Welcome to the Cumulus Support forum.

Latest Cumulus MX release 3.17.0 (build 3184) - 23 May 2022

Legacy Cumulus 1 release v1.9.4 (build 1099) - 28 November 2014 (a patch is available for 1.9.4 build 1099 that extends the date range of drop-down menus to 2030)

Download the Software (Cumulus MX / Cumulus 1 and other related items) from the Wiki

If you are interested in supporting Cumulus then maybe you would like to contribute to the maintenance of the Wiki? This need not take hours of your time - just a half hour here and there can make a big difference, particularly if many people are doing this. Any contributions are very welcome, whether they involve new content or editing of existing content. It will be very helpful to current and future users of Cumulus software if the Wiki is kept well-maintained and current. If you are interested then please contact forum user saratogaWX and ask for a Wiki account.

Volunteers Please - Cumulus MX Documentation

Please use this Forum to make suggestions for the future updates additions and general maintenance of the Wiki. Since I am sure most of these will be valid suggestions, so as they are completed in the Wiki the Topic will be deleted from this Forum, and this will act as reminder to anyone updating the Wiki of the jobs still to be done.
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mcrossley
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Volunteers Please - Cumulus MX Documentation

Post by mcrossley »

I am acutely aware that Cumulus MX is badly lacking in the documentation area. I'm busy patching bugs and adding C1 catch-up features, so do we have a small group of people who are willing to put some time into creating this?

I see two areas...
  • A manual type document, with sections on say getting started, different platforms, and the various station configs. Then further sections explaining basic setup.
  • Maybe some short videos showing the "how-to's"
Now a lot of this information is already available spread across forum posts and the Wiki. The obvious solution for me would be a new section in the Wiki, that pulls all the information together, gets rid of old redundant stuff, and presents it in logical manner.

Its a big task, but that's why I cannot do it by myself.

Over to you guys and gals.
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Re: Volunteers Please - Cumulus MX Documentation

Post by ExperiMentor »

I'd be happy to give some help, but also cannot do it alone.
I'd need someone else to lead the project and advise how to get started.

Completely agree that the best use of Mark's time is the actual program development (and answering the difficzult questions the rest of us cannot ...)

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Re: Volunteers Please - Cumulus MX Documentation

Post by prodata »

This is a great idea, albeit one that I don't have the expertise to contribute to myself.

But could I make a plea not to overlook the simple, obvious stuff in any webpage/documentation/video. There are many weather station users out there (not always the most expert of computer users) who are not yet familiar with CMX and might really benefit from a basic page or short video that just explains what CMX is and does; what its main features are; and is illustrated with screenshots. This doesn't need to be minutely detailed - just a summary of the main basics.

Potential users would then find it a lot easier to decide whether to explore CMX further and follow up on any more detailed instructions that may be provided separately. As far as I'm aware, there's no resource out there at present that provides a simple, accessible summary of CMX and its features. The lack of such a summary is very possibly limiting the number of users who reach the point of checking out CMX.
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Re: Volunteers Please - Cumulus MX Documentation

Post by sfws »

A renewed call for contributors

The Cumulus Wiki has a long history of contributors starting on a big plan of creating new pages, and updating existing pages. The problem each contributor meets is that maintaining the Wiki is a massive task, especially when you have a developer continually moving the target. I have done a re-organisation of the Wiki, although it is not as complete as I would like because of the limited rights a standard user has. Each contributor has to stop sometime, and the content then gets out of date unless others contribute.

Please can several people volunteer to share the big job of working through release announcements (since June 2020) and updating pages. EDIT:Changed that from "someone" to "several people"

The Wiki is currently not friendly for newcomers who only have experience of MX. What is missing is a total redesign of the Wiki. That is a huge task, but there are people out there who have knowledge of rival weather software, who should be able to document the pros and cons of MX, and https://www.wxforum.net/index.php?board=118.0 might give some hints.

Please can several people with necessary experience share the big job of documenting features of MX not yet documented, especially relating to weather station types or sensors not supported by legacy software.
Last edited by sfws on Mon 12 Apr 2021 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Volunteers Please - Cumulus MX Documentation

Post by saratogaWX »

Dear sfws,

I've heard your plea above. Since you are active, involved and knowledgeable, I've added you to the Administrators group on the Wiki. You now have the power to change/reorganize as needed. Thanks for your continuing efforts to make the Cumulus Wiki a useful knowledge base.

Best regards,
Ken (hoster, admin for cumuluswiki.org)
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Re: Volunteers Please - Cumulus MX Documentation

Post by sfws »

Just to get people reading this topic again.
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THE PLEA
As I type this the release of 3.16.0 is imminent, with another huge list of fixes and changes. People who do use the Wiki will know that a lot of pages are out of date, a lot of functionality that has been added to MX is not yet covered in Wiki, and some really simple guidance is still missing. Any small contribution is a step forward.

If you have a computer running Microsoft Windows look at the help file and installation guide for Cumulus 1, could you produce something similar for MX?

If in your experience, you identified something that is not covered in the Wiki, or something that is badly explained in the Wiki, then you know where to start in a contribution towards the improvement.

If you are still hesitating over where to start, then read the first two posts in this topic, or read the suggestions for contributions listed at foot of the main page of the Wiki (or notes on some other pages). You have useful knowledge, share it.
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THE CHALLENGE
Cumulus 1 came with help pages that Steve Loft edited for each of his releases.

The original Cumulus Wiki therefore was not written for novice users, it was organised to exactly match the organisation of the Cumulus 1 software help pages, and represented a place where (with work mostly by David Jamieson and Steve Loft), extra detail for more technical readers, not in help pages, was provided. Steve was the biggest contributor of such updates to the Wiki, and he could explain how his software was being changed. Of course the legacy software evolved comparatively slowly with just 9 major releases spread over 10 years, and Cumulus 1 was kept simple, most users were familiar with all the functionality.

Changing the Wiki to cover MX was a huge challenge.
MX does not come with any documentation bar a few hints within the settings pages.
MX has had 16 major releases in just over 3 years that have changed how it works in a very drastic way, moving far away from anything documented for the legacy software, MX caters for a far wider range of weather station types, and offers a lot of options, people now use only a small part of its huge functionality.
Therefore, separate contributors are needed for each weather station type, and for each bit of functionality.

Mark has understandably focussed on the coding, he rightly makes an effort to keep his release announcements concise, and aimed at the more novice users. This means that his release announcements rarely say enough to produce any useful documentation in the Wiki (whether answering novice or technical questions). At the same time, each release is likely to make several pages in the Wiki out of date. The challenge is therefore not just filling in the gaps, or finishing off the new Wiki structure more fit for MX, but also revising existing content.
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THE HISTORY
The Cumulus Wiki, as cloned in October 2018, was really just for Cumulus 1. Just before and just after that cloning of the Wiki as hosting moved from Steve Loft to Ken True, a few pages on the MX beta were created by Mark Crossley (at the time the support forum was expected to close), and there were a few pages that Steve, Mark, or I, had edited so they covered both Cumulus 1 and beta MX. But essentially the Wiki remained as described above, a technical guide for Cumulus 1 users.

When Mark Crossley brought MX out of beta in September 2019, the then Wiki structure limited what edits I could do to make the Wiki less specific to the what was now the legacy software, I was still using the legacy Cumulus, and of course I had other demands on my time so I could only tinker with small Wiki sections at a time based on the little I knew. David Jamieson had began, but left unfinished, modifying the Wiki for MX, introducing separate "category" pages for Cumulus 1 and MX, and marking content so it was clearer what applied to MX.

After Ken gave me those admin rights in January 2021, I did a massive reorganisation of the Wiki including improvements to pages that need admin rights to edit, like the Main Page. More importantly, because I had experience of what had been difficult when I did not have admin rights, I extended what David Jamieson had began, I linked his separate "category" pages for Cumulus 1 and MX from the main page as "Entry points", so future Wiki contributors can link their new pages to these category pages, just as I then linked many of the existing pages so making it easier for future contributors to identify which pages are only for Cumulus 1 (I have locked many of them) and which pages already exist for MX should they wish to edit one of them.

My redesign and rewrites have:
1) Split longer pages into more smaller pages,
2) Tried to arrange documentation into more logical arrangement, e.g. arranging by task being done where previously arranged by Cumulus file
3) Attempting to update key pages, although MX is a moving target
4) Trying to separate out information useful to novices from the more technical detail
5) Provided places that other contributors can link to, to make it easier for others
6) The Wiki is ready for other contributors, are you able to take a small share in improving it further?

I am sorry to say, although I looked at requests for write access to Wiki lodged since Mark had last approved requests, and approved some more, most of the requests there are clearly multiple spamming requests, and there has not yet been the deluge of volunteers that the first post in this topic calls for. I don't have either time, or desire, to do much more myself.
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