Two relatively minor updates to LuckGrib have been published since the last blog post. Both of these updates contain changes which address relatively minor changes, as well as completing the deprecation of the Offshore Data email system.
Offshore Data email.
In May of 2022, the Offshore Data email system was marked as being deprecated. Since that time, the few people using the system have been encouraged to find alternative methods to obtain their offshore data. Directly downloading the data via a satellite connection established, for example, using an Iridium GO! or RedPort Optimizer are much better ways to obtain this data.
All data delivered via the Offshore Data email service, since that time, have contained a warning about the system being deprecated and the user being encouraged to seek alternatives.
With this most recent update to the app, all references to the email system have been removed. The server side of the email system will continue to function for a short period, but will be retired relatively soon.
I came across an interesting data point in February of 2023. I read posts in the Pacific Puddle Jump email list. Andy Turpin, one of the organizers of that event, posted a note about the entrants to the rally:
Of the 56 current PPJ rally entries, only 15 have SSB or Ham, and only three use HF radio exclusively, …
I assume that the majority of people obtaining weather data via email were using SSB, not a satellite device. If you have a satellite device onboard, obtaining data directly is preferred.
When the email delivery system was first created, I imagined that it would be very popular among sailors. In reality, since the introduction of support for the Iridium GO and the RedPort Optimizer, hardly anybody uses email delivery. Only a tiny, tiny fraction of the Offshore Data customers use email.
A great deal of work went into creating the email system. Oh well. In doing this work, a great deal of complexity was introduced into the application and the server cluster.
With the low demand for email delivery of data, I could not justify the effort required to maintain it. With its removal, the application and system will be easier to maintain in the future.
Directly downloading data, through your satellite device, from the LuckGrib server cluster is a much better way to obtain the data. Direct downloads are more reliable, faster, have better error recovery and are easier to configure and use than email was.
In addition to the removal of the email system, there have been a variety of other small changes, updates and fixes in the app. Nothing huge.
Of note, there are now three new Analysis images in the Weather Routing system: true wind direction; change in wind speed; change in wind direction.
Most of the other changes are relatively minor, adding polish here and there.