Small improvement suggestion thread (BrewBlox)

#1

Even though we still have some big plans, the software is gradually becoming more stable.
This means we want to pay more attention to small annoyances and possible improvements.

Bugs and important features will still be prioritized, but we can (and do) squeeze in small fixes.

That said: what are your suggestions for things that can be fixed or improved?

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#2

Temp sensor blocks take up a ton more grid space than the information they present. General optimization of the ratio between grid-space consumed and information presented would be appreciated.

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#3

Valid point. Most information presented is relevant for configuration, but not for day-to-day use.

As we get better at UI design, we’ll likely see some general improvements to widget layout.

A more immediate solution would be to add a minimalistic display mode. This would remove the type name, and reduce title font size / space used by the widget toolbar. It could be toggled by an action in the widget action menu (dropdown button).

Would this be what you are looking for?

#4

Something like that could work. Or just change the font of the sensor reading font and either remove the “value” label or place the reading to the right of that label. I feel like that would get this widget pretty close to fitting within one grid row. Anything that could make it either fit in a 1x3 block or 2x2 block.

#5

Valid point.
Note that the PID widget displays the sensor, setpoint and actuator state. You can since recently also alter the setpoint from the PID widget (pencil icon). So you don’t need to have a widget of all blocks on your dashboard.

#6

I was wondering whether I can delete temp sensor widgets that my PIDs depend on from the dashboard. If I can, I can just use the new metrics widget instead.

#7

From dashboards: you can. The PID depends on a Block on the controller. The widget is comparable to a shortcut: it will show and let you edit the block, but you can delete or copy the widget without changing/removing anything on the controller.

Slightly different story for the service page: there we automatically render default widgets for each block found on the controller.

#8

Suggestion-1: Display PIN actuator state on Spark screen.
I would like to know if/when the Spark is calling for heat.

Suggestion-2: Dynamic adjustment of “block” color on Spark screen.
Allow color of block to be determined by some parameter that is relevant for the block type.
Using “suggestion-1” as an example, an actuator would get two colors, set color-1 when pin is “on”, set color-2 when pin is “off”. A Mutex might could display color-1 when allowing the “cool-pin” to be “on” and color-2 when allowing the “heat-pin” to be on. An SSP might dynamically adjust between color-1 and color-2 (position along a linear gradient) based on the “size” of difference between current value and setpoint value.

Suggestion-3: Delete names from old blocks.
If a block is created, then later deleted, the name of that block is still saved somewhere. For instance, if I add a graph to a dashboard, names of deleted blocks still show in the list of choices in the graph configuration. AFAIK, the only way to delete these old names is to re-run brewblox setup and delete all history.

If any of these are not “small”, please point me to the appropriate github project where I can create issues.

#9

Up-front display of important states is something we can add. We’ll probably be conservative with the colors, as information overload already is an issue.

Old names are still in the database because they do have data associated with them.

Both ignoring old datasets, and removing them are on the backlog. ETA depends a bit on how our current experiments with the service page work out.

Edit: I just noticed you said “spark screen”, and not “ui”.
It still sounds like a good idea, but may have to wait until some more high prio firmware issues are done (valve support, and an elusive bug with rebooting Sparks)

#10

If you add a PID to the screen on the spark you’ll see top to bottom:
Input: setting - actual
Output: setting - actual
Lines: P, I and D
Icons: for a pwm actuator it will show the on/off state

So the data you want is there, solid or outline dot for pwm. Too subtle?