Re: GWeather suckage

On Mon, 2003-07-21 at 05:10, Mark McLoughlin wrote:
> Hey,
> 	I think setting up would be the trivial part, to be
> honest. Resolving the questions around whether we actually *should* do
> this is more tricky e.g.:
> 	* Traditionally has supplied software not services. Do we
> want to move into the services arena ?

I don't really see a problem providing a small service that makes our
software work better. 

> 	* If we do weather, surely we want to do stock quotes, news etc.

Conceptually speaking, they probably aren't a problem. Practically
speaking, I think that it's going to be considerably harder to find
freely harvestable stock quotes and news; I'd guess that the only
way to do this would be have explicit partnerships with the data
provider (we agree that in exchange for the headlines, we make clicking
on a headline go to that site)

> 	* Do we want to restrict the use of this service to GNOME software - I
> don't even know how we'd do this ...

The only way I could see doing it would be with user accounts
of some sort, and while that would have some advantages, I think that
it's basically wrong -- having to create an account on some server
(GNOME? What's GNOME?) in order to use an applet you found in your
panel menu isn't right.

> 	* Who pays for the bandwidth ?

I earlier made the strong suggestion that the protocol for this should
involve going to a fixed address periodically (say initially
and once a day) and then getting a final address to go to from that.

That allows us to initially put the service directly on the
servers, then if the load/bandwidth gets to be an issue, distribute it.
(I think my earlier mail had some back-of-the-envelope calculations
of bandwidth usage.)

> 	* We would need to ensure we were rock solid legally before opening it
> up - we couldn't just write a script to parse and hope they
> don't notice.


> 	* If we did set it up, how long would we be talking about supporting it
> for ... 5 years ?
> 	* Before some GNOME distributors could ship the software which used the
> service, they may require some guarantees around availability and long
> term support. Would be be prepared to give such guarantees ?

A company that was worried about this would also have the option of
installing whatever software we were using on on a server
they own and re-pointing the weather applet.


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