Met Office cuts off Linux users with new weather widgets
For why does weatherman hate penguins? Something in the AIR
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 the weather from their homepage: now you need to be running either a Mac or Windows OS to get the latest weather news piped to you by the second.
Linux-based weather-heads desperate to find out the latest temperature statistics and the likelihood of rain can, of course, visit the Met Office website, but that involves at least one more click than usual. And the Penguins don't like that.
The Met does promise gadget support for "a wide range of operating systems" but sadly it doesn't look like Linux is on the list. Though for those on mainstream operating systems, the new gadgets promise greater consistency in data and presentation.
After contacting the Met Office, it seems that the weather gadget is another victim of Adobe's decision to stop AIR on Linux.
"Unfortunately we had to stop providing weather gadgets for Linux Operating Systems because Adobe withdrew their support for Linux." Willie McCairns, Deputy Head of Public Weather Service said. He said that he understood that it was disappointing, but that he had no plans to develop a new gadget for the system as yet.
Linux's market share has been creeping up, marginally, in the past year, breaking the 1 per cent mark according to Omgubuntu stats for Jan 2012. ®
There's a better solution
The Met Office should dump Flash, and use a platform-neutral technology instead.
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.
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).