The Weather Forecasting Forum

Digital Atmosphere work -- a word from the author
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Author:  Tim Vasquez [ Thu May 10, 2012 9:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Digital Atmosphere work -- a word from the author

I see there have been continued posts here this winter and spring regarding Digital Atmosphere so I feel obligated to bring you all up to speed on what is going on.

Digital Atmosphere work will most definitely continue as I use this tool all the time in my own professional work and training sessions. There's really no replacement for it, in my mind. The huge bottleneck has been that all the programming was done in Delphi 5, and as some of you may know, Delphi has reached somewhat of a dead end due to the selloff of Borland to Embarcadero and what some would say is them stripping away the functionality and significantly raising the prices to unaffordable levels -- this has an effect on us because it caps the availability of third-party libraries and people who I can subcontract with to work on minor modules here and there. Also I have been very interested in cross-platforming off to Mac, Linux, and maybe even I-devices. So I've been agonizing over whether to reprogram everything in something like Java. This is not a decision I can take lightly because Digital Atmosphere is made up of about 200,000 lines of code.

I use Delphi 7 almost exclusively right now, and Digital Atmosphere does not compile in Delphi 7. However Delphi 7 still has an extensive community supporting it and likely will for quite some time. So first and foremost, our highest priority is to recompile the project under Delphi 7. The Delphi 7 upgrade should go relatively quickly, though there are some low-level modules (like the ZLib support for WSR-88D data) that are a sticking point... I will probably have to get outside help to get those upgraded. Once I get this in place we may be able to get an upgrade out in the coming months.

That said, I should make it clear that a Digital Atmosphere purchase is a purchase of the existing program that you've tried and liked. It does not include an obligation for me to upgrade the software. However I do want to upgrade, and this is great for all of us. Compiler issues aside, an upgrade is in the cards. Most importantly, my life has stabilized enough to where I don't see any issues, either... back in 2010 we were moving and our old neighborhood had been hit by the 5/10/10 tornadoes, and 2011 I was putting in 12-hour days building a classroom attachment that we are now using for training.

Thanks much for your patience... fortunately the vast majority of Digital Atmosphere is still perfectly usable; I certainly use it every day, and we're certainly on the brink of an upgrade.


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