October Newsletter - WIWX 7.5
By Justin Poublon
October 23, 2018 - 11:00 AM CST | 3 0
Happy almost November!
In the middle of a quiet stretch of weather. Don't let the lack of page activity fool you! It's been fast paced dev work on the website pushing hard on several pieces preparing for the winter ahead. Aggressive schedule of updates planned between now and December 1 weather permitting.
The slower the weather is...the quicker improvements get made. It's given me a chance to work on projects that are usually an afterthought, such as storm recaps and map archives for historical value. Have to figure our currently quiet weather pattern is going to end soon.
I wanted to add more whitespace to featured stories. Gives you room to breath. I added the Products and Service section beneath it for quick access around the site and the Recent Stories below that for non-weather forecasting related content. This is going to run nicely when the weather picks up. Also the storm event alert bar that pops during big events will link somewhere now.
Mentioned that I was working on things that tend to be an afterthought. This is the prime example. The biggest change for storm events recent is on this page where there is now some differentiation between event significance. Added a report count to each and improved the pre-existing logic on the server. Storm events are getting their own page on the next update so a lot of this is laying the foundation. There has been a lot of work on the admin tool that drives this.
This member-only page allows you to peak back through our mapping products by day. This is pretty interesting to go through. Awesome actually. Anything since 10/10/2018 is going to have wind gust maps, high low maps, storm reports ,etc. Anything prior is pretty much just classic warning/radar map loops. The storm events page will link to and pull from the archives so at the very least it's useful to storm events. Thinking of ways to make it even more useful such as a CIPS-style analog system? We'll see. Big project that I spent multiple days on. Happy with how this turned out. Still making tweaks.
We added the ability for forecasters to save notes, sketches, and graphics to an outlook. Haven't needed to create an outlook for awhile so curious to see how this works. These changes are primarily administrative.
24HR Storm Reports
Storm reports have their own page now. If nothing has been reported in the last 24 hours, nothing will show up on the page. There is way key difference between this and the reports display on the home page. On the reports page reports are separated by type and all reports will show. Click to expand and see more details.
Notable Bug Fixes and Other Changes
- Precipitation type on maps is as good as it's going to get. Can't say I'm totally thrilled but I believe it will be competitive in winter.
- Fixed error on mobile where page content was overflowing the screen to the right.
- Fixed issue with locations on account page where location row was overflowing to the right causing the remove button to be unreachable. Unable to resolve issue with the location search drop down. BIG thanks to Kevin H for pointing this one out!
- Made many small style adjustments around the website.
- Fixed problem with commenting on someone else profile. This type of activity doesn't happen often.
- Fixed long term issue with profile page and interactive maps where google maps would not load completely prior to being called, which crashed the page on first load.
- Fixed long term issue with disappearing scroll bar!
Getting the warning alerts system back up is definitely high priority. Email alerts are "disabled" due to the poor member experience. There is nothing on-site that is "broken" that requires immediate attention. We have the green light last week to start making improvements to the warnings system. Allocating a lot of time to this to make sure we get it right. Nearing the final phase of a long process.
In the end just felt like now was a good opportunity to get some of these other projects done.
This post covers updates 7.50 to 7.55. Working on 7.6 now, pushing live by early next week. Will update this story following 7.6.