Author Topic: Rapid Weaver  (Read 255 times)

WeatherguyNH

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Rapid Weaver
« on: September 08, 2020, 07:37:05 pm »
Hi everyone:

I have a website I created years ago, in Dreamweaver, but want to move away from Adobe.
I am considering Rapid Weaver to build a new site, and I was wondering if anyone is using Rapid Weaver, and if there were any issues with the web pages, gauges, etc?

There is a single thread on this forum about Rapid Weaver back in 2013, but nothing since.

If anyone is using another web creation program, I'd like to hear what that is.

Thank you all.

Rich

xairbusdriver

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Re: Rapid Weaver
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2020, 08:44:54 pm »
As html (as well as CSS) is simply text, any good text editor will work. Do NOT use a word processor. Text Edit is already installed on your Mac. I use BBEdit which also has a free version: comparison of free vs paid.
Quote from: BareBones.com
BBEdit offers a 30-day evaluation period. During that period, all of BBEdit’s features are available. When it ends, you can still use BBEdit — with no nag screens or unsolicited interruptions, for free, forever.

Randall75

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Re: Rapid Weaver
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2020, 10:23:08 pm »
Hi WeatherguyNH
I used SeaMonkey to built mine and was pretty simple and easy for a dummy like me.you can see my simple website at randysweatheronthehill.com or by clicking on weather jpg below
cheers [cheers1]

elagache

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Tags can be clumsy in site makers (Re: Rapid Weaver)
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2020, 10:56:20 pm »
Dear Rich, X-Air, Randall, and WeatherCat web spinners,

I have a website I created years ago, in Dreamweaver, but want to move away from Adobe.
I am considering Rapid Weaver to build a new site, and I was wondering if anyone is using Rapid Weaver, and if there were any issues with the web pages, gauges, etc?
. . . .

From time to time I have wished to upgrade to a more professional WYSIWYG web page creation tool, but time isn't on my side these days.  As Randall points out, I have used the web page creation tool in SeaMonkey:

https://www.seamonkey-project.org/

That is what I used to create the simple web template that you'll find reference here on the forum:

https://athena.trixology.com/index.php?topic=956.0

There is another more advanced and yet free web page creation tool called BlueGriffon:

http://bluegriffon.org/

I've looked into it, but didn't have the time to explore its more advanced features.

The main problem with any of these tools is that you cannot directly see the web page that is created by WeatherCat.  Instead, you have the tags that WeatherCat will eventually replace.   This can lead to two sorts of issues.  Sometimes the tag is much longer than the actual text it generates.  This is especially true with the STAT$ tag.  This will throw out of alignment anything that is crafted for the smaller result text.  The second problem is similar.  Any tag that turns into an image link obviously won't be rendered corrected in your web page creation tool.  These are annoyances for which there is no remedy but to live with the oddity.

Let us know if that is some help or if you have additional questions.

Cheers, Edouard

xairbusdriver

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Re: Rapid Weaver
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2020, 11:04:44 pm »
You can see the 'code' for most web pages by using the Develop menu in Safari (most browsers have a similar function, BTW). Looking at Randall's, I see he has a bit of javascript. But even that is just text. The reason a web page opens in a browser is because it has the ".html" suffix instead of ".txt".

You can enable the Develop menu in Safari by going to the Safari Prefs->Advanced tab and checking the "Show Develop menu in menu bar" item (very bottom of the pref page).

If you look at the pages you created through DreamWeaver, I'm betting you will see gobs (technical web term) of blank lines and "nbsp;" text (a brute force method used to space things horizontally on a page). You'll likely also see lots of random named things that will be almost totally confusing for any human reader trying to figure out what the app was trying to do. That will be especially frustrating when the app is NOT doing what you want it to do. [banghead]

xairbusdriver

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Re: Rapid Weaver
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2020, 11:14:22 pm »
Edouard,

You can always open any ".html" file on your computer by simply double-clicking it. There's really no need to have your "creation" tool also display the page. Just type your html and open it in Safari (or any other browser). Make some edits in your text editor, save it and refresh the Safari page. BBEdit will let you specify which browser you want to use. It also has a built-in FTP function, so you could even save to your ISP!

Many of these "web creation" apps are like using Word to write Post-it® notes.

Steve

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Re: Rapid Weaver
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2020, 04:01:49 pm »
I had RapidWeaver as part of a software bundle a couple of years ago, but only fiddled with it a little bit. I too was looking at ways to completely rework my web sites (not just Avon-Weather.)

I joined the company's discussion forum, described how WeatherCat works, but locally populating a template and uploading to a server, asking if RW could handle such a task. I don't know if I adequately described the process, or asked the right questions, but the general consensus was that it could not work. A RW Page can contain HTML as "text", but there didn't appear to be a method to change the text within that page with the contents of the template every five minutes. I didn't change in the end, and continue to use BBEdit for my site maintenance. And Edouard's point about not being able to see populated WeatherCat sites in the WYSIWYG view is why most of us use a simple text-based  HTML editor.

Note that my web site knowledge doesn't exist much beyond basic HTML from about 20 years ago, so anything beyond that is simply me populating or modifying templates generously provided by others.

[EDIT] I just recalled another part of the discussion about RapidWeaver. It is frequently discounted or bundled for a very low cost. Note that upgrades are at full price, and the cost of the almost required add-ons, especially Stacks et al, can far exceed the cost of purchasing RapidWeaver.
Steve - Avon, Ohio, USA


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xairbusdriver

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Re: Rapid Weaver
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2020, 05:08:34 pm »
Just for info: Are you trying to create a page that only shows information that you "hard-code" or do you want the (public) site that is updated periodically and automatically by WC? There is no need for the "html creation" app to do any converting.

WC major design function, IMHO, is to do the updating of your weather info to your web page(s). And it will even handle FTPing (uploading) the modified template to your web space whether that is simply a file on your computer or an ISP. All you have to do is create the html using the 'tags' available in WC instead of the actual (constantly changing) weather data. For example, here is a small section of html on my site's index page template that WC uses:
...
<h3 class="center top_pad">Current Conditions</h3>
  <div class="gradient_background rounded_box">
    <table class="nominal borderless">
      <tr>
        <?php
          echo '<td class="right">Sample Time (CDT):</td>
          <td class="left">';
            include './WX-date-time-String.php';
            echo '</td>';
         ?>

       </tr>
       <tr>
         <td class="center" colspan="2">
           <span style="font-size:.9em;">Changes since last report:</span> ( )
         </td>
       </tr>
       <tr>
         <td class="right">Temperature:&nbsp;</td>
         <td class="left">CT$</td>
       </tr>
       <tr>
         <td class="right">Pressure:&nbsp;</td>
         <td class="left">CP$</td>
       </tr>
       <tr>
         <td class="right">Humidity:&nbsp;</td>
         <td class="left">STAT$EXTHUMIDITY:CURRENT$ %</td>
       </tr>
       <tr>
         <td class="right">Dew Point:&nbsp;</td>
         <td class="left">CD$</td>
       </tr>...

     </table>
  </div>
...

It's just a simple table with a bit of CSS (left or right text alignments) and a scrap of PHP (the italic, navy blue text) and the WC "tags" (bold, orange text)
This results in what's shown in the image below. You can see the whole page by clicking on the footer graphic on my posts here. WC updates the weather info and uploads the page every two minutes completely without any input from me.

WeatherguyNH

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Re: Rapid Weaver
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2020, 01:59:29 am »
As I expected, you've all been very helpful and I appreciate all of the responses and insights.

I created my website years ago, but with iPads and iPhones, it no longer holds up.
Frankly, I have already designed a new responsive home page using DW6, but the issue is DW6 is old, and I am not a pro web designer so spending lots of money on Adobe subscriptions is a waste. Also, I can't update my Mac past Mojave because DW6 will no longer function. So it has ham stringed me with the Mac OS as well.

I actually enjoy (somewhat) learning new web creation tools, so Rapid weaver doesn't scare me, and I am not a young man, so I will have the time to play around with this stuff, at some point. The real questions are can I put in the html tags as you have demonstrated and get those working? Seems like it may work, but not sure? I also have weather radar feeds from other sites on my web page. Can Rapid Weaver do that? I have started asking them some questions, but was curious if anyone here had spent any time with this application.
I found it on sale (for two more days) for $49 USD with several free training tutorials. However, I am running out of time to make a choice, so I REALLY appreciate all of the feedback from you guys.

Maybe I just buy it, and see what it can do. The investment is low and I can come back and tell you all if it works, or not.

Thank you all

Rich

RichLefko.com

xairbusdriver

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Re: Rapid Weaver
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2020, 03:04:05 am »
Making the page responsive to screen size (have the page work in a mobile phone, a tablet, a laptop, a 27" iMac) does require more than simple html tags. But that can easily be done with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) media queries. And, CSS, just like html, is simply text. It just uses different 'tags', one of which can determine how many pixels wide any screen is.  It's just a file that you that your html page automatically loads and is then read and interpreted by your browser. (visit my site and make your browser window as small as you want and see how the display changes) Even that little bit of PHP is created as a text file; it just requires a ".php" suffix so the actual PHP 'engine' can know what to do with it.

I'm 77 and only created my weather pages some 5+ years ago. Most professional computer programmers don't even consider writing html as "coding". There is only the most minimal of math involved. [lol] If any kind of computation is needed, it will not be done with html. If Rapid Weaver can simply save a file with the WC tags inserted where you want them. It can certainly be used. WC is the 'machine' that replaces those tags with actual numbers. The scarp of code I posted above never leaves my hard drive until after WC has 'read' it and changed the "DT$", "CP$", "STAT$EXTHUMIDITY:CURRENT$", etc. tags (magic words!) to actual numbers and/text. Only then does WC send the file on to my web space. Or just to my hard drive, if I just want to view it without even needing a connection to the web. Absolutely nothing else in your html is changed in any way.

I sincerely suspect that none of your RW forum members had ever used WC and did not understand what it actually does. Whether RW can make adjustments for different screen sizes is a complete separate problem. I have no idea if it has any knowledge of CSS. $50 is pretty inexpensive and might provide you to lots of fun!

I do know that WeatherCat is a truly powerful and complex app that can perform magic! ThU5:-)

WeatherguyNH

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Re: Rapid Weaver
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2020, 12:30:00 pm »
Storm:

Looking at a RW video, the site you build is automatically responsive to the different devices. You have the ability to tweak how your site looks on each device.
I dabble in HTML, but would prefer to stay away from it when I can.
I just want to build and maintain my website EASILY without a lot of drama, or cost.

I am going to purchase RW today, play around with it....see what happens.

Thanks again for your comments.

Rich

xairbusdriver

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Re: Rapid Weaver
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2020, 03:15:33 pm »
Great! ThU32:-) Have fun!! ThU5:-)

WeatherguyNH

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Re: Rapid Weaver
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2020, 07:23:02 pm »
Storm:

This looks like PHP.....is that what is being used to populate the tags?
Got a RW thread...trying to figure this out. He mentions ASP.NET and quite frankly, I don't know what any of that is?

BTW, that is a GREAT site you have. Bookmarked!

Thanks

Rich

xairbusdriver

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Re: Rapid Weaver
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2020, 09:02:24 pm »
PHP, html, even JavaScript are all simply plain text files. They simply use different suffixes so the browser knows what to do with them. They can all contain the WC tags in certain places. None of them, however, convert those tags to real numbers. That is the job of WC. All we need to do is tell/show WC where those files are on our drives. WC then looks for those tags and places the correct values in their place. It then uploads the edited files to where ever your website is. A web browser then downloads those files and displays them.

The files couldn’t care less about what is in them as long as they follow the rules of whatever format they need (html, php, is, etc.). WC does all this editing before the files ever leave your computer. Those WC tags are basically the same thing you would use in a mass mailing of a letter written in Word. You insert a ‘place holder’ for the first & last name, mailing address, etc. You the. Press something publisH or print and Word spits out the letters with the appropriate info inserted where the place holders were. In both WC and Word the file you create is called a template. It is never normally printed or sent anywhere. It is simply used, over and over to create actual letters (files) that have up-to-date info. The recipient (a browser or a person) simply ‘reads’ the ‘letter’ and cares not a bit who/how the names or Wx data was inserted. [lol]

Use almost anything you want to create your web page(s), just use the correct WC tags where you want specific Wx data. Use the WC prefs to tell where you save the files and let it “do its thing”. ThU32:-)

WeatherguyNH

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Re: Rapid Weaver
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2020, 09:07:36 pm »
Great explanation...Thank you!!!https://athena.trixology.com/Smileys/default/cheer.gif