- User guides: https://brewblox.netlify.app/
- Previous release notes: Brewblox release notes | Brewblox
- Project board: BrewBlox · GitHub
- Code repositories: BrewBlox · GitHub
firmware release date: 2021/03/09
For this release, we’ve made some significant improvements to the Builder editor, and adjusted our long-term plans for automation features.
For the latter, we decided to stop development on our own automation service, and focus on integration with third-party platforms such as Node-RED.
More on this below.
Until now, the Builder editor was unusable on mobile devices, to the point where we disabled it on small screens. We tackled some of the biggest deficiencies, and reworked the tools to improve compatibility with touch devices. The result is a much improved experience for everyone.
The Builder editor, widget, and page now all support mousewheel / pinch zooming. You can drag to pan the view, eliminating the need for scroll bars.
To simplify navigation, the editor now uses the default sidebar. You can select the active layout in the left sidebar, and editor tools from a sidebar on the right side.
Editor tools and mouse actions have been merged. Select a tool in the sidebar, and click or drag to manipulate part(s). Keyboard shortcuts are still available, and act on hovered or selected parts.
With the ability to arbitrarily zoom and drag the layout, we have also repurposed the grid.
Parts can now be placed or moved anywhere, but the Builder widget will set the initial zoom level to make the grid fit the widget. You can use this to manipulate the default placement and zoom level.
To help with this, we added a new editor tool: Resize grid. With this tool, you can click and drag to define a new grid area.
We’ve taken a long hard look at our automation service and its backlog, and concluded that we need to drastically curtail our ambitions here.
The purpose of the automation service is to support custom functionality that is not (yet) provided by the Spark firmware. There are plenty of use cases for this, ranging from recipe integration to automated alerts to custom sensors and actuators.
Backlog estimates, and our experience making the main UI more user-friendly paint a less rosy picture.
The runtime engine for executing custom automation functionality is relatively simple.
Building an editor UI to handle all desired native and custom functionality is not complicated either, but it is a lot of work. Making said UI intuitive and user-friendly while handling complex control logic takes even more work.
Brewblox is process control software with an emphasis on brewing. Adding a generic low-code platform would be a prime example of the Not Invented Here syndrome.
A happy compromise is to make our software compatible with one or more off-the-shelf low-code platforms.
The important thing is that users should not have to switch UIs when brewing. This can be accomplished if the external editor is only required for creating the custom subroutines, and the Brewblox UI is used to start/stop/monitor them.
We’ve had good experiences with our prototype integration with Node-RED, and will continue development there. Integrations with Brewfather, Home Assistant, and IFTTT are also under consideration.
- We are ending development of the current automation service.
- We will keep developing automation functionality.
- You can use a third-party editor to create and edit automation subroutines.
- You should not have to switch UIs during brew days or active fermentations.
The UI components for the automation editor came with heavy dependencies.
We don’t want to yank the rug out from underneath the users that already make use of the service, so we settled on forking the editor components to a separate service.
The new automation-ui service is added automatically if you have an automation service in your docker-compose.yml file. You can access it by navigating to
The Automation widget still exists, and will open the editor UI in a new tab if you click on a “edit process” button.
- (enhancement) By default, scroll wheel zooming is also blocked for the Builder widget.
- (enhancement) You can still interact with parts by clicking on them if pan/zoom is disabled in the Builder widget.
- (fix) Chip elements in the Logic Actuator widget now correctly respond when clicked.
- (fix) Elements in the Logic Actuator widget are now rendered with the correct color if the widget is shown in a dialog.
- (fix) The “add constraint” button now always opens a dialog to select new constraints.
- (feature) The Builder editor is now enabled on mobile.
- (feature) The Builder editor now uses the default sidebar.
- (feature) Added the Pan tool to the Builder editor.
- (feature) Added the Resize grid tool to Builder editor. Drag to define the new grid area.
- (feature) The Builder grid area is now used to set the default shown area in Builder widgets. Parts can be placed outside the grid.
- (feature) Scroll or pinch to adjust zoom in the Builder editor, Builder layout page, and Builder widget.
- (feature) Merged Builder editor Mouse actions and Tools.
- (feature) Placed Builder tools in the right-hand sidebar. Swipe to collapse/expand the sidebar.
- (feature) Reworked Builder tools to be compatible with both mouse/keyboard and touch-based interfaces.
- (feature) The Valve and Actuator Valve parts in Builder are merged into Valve. The valve is controlled manually if unlinked.
- (feature) Added drag-to-pan to the Builder layout page and Builder widget.
- (feature) Added toggleable scroll blocking overlays for the Builder widget on mobile dashboards.
- (feature) Renamed the Display Settings block to Spark Display.
- (feature) Spark system blocks can now be shown on dashboards. This includes:
- Spark System Info
- Spark Display (previously Display Settings)
- Spark 2 Pins
- Spark 3 Pins
- (feature) Changes in Quick Actions are automatically converted whenever the system temperature unit changes.
- (feature) Markdown-formatted text in session log notes is now rendered in the widget.
- (feature) The session log note editor now shows a Markdown preview to the side.
- (feature) Click on the dashboard/service/layout title in the top bar to edit.
- (deprecation) Deprecated the Automation service.
- (deprecation) Moved the Automation editor from the UI to a separate
- (deprecation) The
automation-uiservice is added if the
automationservice is detected during updates.
- (deprecation) The Automation widget now links to the external editor at
- (enhancement) When removing a block on the Spark page, the option is given to automatically remove dedicated widgets from dashboards.
- (enhancement) Improved responsiveness of dialog sizes.
- (enhancement) The block actions menu now shows what Spark service the block belongs to.
- (enhancement) Added custom styling for the dashboard page scrollbar.
- (enhancement) The message log in the bottom bar now renders html formatting.
- (enhancement) dashboard/service/layout titles are now shown centered in the top bar.
- (enhancement) All arguments to
brewblox-ctl up/down/restartare passed through to the underlying docker-compose command.
- (enhancement) Date/Time pickers now use system-native input fields.
- (enhancement) Improved start/end date handling for graphs in the Session Log widget.
- (fix) After running
brewblox-ctl service remove, the removed service is also stopped.
- (fix) The RIMS Builder part now has a minimum width of 3.
- (fix) Builder parts now show an error if the linked block is of an incompatible type.
- (fix) The Stopwatch widget now shows the correct time if the dashboard is reloaded while the timer is stopped.