April 19, 2019 Software Update
Hello FarmBot community,
On Wednesday we deployed a new version of the FarmBot web app with a ton of usability improvements and a handful of new features. Let’s take a look at what’s new:
Mobile friendly pages!
The Sequences, Regimens, and Farmware pages have all been updated to be significantly more mobile friendly. Each column from the three column layouts seen on large screens is now shown one at a time on small screens:
There is also a new toast notification indicating when Items have been successfully added to the Regimen.
The Farm Designer page has also been updated to improve the small screen experience. Now, the panels and/or map will always take up the full-width of the screen. Panels that require showing the map, such as the Add Plant panel, will now show the map underneath.
- The search fields for the Sequences and Regimens lists have been updated to match the search fields for the Plants and Events lists. (see above)
- The large round plus buttons to add a Plant or Event are now rectangular and positioned next to the search fields, to match the layout on the Sequences and Regimens pages. (see above)
- Sequence, Command, and Regimen titles are now left-justified. (see above)
- Farm Events have been renamed to Events, both in the user interface and in the URL.
- E-Stop buttons and Peripheral toggles have improved disabled styles for when the bot is offline.
Sequence editor updates
- The MOVE TO Command’s offset and speed fields have been moved under a “More +” dropdown.
- Some items in Command dropdowns have been repositioned and/or their verbiage has been slightly modified.
The following Command names and input labels have been changed to be more consumer friendly:
- MOVE ABSOLUTE -> MOVE TO
- WRITE PIN -> CONTROL PERIPHERAL
- READ PIN - > READ SENSOR
- In Move Absolute Command: IMPORT COORDINATES FROM -> LOCATION
- In Write Pin Command: PIN -> PERIPHERAL
- In Write Pin Command: VALUE -> SET TO
- In Read Pin Command: PIN -> SENSOR OR PERIPHERAL
- In Write/Read Pin Commands: PIN MODE -> MODE
We’ve removed the following default Command values. You must now make an explicit choice for each of these inputs, and the sequence will not be save-able until you do.
- LOCATION in the MOVE TO command
- PERIPHERAL in the CONTROL PERIPHERAL command (previously PIN )
- SENSOR OR PERIPHERAL in the READ SENSOR command (previously PIN)
New Message Center
We’ve added a whole new page to the app called the Message Center . Here you’ll find important information about your account, your FarmBot, and news such as new feature announcements. We’ll also be using this feature to help new users finish setting up their accounts and becoming acquainted with the app. Look for the blue badge in the main nav menu to see when new messages are available.
As part of this change, we moved the link to the Logs page to the Account menu on the right side of the main nav.
Relocated connectivity widget
The connectivity widget has been moved from the Device page to the main navigation, allowing you to access this information quickly from anywhere in the app.
There are two new app settings available on the Account Settings page:
- USE 24-HOUR TIME FORMAT - This will display some times, such as the time when a log was generated, using the 24-hour time format.
- CONFIRM EMERGENCY UNLOCK - Use this to disable the Emergency Unlock confirmation dialogs. Thank you @farmer for the feature request.
When AUTOSYNC is turned on, the Sync button will now be styled as italicized text. Additionally, the AUTOYSNC setting will now default to ON for new accounts in an effort to make the FarmBot experience more streamlined and automatic.
We added a new gear icon menu to the Sequence Editor. In this menu you’ll find the CONFIRM STEP DELETION setting (which was previously in the Account Settings page) as well as a new setting to SHOW PINS . This can be used to show/hide the raw pin options in the Control Peripheral and Read Sensor commands. The setting will be disabled by default on new accounts in an effort to slowly make the app more consumerized and easy to use.
There are three new fields for setting the number of MICROSTEPS PER STEP that your stepper drivers are configured to for each axis. With this change, the following parameters are now calculated based on the MICROSTEPS PER STEP and STEPS PER MM values, and now displayed in millimeters instead of steps:
- AXIS LENGTH
- MAX SPEED
- MIN SPEED
- ACCELERATE FOR
And these parameters are now calculated based on the MICROSTEPS PER STEP value:
- MAX MISSED STEPS
- ENCODER MISSED STEP DECAY
- ENCODER SCALING
There is now an additional toggle to ROTATE the map in the Farm Designer map menu. Note that this is linked to the “Swap jog buttons (and rotate map)” toggle in the move widget settings menu.
Hardware settings tooltips now display default values in case you want to revert just some values to their defaults without needing to refer to the docs.
The device TIMEZONE will now be automatically set based on the user’s browser location when they login to a new account for the first time.
The Home Button behaviour in the Move Widget will now default to finding home on new accounts. The toggle to switch between finding home and going to home is still in the move widget’s settings menu.
Bug fixes and under-the-hood changes
- We fixed a bug where password reset links were not functioning correctly. Thanks to Br3nda for reporting this on GitHub.
- We fixed a bug where new accounts were not displaying the v1.4 firmware as an option in the firmware dropdown.
- Whenever we deploy a new version of the web app now, all active browser sessions will receive a notification that they should refresh the page.
- The alignment of the sensor readings widget's columns has been fixed for some screen sizes.
- We improved the display of the settings menu and surrounding elements on the Logs page when viewed on small screens.
- Spacing between fields and labels has been improved and made more consistent throughout the app.
- We’ve applied a number of security and dependency updates to our application, as well as OpenFarm.cc
- We’re now using a newer version of the message broker.
- Internationalization was fixed around March 1st after a dependency update broke some functionality.
New videos and docs coming soon
This week we filmed a new software video series that explains all aspects of how to use the software as it stands today, and how things will work when the variables feature launches soon. The videos are now in the editing room of our videographer, and we expect to upload them to our YouTube channel and the software docs with the release of FBOS v8. You can also expect a big refresh of the software docs with v8.
That’s it for software, but while we’re here, let’s talk about what else we’ve been up to.
As you may have seen from our blog or email newsletter, we recently sold out of Genesis XL v1.4 kits, and have started accepting pre-orders for Genesis XL v1.5!
There are now about 200 v1.4 XL bots out in the wild, which brings the total number of FarmBot kits we’ve shipped to customers to over 1,000! Here is an updated world map showing where all of our customers are. We’ll have this live on our website soon, and you’ll be able to mouse-over each dot to see the city name.
Welcome aboard, Marc!
This month we welcomed @Marc onto our team to help with forum moderation, customer support over email, social media management, and more.
Every Plant, Ever
Last month, in celebration of the Spring Equinox, our talented designer Claire Dierksen (maker of all the plant icons you see in the FarmBot web app) teamed up with Apple Design Award winning developer Ryan McLeodto launch Every Plant, Ever , a sticker pack for iOS! Finally, you can share the plant cuteness with all your friends. Download the pack.
From the design team:
Do you lay awake at night, racked with anxiety that, someday, you will need to convey a very specific message to someone by using a very specific combination of plant emojis, but the current finite selection of plant emojis won’t be able to communicate the full emotional gravity of said message?
Fear not, the Every Plant Ever sticker pack is here to fill the hole in your life left by your parents inability to show affection in any way other than buying you stuff, like these stickers (which, at some point in the future, might consist of every plant in existence).
So far there are 59 peppers, 15 mushrooms, 29 herbs, 60 fruits, and 90 veggies, with more being added monthly. And all of these plants are also available in the FarmBot web app’s farm designer.