This may be as simple as performing a calculation on some number entered by the user, through to more complex tasks that involve graphics, connections to the Internet, multimedia files, and more.
A progress bar would be nice, too, as that gives the user feedback, letting them know the application is working properly, something that is valuable when using a slow connection to the Internet, such as a modem.
Keyboard shortcuts, menu items, and tool-tips can all be added as well, to make the application easier to use.
Thinking about these things before building the application is a very good idea; you’ve probably used more than one application over the years where the user interface was very obviously an afterthought, and hated that program because of it!
It’s a good idea to sketch out your ideas on a piece of paper first, thinking about how the user will interact with the program, and how the program will present the results.
In this case, at the very least we will want a button to tell the program to go and fetch the cloud cover image, and then a viewer of some kind that will display the image.
Once you have the core functionality established, you can think about the niceties.
The Met Office offer two different versions of the cloud cover image, one in visible light and the other infrared, so why not provide an option to view one or the other?
With a little practise, you can craft all kinds of neat applications tailor-made to your business or hobbies.
In this tutorial, we’ll make a program that access the Meteorological Office web site and then downloads the latest cloud cover satellite image.