Surfcheck FAQThis site has now been up long enough, and been found by enough people to merit a compilation of Frequently Ask Questions. Here are some of the questions and comments that I receive often via email:
Why is the data for _____ missing?This site is merely a collector of weather and wave data from other locations on the Internet. Any of these source sites may be experiencing their own problems or be otherwise unreachable at the time a set of data is collected. If the information you are looking for is missing then either check back later or try referencing it directly on the source site by clicking on the blue arrow by that item.
Can you add _____ to the page?If you have improvements or additions to suggest, feel free to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org . However, one of my design goals with this site is to keep it compact, more-or-less viewable in one unscrolled browser window. Therefore, I don't add every new piece of data that I find.
I'm visiting/moving to Oregon...Where should I surf?There are a number of other sites that provide guides to surf spots in Oregon. Try the OregonSurf.com for starters. Also keep in mind that much of the Oregon coast is essentially wilderness. There are many great surf spots off the beaten track (many known, many yet to be discovered), and part of the joy of surfing in Oregon is road tripping down the coast open to whatever you find.
How did you create this page?This site is updated automatically once per hour by a UNIX cron job executing a Perl script on a FreeBSD-based server. The script downloads the data from its various sources throughout the Internet, parses out the specific items presented here, and formats them into the HTML code that your browser sees. Ordinarily, the site requires absolutely no intervention by myself for it to function properly. I only need to do maintenence when new features are added or data formats or URLs of the data sources change. Of course, since the data is fetched from external sites, failures to connect to those sites and retrieve a valid data file may cause intermitent missing data on my site.
If you wish to know more about how this is done, you can view the current surfcheck perl script: surfcheck.pl. Keep in mind that nobody pays me to do this, so this code is not the most beautiful I've ever created. I used http_get to download data into the Perl script, but other methods could work as good or better (BSD fetch, LibWWW-Perl library operations).