[Xfce-i18n] xfce4-weather-plugin: symbols & descriptions update

Harald Judt h.judt at gmx.at
Tue Aug 21 12:27:15 CEST 2012


Unfortunately I will have to postpone the 0.8.2 release a bit, and the 
translators might get more work to do...

Until now, I've never verified the symbol -> description translation 
table for the weather plugin. I have taken its correctness for granted, 
being busy with other things and because of the fact that met.no 
documentation is a bit sparse. Yesterday, Seong-ho Cho reported bug 
#9228 and attached some corrected icons to replace those which are 
obviously wrong. This made me think about the descriptions as they are 
now, listed here in alphabetical order and without their "night" equivalent:

CLOUD               : Cloudy
FOG                 : Fog
LIGHTCLOUD          : Lightly cloudy
LIGHTRAIN           : Rain showers
LIGHTRAINSUN        : Sunny, rain showers
LIGHTRAINTHUNDER    : Rain showers with thunder
LIGHTRAINTHUNDERSUN : Sunny, rain showers with thunder
PARTLYCLOUD         : Partly cloudy
RAIN                : Rain
RAINTHUNDER         : Rain with thunder
SLEET               : Sleet
SLEETSUN            : Sunny, sleet
SLEETSUNTHUNDER     : Sunny, Sleet and thunder
SLEETTHUNDER        : Sleet and thunder
SNOW                : Snow
SNOWSUN             : Sunny, Snow
SNOWSUNTHUNDER      : Sunny, Snow and thunder
SNOWTHUNDER         : Snow with thunder
SUN                 : Sunny

Forget about the inconsistent capitalisation for now. Let's look at the 
met.no FAQ at http://api.yr.no/faq.html#symbols:

"Precipitation and weather symbols are computed for a period of time. It 
doesn't make sense to talk about how much it rains at 12:00, but how 
much it will be raining between 12:00 and 13:00. Weather symbols are 
just calculated using the other parameters (cloud, temperature and 
precipitation) and is mainly a way of showing many parameters in one 

So far, so good. Cloud, temperature and precipitation make up the 
weather symbol. How it is calculated is not explained. So basically it's 
an aggregation of cloud/no cloud + (amount/duration) of precipitation + 
(unknown factors).

Now we're using the "liquid" theme, but we can investigate met.no's 
versions of the weather icons using the weathericon API, documented at 

for i in $(seq 1 23); do wget -O "$i.png" 

And their night icons (16-19 are not available):

for i in $(seq 1 23); do wget -O "$i-night.png" 
done; rm 16-night.png 17-night.png 18-night.png 19-night.png

They keep it simple and their depictions are an exact match of the 
symbol name.

But this still does not answer the question of how to translate the 
symbol name into an accurate description. Do we simply string together 
the atomic terms, or shall we interpret them more freely? I decided to 
go for the latter. Looking for further information, I stumbled over 
which gives a nice description about their icons and terms.

Here's my idea of it, broken down piece by piece:

CLOUD               : Cloudy

FOG                 : Fog

LIGHTCLOUD          : Lightly cloudy

LIGHTRAIN           : Rain showers
Stop. Why "Rain showers"? Wouldn't "Light rain" be the correct term?

LIGHTRAINSUN        : Sunny, rain showers
Stringing together, it would be "Sunny and light rain". According to the 
definitions provided by theweathernetwork, I'd call it "Rain showers" 

"Showers – Some sun is expected, interspersed with showers from time to 
time. As opposed to rain, showers describe liquid precipitation that can 
vary greatly in intensity over a short amount of time. [...] 
Precipitation may be locally heavy for short amounts of time."

Ok, still being unsure about definitions (there are usually multiple 
possible definitions for a term), I searched once more and found the 
following page http://www.mir-co.net/sonstiges/wetterausdruecke.htm, 
which is in German. Language doesn't matter though because the essential 
part is the symbol->description table at the bottom of the page, where 
the author lists the symbols along with their Norwegian description and 
translates them to German. Note that the order of the symbols is exactly 
the one in the met.no FAQ page, only a few icons are missing (ID > 19). 
I believe these descriptions are correct and pretty accurate.

Next, I remembered I never looked at the forecasts at the met.no main 
site. If you hover over the forecast icons, you will get a tooltip with 
the met.no symbol description. Again, they are a bit different, e.g. 
LIGHTRAIN is "Regn" and RAIN is "Kraftig regn". So I'd rather keep to 
the table mentioned above and just shorten them to fit in the plugin 
tooltip etc. Here are my corrected symbol->description translations to 
the English language, in the order they appear on that German page, 
including alternatives and comments:

SUN                 : Sunny
LIGHTCLOUD          : Lightly cloudy
PARTLYCLOUD         : Partly cloudy
CLOUD               : Cloudy
LIGHTRAINSUN        : Rain showers
   (explained already given above)
LIGHTRAINTHUNDERSUN : Rain showers with thunder
   alternative: Thunder showers
SLEETSUN            : Sleet showers
SNOWSUN             : Snow showers
LIGHTRAIN           : Light rain
   (explanation: consistent? light rain)
RAIN                : Rain
   (explanation: consistent rain)
RAINTHUNDER         : Rain with thunder
SLEET               : Sleet
   (explanation: mixture of rain and snow)
SNOW                : Snow
SNOWTHUNDER         : Snow with thunder
   alternative: Thundersnow ? (is this the same)?
   see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thundersnow or various other sources
FOG                 : Fog

These are not listed in that table (the table may be based on an older 
version of the API), but in met.no FAQ, so we need to care:
SLEETSUNTHUNDER     : Sleet showers with thunder
SNOWSUNTHUNDER      : Snow showers with thunder
LIGHTRAINTHUNDER    : Light rain with thunder
SLEETTHUNDER        : Sleet with thunder

What do you think about these suggestions, respectively their 
alternatives? Is my logic faulty somewhere, did I misinterpret 
something? For the cases with alternatives, which terms would you choose?


`Experience is the best teacher.'

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