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A key feature of WeeWX is its ability to be extended by installing 3rd party extensions. Extensions are a way to package one or more customizations so that they can be installed and distributed as a functional group.

Customizations typically fall into one of these categories:

  • search list extension
  • template
  • skin
  • service
  • generator
  • driver

Take a look at the WeeWX wiki for a sampling of some of the extensions that are available.

Creating an extension

Now that you have made some customizations, you might want to share those changes with other WeeWX users. Put your customizations into an extension to make installation, removal, and distribution easier.

Here are a few guidelines for creating extensions:

  • Extensions should not modify or depend upon existing skins. An extension should include its own, standalone skin to illustrate any templates, search list extension, or generator features.

  • Extensions should not modify the database schemas. If it requires data not found in the default databases, an extension should provide its own database and schema.

Although one extension might use another extension, take care to write the dependent extension so that it fails gracefully. For example, a skin might use data from the forecast extension, but what happens if the forecast extension is not installed? Make the skin display a message about "forecast not installed" but otherwise continue to function.

Packaging an extension

The structure of an extension mirrors that of WeeWX itself. If the customizations include a skin, the extension will have a skins directory. If the customizations include python code, the extension will have a bin/user directory.

Each extension should also include:

  • readme.txt or - a summary of what the extension does, a list of pre-requisites (if any), and instructions for installing the extension manually

  • changelog - an enumeration of changes in each release

  • - python code used by the WeeWX ExtensionInstaller

For example, here is the structure of an extension called basic, which installs a skin called Basic. You can find it in the examples subdirectory.

├── changelog
└── skins
    └── Basic
        ├── basic.css
        ├── favicon.ico
        ├── index.html.tmpl
        ├── lang
        │   ├── en.conf
        │   └── fr.conf
        └── skin.conf

Here is the structure of an extension called xstats, which implements a search list extension, as well as a simple skin. You can also find it in the examples subdirectory.

├── bin
│   └── user
│       └──
├── changelog
├── readme.txt
└── skins
    └── xstats
        ├── index.html.tmpl
        └── skin.conf

To distribute an extension, simply create a compressed archive of the extension directory.

For example, create the compressed archive for the basic skin like this:

tar cvfz basic.tar.gz basic

Once an extension has been packaged, it can be installed using weectl:

weectl extension install EXTENSION-LOCATION

Default values

Whenever possible, an extension should just work, with a minimum of input from the user. At the same time, parameters for the most frequently requested options should be easily accessible and easy to modify. For skins, this might mean parameterizing strings into [Labels] for easier customization. Or it might mean providing parameters in [Extras] to control skin behavior or to parameterize links.

Some parameters must be specified, and no default value would be appropriate. For example, an uploader may require a username and password, or a driver might require a serial number or IP address. In these cases, use a default value in the configuration that will obviously require modification. The username might default to REPLACE_ME. Also be sure to add a log entry that indicates the feature is disabled until the value has been specified.

In the case of drivers, use the configuration editor to prompt for this type of required value.