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Why look what happened to my inter-web...

Jamie Jones @ 4:31 PM

As many of you know, late last night, flipped the switch on it's long awaited and promised update. Clearly, you all have seen it by now, and many of you have let your opinions on it be known (I get it, you all don't like the fonts). But with that in mind, I wanted to give you a little bit of background on the change and what is new (and better!) with the site.

Why'd you have to go and screw up a good site?

Nothing on the site has changed. Everything you used to be able to get is still there, and more. We changed some of the basic layout of the site (and have a few more changes planned), but we have not REMOVED anything that you have come to depend on for. Retained and Improved include:

  • The 7-day forecast. Just like before, but is now clickable. This brings up a detailed day and night forecast for the next week. As always, it is still NWS supported, so yell at them (or Camden) when it is wrong.

  • Current Conditions. Not only do you continue to get updated info streamed in from DCA, but you also get to see what is going on out there at BWI and IAD. I gotta say, watching the wind gusts during last weekends windy stint was neat (and now you get to see the information as well).

  • The rest of the site. We have added all of these features to the secondary pages as well. And as always, their information is constantly being reviewed and updated.

So what else do you have for us?

One of my favorite new features is the weather almanac. Immediately streaming to our front page you will find averages and records for DCA. Jason has also pulled together a list of interesting weather facts for each day. Average Temperatures, Matt must already be excited.

Interesting Links. We will now have a regularly rotating set of links to quickly highlight pages that the staff feels would be interesting to our users. Be sure to check them out, and be sure to email the team with anything you find interesting.

Watches and Warnings. One thing that has not been exposed yet is our new watches and warnings system. When an advisory of interest is posted for our viewing(reading) area, we will announce it on the front page immediately below the 7-day forecast. I say we test it out with a winter storm warning next week, eh?

As previewed in December, current OPM status will be shown along with Watches & Warnings so all of us on a govt. leave schedule can pray it closes.

And as my girl Paris would say, that webcam is hot!

And be sure to check out the new satellite thumbnail in the conditions box. You never know what you will see in the sky (right Ken?).

Why doesn't the site look good to me? I hate it!

Unfortunately, Camden's glass enclosed snow center doesn't have a computer lab so we can test the site on every possible browser/platform combination. However, we did try to accommodate:

  • Firefox 1.0+ on Windows
  • IE6 on Windows
  • Firefox 1.07+ on Mac
  • IE5.5 on Mac
  • Safari on Mac
  • Firefox on Linx and Solaris
So what did we do? We looked at our demographics, what browsers they used, and how it looked to decide what to work on. We know IE on a mac has issues (but if you use IE on a mac, you probably already know that. That is why Microsoft discontinued the product). Earlier versions of Safari also are having some strange problems. And as the comments seem to indicate, every browser in between is also having some sort of issue.

So what are we going to do about it?

We are still working hard behind the scenes to make the site look good on all platforms and all browsers. However, we just couldn't withhold our excitement any longer, and had to launch the new site. Heck, the new radar image along was enough for me to want to make the change. So for those who have a messed up browser (or are on a cell phone's browser...) keep your eyes peeled, as things will be improving in the future for you as well.

P.S. I love your emails

Finally, as I have just gotten in from a full day meeting, I have not had a chance to read any comments or feedback you sent me [], but rest assured I will. However, feel free to continue to send them my way(and don't be shy to attach screenshots) and I will begin to pour through them in the upcoming days. Remember, as with snow season, this is all a work on progress, so let your thoughts be known. And to thank you for reading my text, enjoy this panda picture.

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