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Weather for the Masses

Posted 2004 Dec 04

Just noticed this WIRED article about how the NOAA is now providing all their weather data via XML. Forecasts, Current Observations, and more are available. There’s even a SOAP interface! Way to go NOAA.

Great timing, since I just finished the first pass on my Quicksilver Weather Plugin. My plugin parses the raw METAR data which is nothing more than space-delimited text. All the data is positional and requires using lookup tables to make it meaningful. Also, my parsing was pretty brute-force as there is no built-in support for Regular Expressions in Cocoa/Objective-C. So, now, instead of a custom (and fragile) parser, I can use the standard (and self-describing) XML feeds. They even include suggested icons!

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