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20031111: Backward compatibility issues updating Weather Symbols for McIDAS



>From:  McIDAS Help Desk <address@hidden>
>Organization:  SSEC
>Keywords:  200311111645.hABGjkOb028400 McIDAS weather symbol 

Hi,

>Background:
>The 30 year old McIDAS weather symbols need to be updated to meet WMO 
>standards. With the exception of SFCMG, all applications use weather 
>symbols drawn from hard coded data statements.  McIDAS-2004 applications 
>will follow WMO standards using updated weather symbols found in the 
>font files wxsymr*.bdf.
>
>Advantages for the new system:
>1) More up-to-date. Some of the symbols have changed over the past 30 years.
>2) Follows the standard Adobe BDF font definition.
>
>Disadvantages
>1) You cannot use GD to change the width of the new fonts (as is with 
>all other non-McIDAS fonts).
>2) Must adapt to new symbols. For instance, The 3 parallel line symbol 
>for fog is now 2 parallel lines (new WMO standard) and the calm symbol
>is now 2 concentric circles, previously it was a 'plus' symbol (again, 
>new WMO standard).
>
>Questions:
>1) Is the GD issue a problem for your site?

No.  Standardization should _always_ be viewed positively.

>2) The new symbols will be the default, does your site have backward 
>compatibility requirements to make old weather symbols available?

It is hard to talk for the entire Unidata community, but I would
venture to guess that they will be receptive to movement towards
international standards.

>3) If backward compatibility is required, we foresee users adding 
>FONT=MCOLDWXSYM (or something similar) to the command line of 
>applications (i.e., SFCPLOT WXS MID 12 FONT=MCOLDWXSYM). Is this an 
>acceptable option, do you have other suggestions that we may consider?

Since this paralles the support for new and old CHILL calculations,
I would say that it is acceptable.

>Please send you comments before November 21st.

Later...

Tom
--
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* Tom Yoksas                                             UCAR Unidata Program *
* (303) 497-8642 (last resort)                                  P.O. Box 3000 *
* address@hidden                                   Boulder, CO 80307 *
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