[squeak-dev] Has anyone made Morphs good for showing compass like visuals?

tim Rowledge tim at rowledge.org
Fri Mar 10 19:00:00 UTC 2017

> On 09-03-2017, at 11:29 PM, Edgar De Cleene <edgardec2005 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Nope, but i like help.
> Tell me where i could found picts or photos of things you like draw with Morphic.


As you’ve probably noticed I’m busy making weather station stuff; partly because it’s useful, partly as a driver to learn some new things. Now that I have the hardware sorted out, and MQTT as a way to get information from that hardware, it’s time to display it nicely.

I’ve been banging on PlotMorph to display historical temperature/air pressure/humidity, but most of the time one wants a quick, at a glance visuals for the current conditions. For temperature a thermometer is rather obvious. For air pressure and humidity the traditional round dial will work ok, though other ideas exist. For wind speed and direction I think a compass rose and some magnitude indicator like the length of the needle would work. 

I’ve been surprised that I can’t find anything already written for any of this. It may be simply not in a searchable place or perhaps nobody has had a reason to make them. Generic dials and quantity displays seem like an useful thing to have in the system for all sorts of purposes. Why don’t we have a nice pressure gauge to show how much memory pressure the image is under? A speedometer? If we want to make Smalltalk a good toolkit for integrating IoT widgets (which I suspect may be a good thing to do) we’ll need a range of well done and attractive info displays and interaction devices.

As an example of a really beautiful (but very graphically fiddly and somewhat over done) barometer, see http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/yhst-37093161787174_2270_30237373
By contrast I think the same company’s wind indicator really sucks - http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/yhst-37093161787174_2270_31535735 - using the needle for windspeed and LEDs for direction? Confusing, and a tacky mix of styles. A google image search for ‘barometer graphics’ produces a barrage of pictures ranging from ‘nice’ to ‘holy cow, who came up with that’, as usual. ‘Thermometer graphics' is even worse…

The sort of display I was thinking about for wind data can be seen at http://www.victoriaweather.ca/station.php?id=110 and about half-way down the page there is a couple of wind indicators. They’re ugly but functional.

As always, it’s worth mention the work of Edward Tufte on trying to display data effectively. Pretty is nice but not if it gets in the way.

tim Rowledge; tim at rowledge.org; http://www.rowledge.org/tim

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