to be more accurate

    Sorry Met Office but www.yr.no seems to be rather more accurate than your forecasts.

    1. Frederic Bloggs

      I agree and their xml based api is available and documented.

    2. Def Silver badge
      FAIL

      yr.no

      hahahahahahaha

      yr.no is the least accurate weather site out there. Really. They're utterly useless. About four years ago I thought they were really accurate - that might have just been my perception back then - but not now.

      The really funny part, however, is that they get their forecasts straight from the UK Met Office. They had a major failing about nine months ago where their >3 day forecasts were totally out of whack. They were blaming the fact that the UK Met Office models couldn't cope with the mountainous landscape that features so prominently here in Norway.

      1. Andrew Halliwell
        Black Helicopters

        Totally agree...

        One of my android widgets uses yr.no... Yesterday, it claimed it was thundery weather all day (all it did was rain). Today, it's snowing and all it's saying is rain.

        Useless. Can't even get the CURRENT weather right, let alone predict it.

  7. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge
    Coat

    Red sky at night...

    I've never really understood why it is considered necessary to know what the weather will be from minute to minute.

    I can understand that an accurate forecast is very important for certain occupations and industries, but does the average office bound worker really need to know there is a 10% chance of light rain in the next hour?

    For most purposes, a quick look out of a door or window will suffice.

    My own work involves my being out of doors regularly, and I use the Met Office's site once a day to look at the surface pressure charts and forecasts. This is mainly to make sure I have appropriate protective clothing in the van. Popping home to change, is not an option.

    As someone once said, "it's not bad weather - you're just wearing the wrong clothes."

    Do I need to explain the icon?

    1. Bassey

      Erm...

      "I've never really understood why it is considered necessary to know what the weather will be from minute to minute."

      "I can understand that an accurate forecast is very important for certain occupations and industries"

      So, having said you don't understand it, one line later you do. Excellent.

      1. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge
        Unhappy

        @Bassey

        Sorry to have confused you. Perhaps if you read my second paragraph in it's entirety, all will become clear.

        What I was trying, and probably failing, to say was that most commercial users will be making decisions on forecasts for periods considerably longer, or further ahead, than the next few minutes.

        Hence my puzzlement at the need to know the weather "minute by minute".

        1. Bassey

          Re: @Bassey

          "What I was trying, and probably failing, to say was that most commercial users will be making decisions on forecasts for periods considerably longer, or further ahead, than the next few minutes."

          Ahh, fair enough. Well, as both a keen ultra-distance race-walker and former Mountain Rescue volunteer I can assure you that the hour-by-hour forecasts are hugely useful. Gave up on the met forecasts 4 or 5 years ago, mind. Nowadays I read the pressure charts & radar to get an idea of where things are and where they are going followed by Accuweather for a pretty good stab at what will happen. Their granularity is also much smaller than the Met (i.e. they claim to offer forecasts for smaller areas) and I usually find them to be spot on.

          Not holding out much hope for accuracy this week, though. The pressure charts show the warm front edging back and forth over where I live - which basically means prepare for all types of weather every ten minutes or so.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'd have to say...

      ...percentages are wasted on a lot of people. If you tell them there's a 80% chance of a harsh winter and then it's mild they'll say you "got it wrong". Of course, the same morons keep on buying lottery tickets...

  8. Callum
    FAIL

    adobe have been a bit vicious by actually removing the adobeair package from their yum repository. Frankly, I don't see what harm there was by just leaving it there ad infinitum. The binary install provided on their archive page is a bit of a nightmare to install on modern Linux OS's.

  9. Ocular Sinister
    Happy

    The KDE Weather widget with the BBC source

    If find it works very well, and I'm fairly sure Auntie gets her info from the Met Office. Problem solved.

  10. Mike Bell
    Boffin

    Re: Super Norwegian Forecasting

    Here's my Norwegian forecast:

    Cold. Wet.

  11. James 51
    FAIL

    Why are they using AIR for this?

    See title.

    1. Number6
      Coat

      Well, weather is mostly AIRborne.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why are they using AIR?

      Because that's where the weather is!

  12. JDX Gold badge

    re:Worst / Epic Fail is the latest version of the iPad app CRASHES

    When a Windows app causes a crash it's the OS' fault. When it's a nix-based OS, it's the app's fault.

    1. hplasm
      Windows

      You are correct!

      How odd.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Missed chance.

    It really matters very little just what the interface is, even that "simple json or xml" mentioned above is easily overkill. There already exist weather report and forecast exchange formats that predate the webmonkeys' latest and greatest formats*, and fetching that might already be enough and lower traffic than either. What matters is the thinking**, the understanding both of the demand and of the expected ways to solve it. The met office fails at least on the latter, missing a chance not only to deal with adobe's high-handed refusal to support any open platform for their air product, but also to garner reputation and support, facilitating innovation, and so on, and so forth.

    They could've done this right by starting at the API level, whatever its form, publishing one or more usable interfaces with documentation, and writing their own widgets against that. They could even publish the source to those just to show how it's done.

    But to do that they'd have to understand that putting the weather on the intarwebz entails more than providing code that only runs on the platforms some provider of plugins deigns to support. Letting yourself be led down the garden path this easily is not a good show. It merely sets you up for more of the same kind of failure a little down the road.

    * Note how xml is so great that people came up with json in response, and neither has managed a monopoly. Neither have the lesser-known alternatives. How convenient.

    ** A nicer example is how the dutch met (knmi) publishes small aviation weather reports in a boring old text format stuck between a pair of 'pre' tags, surrounded by html fluff. I have a script that fetches the page and displays only the part between that tag pair. I'd waste a little less bandwidth if they'd publish just the useful text part.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      You are not going to emit whines about writing two additional lines of Perl, are you?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Uhm. Oh heck, I'll bite anyway.

        The script is a shell script, mostly scaffolding to provide easy extensibility and usage output. The pre filter is two lines of sed. Adding in perl would mean a rather larger footprint, and json/xml parsers add further dependencies of actually quite a bit more than two lines.

        We blithely assume that coder time is more valuable than cpu time so tend to throw more and more code at the problem to make the problem vanish (either through solving it or trough obscuring it), then throw as much hardware at the resulting mess to make it look like it runs acceptably fast. That is quite a lot of wastage, oftentimes easily remedied with a bit of stepping back, looking at the thing in its entirety, and thinking for a bit.

        Not sure if that's a whine, and I wasn't about to bring it up, but then you did. This script I wrote for my own enjoyment so it's not critical; if it was more trouble I probably wouldn't have written it at all. But time and again, and both within computing and without, you see that being careful at the start of the pipeline, even with seemingly minor details, can easily yield substantial benefits at the end. Computing is full of such complex systems that we tend to automatically compartimentalise in modules and layers and whatnots, then possibly optimise within the divisions we imposed, but easily forget about the complete picture.

        The result is a bit myopic and one easily overlooks even simpler and more efficient solutions that might not merely be possible but already exist. That's what I was on about, regarding the blithe "must have json and/or xml!" comments a bit above. Your "two lines of perl" is a bit of a red herring, perhaps because you yourself missed the point. This particular field already has acceptable transfer formats, why not use them?

        In a way, that blind preference for what aren't even very good general formats is the same sort of fault we're accusing the met office of, though perhaps less cripling (for us freetards). And then there's the habitually understated cost of using them.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          Excusing the fact that your anonymous here... (clearly a paranoid programmer)

          I like the cut of your jib.

          I've always found XML and JSON quite excessively verbose, whilst understanding that the underlying principles behind them are sound - standards and data freedom.

          It's all about what is best for the job at hand - and if that's just a simple blob of text that can be grabbed by wget and formatted for presentation = job done.

          All that matters is that the data source retains it's structural integrity.

          It so ridiculously easy to take that exceptionally basic data structure and wrap anything you want around it - pretty icons? well, you've got the cloud and temperature data, what more do you need to extrapolate that data into an image?

          10 lines of Javascript could take that basic text feed and output a relevant weather icon, or 10 lines of php, or 10 lines of Perl, or 200 lines of asp... (low blow)

  14. Andus McCoatover
    Windows

    Met Office...

    Obviously at the "Foreskin^H^H^H^Hfront of Modern Technology"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      We all like a warm front.

  15. yossarianuk
    Linux

    The default Kde weather widget will work

    Even if the BBC actively blocked Linux users you have the choice of sources where your weather comes from - bbc, wettercom (A German source on less), etc

    Speaking of KDE 4.8 came out the other day - its the most useable desktop I have ever tried.

    Its faster than Windows 7 on the same machine and is in my opinion looks prettier and is more useable - the best thing is its free !! And in 6 months it will improve again (how long until windows 8 is out ... And that doesn't look like its going to be an improvement at all - more like Unity.)

    1. admiraljkb
      Linux

      re: The default Kde weather widget will work

      That matches my experience with Kubuntu 11.10 and KDE 4.8 loaded. Holy !@#$ it's gotten QUICK! Since KDE is crossplatform, have to wonder how many people on Win8 will switch to it for a default WM instead of Metro? KDE could be the new Norton Desktop for Windows (back in the Win3.1 days, before Norton completely went to pot).

      But the relevant part to the story: if you do your widgets platform independent, you don't have to spend so much development resources redoing everything for Windows, Android and iEverything. AIR is dead, Flash is dead, and a Windows ONLY policy is also dead due to the popularity of iPhone/iPad/Android. Nobody has enough money to pay developers for the same work on three platforms. Port it to HTML5 and associated standard tech and be done with it. Its just business at the end of the day, and Windows only costs too much when you have so many people on other platforms also hitting it, and the CFO is going to have something to say at some point. As a side benefit for those of us that are more flexible on our OS dance cards, Linux is now an unexpected beneficiary of Apple and Google's mobile success's. :)

  16. Miek
    Linux

    I just look out of the window to see what the weather is doing

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I just look out of the window to see what the weather is doing"

      The Met Office should try that sometime on their short term forecasts, e.g. where the forecast says dry and the window (and more importantly the rainfall radar) both say wet, or vice versa.

    2. John Arthur

      Very Short Term Weather Forecast

      I just use their on-line rainfall radar with 30 min snapshots of the last 6 hours. Shows you where the rain is coming from and allows you to work out the rough arrival time. The rest of the Met. Office is a waste of my taxes as far as I am concerned.

  17. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    So before this you had to use Firefox or iGoogle in order to use the weather widgets. Now you have to use Windows or Mac. Linux users complaining now get no sympathy from me. Presumably they were perfectly happy that people who didn't use FF or iGoogle couldn't use these little tools before.

    Anyhow these are just extras, the forecast is still available from the website. All you need is to bookmark your chosen forecast page and you can fire it up right from your desktop. Hardly difficult is it?

    When you're developing this stuff you have to draw the line somewhere.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      No, you don't

      You publish an API, one 'proof-of-concept' implementation of your own and tell everybody else "Here's an API. Use it with the following conditions, we promise to publish any changes at [place] before changing this public API. Enjoy."

      - The conditions might be non-commercial or "zero-cost app" use only, defined maximum hit rate, must give credit etc.

      Within a few weeks there will be multiple widgets and apps for every single gadget, operating system and desktop environment used by more than one geek. Probably widgets for ones only used by one geek...

      This will have cost you the same as making a widget for a single operating system.

      Or you could use a proprietary system that's going end-of-life pretty soon, and end up paying to develop your own widgets several times while supporting very little.

      1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

        But you haven't explained why they should publish an API. Firstly they have a website and that's all they really need. Secondly an API giving access to their data would not be in the tax payer's interest. The met office sell forecasts to commercial concerns, if the data were freely available they would lose income and the tax payer would have to pay more towards their funding.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Plenty of other weather forecasters.....

    Who don't use dogshit, bug ridden, bloated, insecure Adobe manure and are a damn sight more accurate.

    Agree with many of the comments above, who needs this crap when you are running KDE CWP, sadly for you windows folks MS foisted a half assed buggy widget system on you.

  19. jake Silver badge

    Weather reporters & the Web have never been exactly comfy together ...

    Ever eyeball weather.com? Look at the page source for my local weather, for example:

    http://www.weather.com/weather/today/Sonoma+CA+USCA1076

    Worst bit of monstrosity web code I've ever seen ... has been for over a decade. How much HTML, exactly, does it take to provide the image that that particular page is trying to convey? Nevermind the white-space ...

  20. mmm mmm

    @Blofield's cat

    Not everyone is working indoors at the same time. I happen to enjoy outdoor persuits and a minute-by-minute forcast helps because you can plan and adapt what you'll need to wear/take with you by predicting what the weather will do by using current predictions!

    1. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge
      Facepalm

      @mmm mmm

      I was going to ask if you had read my original post all the way through, but instead ...

      Note to self:- Add "weather forecasts" to the list of topics not to comment on.

    2. Doug Glass
      Go

      Weather Rock

      Any of these should suit you well:

      http://www.google.com/search?q=weather+rock&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=wtF&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=6cUmT_j3N6Lv0gHTofDPCA&ved=0CDAQsAQ&biw=1120&bih=632

  21. JDX Gold badge

    @Alan Smithie

    No need for the bitterness. Everyone knows Linux users don't need to check the weather anyway, because the only time they open their front door is when Dominos turn up.

    1. Doug Glass
      Go

      Or the basement floods.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Windows

      Typical Windows user

      Can't even find the proper reply button

  22. d3Xt3r
    Linux

    Not a problem for nix geeks

    I don't see this being an issue for any *nix geek worth his salt. All you have to do is hit up WireShark or similar to sniff on the traffic sent to/from the widget and it shouldn't take too long to whip up a native client written in python or something...

    Worst case scenario: you can always run AIR under Wine.

  23. Richard North
    Boffin

    See that window over there?

    If you look out of the window, you can see the weather in real time...

  24. DominicSayers
    Unhappy

    Facts, instead of FUD

    FACT: "The desktop Widget requires Adobe AIR version 2.5 or above" - http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/uk/desktopwidget.html

    FACT: "The last version to support desktop Linux distributions is AIR 2.6. AIR 2.6 is available from the AIR Archive." - http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/408/kb408084.html

    AIR 2.6 download for linux is here: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/853/cpsid_85304.html

    This took me about 5 mins to establish. This is a sensationalist report with a list of kneejerk comments. Please can we grow up?

    1. despicable me

      Facts

      "This took me about 5 mins to establish. This is a sensationalist report with a list of kneejerk comments. Please can we grow up?"

      Welcome to El Reg - you must be new here.

  25. Tony Humphreys
    Stop

    I use windows to find out the weather. It takes no mouse clicks, and I dont even need to use the command line. I just look out of it.

  26. Alex King

    Oh dear

    To everyone who is proposing a technical fix: No.

    I don't want a picosecond of taxpayer-funded time spent on suporting a system used by about 1% of people. Yes they should probably ditch the apps/widgets/whatever for everyone else too and just make sure their web page is good, but even if they don't, it doesn't justify time spent supporting a small, willful minority.

    1. James Hughes 1

      5%

      Linux on the desktop is about 5%. That is still a shitload of people. Tell you what, disabled people are less of a percentage than that, should we cancel all those ridiculous disabled rights stuff?

      It's not just the MetOffice BTW, you used to be able to get OS maps on Linux, but a recent move to Silverlight (Yes, Silverlight - wtf) means their change of service has actually DECREASED it's usage You really have to wonder who makes these decisions...oh...Microsoft.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ James Hughes 1

        "Tell you what, disabled people are less of a percentage than that, should we cancel all those ridiculous disabled rights stuff?"

        Of course not. People don't choose to have disabilities, and there's some chance they're not obnoxious, whining narcissists who just take the easy route and blame MS for everything. Because they know on this site the majority will agree with them and they can feel validated.

      2. Luke 12
        Stop

        5% ... more like 1%. I don't know one single guy that runs Linux on a desktop, and I work in a web development company.

  27. Bodger
    Stop

    The Penguins will like this

    Penguins can use the Weather Underground API

    http://www.wunderground.com/weather/api/

  28. JDX Gold badge

    @James Hughes 1

    Tempting as it is to equate Linux users with the disabled, that's a bogus argument because Linux users CHOSE to use Linux, knowing full well that Linux support never has been high on anybody's list for the desktop market.

    And I think your figure of 5% is as made up as his 1% is.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      I'm a Linux user but couldn't give a toss about the change, largely for the reasons you specify (never that bothered about the weather in quite that level of realtime anyway).

      What does bother me is another Tax-payer funded org going the route of AIR. As others have said, why not a nice simple API containing the basics?

      Someone mentioned Dominos? I'm hungry now!

    3. Chemist

      "knowing full well that Linux support never has been high on..."

      And yet we still use it - I wonder why

      1. Doug Glass
        Go

        Yeah! A lot of us wonder the same!

  29. This post has been deleted by its author

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why not

    Just use a proper OS, and not something really designed for servers?

    1. PeteA

      Because it runs better on my phone

  31. razord

    A year late...

    No one seems to have noticed that actually this is talking about 2011.

    The warnings system was removing in March 2011, and as the article states, they were retired in Autumn 2011.

  32. Lee Port
    Linux

    I remember ....

    No more using Phil's Forecasting method of Feeling It In The AIR tonight

  33. Doug Glass
    Go

    Click Phobia

    There's an app for that. Right?

  34. Bernd Felsche
    Facepalm

    Greatly Surprised

    That the Met office produces results that are of use to anybody at all.

    Even those using a "wide range of operating systems" (numbering two).

    Adobe dropping "support" for Linux is a good thing. One less vector for malware attack squashed. Adobe; just say NO! I avoid their festering bloatware (I mean, seriously; 80 MB of software for a PDF reader?) that's riddled with holes waiting to be exploited and requires a constant Internet connection to download patches every other day.

    It's only their shiny presence in the view of the "decision makers" (not the people who have to clean up the mess) that allows them to get away with buffing their mediocity for another generation of products that use more resources to do even less for the user; in a locked-down, proprietary way.

  35. G R Goslin

    Why use 'em

    It beats me why anyone, on any platform would want to check the Met Office for weather. Aside from the display getting worse and worse, as they dumb it down, you're better off by looking out of the window. There are scads more weather forecasters out there who all seem to give more accurate and more meaningful forecasts than the Met office. Personally I get my forecasts from yr.no, and if Norway can give more accurate forecasts that the met office, we should close them down and save ourselves the money.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re : you're better off by looking out of the window.

      You've got a window that lets you see the day after tomorrow's weather - WOW !

      WOW !

  36. Doug Bostrom

    When will they ever learn

    "Unfortunately we had to stop providing weather gadgets for Linux Operating Systems because Adobe withdrew their support for Linux."

    What a sadly oblivious remark. The Met didn't "have" to become a footsoldier in Adobe's plans for world domination, it just sleepwalked into that role. That unconscious action is trumped only by the failure of the Met to realize how it's been humiliated by allowing its public face to be governed by an overseas corporation.

    When is it worth becoming a disposable bullet point in some rapacious marketer's business plan? Think first: "Is this tool really so great that it's worth surrendering my destiny?"

  37. gerryg
    FAIL

    For the average user no adobe AIR means no BBC iPlayer on Linux

    yes _we_ all know about get_iplayer but xkcd hits the spot - same point different tech

    http://xkcd.com/488/

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Adobe Air is a Shit Sandwich

    I don't really need to go much further, the title says it all.

    But I will anyway.

    I use one Air app at work, the dreaded 'Streamtime' work schedule time sheet monitoring BS. It's so unbelievably slow and bloated I get angry whenever I have to use it in anger.

    There's is Sweet FA in that application that couldn't be done 10x better using a web browser and standards compliant HTML / CSS / Javascript.

    Seriously, Linux Desktop users will be missing *nothing* but massive headaches, every other day "Adobe Air needs to update itself, Y/N?"

    Just firing up an Air application will probably use as much resources as Gnome itself. If you have an electricity usage monitor, you'll see it spike just hovering over the application icon.

    It's sad that Met Office are going down this route, but I can bet it's nothing more than their lead developer knows how to create Air apps and is a complete and utter (... insert word of your choice here ...)

    As has been pointed out, WTF are they doing? Sure, use Air, but provide a damn XML feed that *anything* can read.

    Like DUH.

    You could claim 1% of users don't matter, but that would be just really really dumb, as you can bet that 1% of Linux users has the most *active* weather geeks you could ever care to meet. I've yet to meet a Linux dev who doesn't have at least a passive interest in the more technical aspects of weather forecasting - it's just in the nature of a tinkerer to lean in that kinda direction.

    I'll stop now. I'm getting angry. I may write to my MP. He's also a twat like the lead dev at Met Office. I didn't just say that, did I? Joke. It's all a joke.

  39. LJK

    Make yourself heard

    If you want to be heard about AIR on Linux, go to the Adobe site and make a suggestion.

    https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform

    There are already requests for resumption of AIR development on Linux, so you can just dig / promote them.

    Maybe Adobe will eventually listen if enough Linux users do it. Better than just whinging elsewhere where they will definitely take no notice.

  40. Tommy Pock

    Do it yourself

    The met office accurately forecasts the next day's weather in your exact area 30% of the time.

    If you predict that the next day's weather will be the same as today you'll be right 70% of the time.

    Tomorrow's weather: look out of the window.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So they are wrong 70% of the time

      Flip a coin - heads it's going to piss down tails it's going to be sunny. At least that's right 50% of the time and a 10p coin isn't going to introduce a trojan on my pc.

  41. Lamb0
    Linux

    Adobe's AIR & MS's $ilverlight are just lockin problems ...

    looking for $olution$. Whether Linux is 5% or 1% matters little; but they shouldn't have been so quick to write off a more generic approach!

    Many of my friends and I prefer various Linux distributions to a Windows environment. Even my 81 year old Mother loathes Windows - including XP or Win7. The update reboots, overzealous eye-candy, continual mousing around, and even defragging (still !?!) detract from a more positive user experience - especially with older/cheaper hardware. Though MEPIS isn't known for it's bleeding edge; it's reliability, ease of use, and a good support community without the extra co$t "gotchas" keeps her happy. ;)

  42. Alan Brown Silver badge
    FAIL

    Um... lessee....

    http://www.rnib.org.uk/professionals/webaccessibility/lawsandstandards/Pages/uk_law.aspx

    I'd have to spend some time digging up the URLs but a discussion I had with the OIC and Cabinet Information Office a couple of years back made things _very_ clear that a very dim view is taken of uk.gov websites which are browser-discriminatory. (or which don't comply with w3c guidelines).

    I'd say a few formal complaints are in order (OIC are toothless but the Cabinet Information Office is a different matter)

  43. goats in pajamas

    Reality

    Despite the initial reaction of "this is public money being used to play market rigging on behalf of proprietary vedors", the reality is that the Met Office would struggle to accurately predict Christmas.

    If you want more informed content then weatheraction is where you want to be.

  44. JDX Gold badge

    Serious question

    If you want a desktop widget, IS there an open-source, cross-platform option? Remember, specifically a widget you can put on your desktop, not a web-page... unless all 3 main OS let you easily create a widget from a webpage?

    I wonder if AIR will go open-source the same way as Flex did?

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