Community metering

Since Flukso's extreme makeover earlier this year, the community metering part had gone missing. The makeover touched on so many different aspects of the code already that I had decided to defer the implementation to a later phase. So with this post I'd like to announce the return of community metering!

The user interface on the dash page has been kept as simple as possible:

  • To follow another Fluksonian's data streams, just type in his handle in the 'Add a Fluksonian' text input. The input comes with an auto-complete feature. Hitting the tab key will select the first entry in the drop-down. The Fluksonian's avatar will be added below the chart. So in order to make a good impression on your fellow Fluksonians, upload your user picture to this site (by editing your account information) or to Gravatar. Extra points for using a square picture.
  • The default action when clicking on an avatar is to toggle the display of that Fluksonian's sensors on the chart. Clicking on the remove button changes this default action. Clicking on the avatar will now trigger an 'unfollow' of the Fluksonian and thus a removal of the avatar from the list.
  • If you do not want to exchange your readings with other Fluksonians, all you have to do is to change your privacy setting to private.

The community feature is still in beta. So if you find any quirks, don't hesitate to report them. Either as a comment to this post, or as a forum post in the dev corner.

Happy metering!

Responsive design

Following April's extreme makeover, the Flukso site has received another set of updates. CSS media queries now ensure proper site scaling across different devices and resolutions. There's a known dash rendering issue in the stock Android 2.x browser due to the lack of SVG support. However, the dash should render just fine in desktop and mobile versions of Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari and IE9+.

A toilet flushing incident

While attending EC1205 in Offenburg two weeks ago, I was demoing some of the Flukso site's features on Friday night. When looking at the hourly water chart, I noticed anomalous water usage at my home. The Fluksometer was reading a nearly constant water consumption of 11 liters per minute for over an hour already. Since our electricity consumption was near its base load, I figured my better half and the children were not at home. I then SMS'ed my wife asking her to check what was going on. Somewhat grudgingly she went home and noticed that one of the toilets hadn't properly terminated its flushing operation. In electricity terms, there was a short circuit between the water supply and the drain.

A quick calculation shows that this flushing incident caused a total of 1486 liters of water to flow down the literal and metaphorical toilet in a 2h15m time span. Money-wise this amounts to less than 4EUR. Nevertheless, this kind of needless waste bothers me.

Instead of haphazardly discovering these kind of leaks, we should have a monitoring system in place that performs a number of checks automatically. As a big bonus, it will not be me spoiling the party anymore, but rather an innocent bot!

Ironically, server-side threshold alerts have been running in alpha mode for quite a while now. The only thing that's still lacking is the configuration interface. I've bumped the priority of the feature to high. That should mean a beta in a couple of weeks time.

EC1205 coming up!

The fourth elektro:camp will kick off in Offenburg 164 hours from now. The event is open (as in source) and free (as in beer), courtesy of the Hochschule Offenburg. The usual suspects have their tickets booked already. If you're planning on joining us, make sure you sign up. Further details regarding the barcamp can be found on the wiki page. w00t!

Extreme Makeover

We've been busy these past months creating a new skin for the Flukso web site. The time has come to deploy the design to the live server. So brace yourselves for an extreme makeover. Since this update requires a rather significant update of the server code base, we have scheduled a maintenance downtime from 21h to 24h CET (19h to 22h UTC) on April 2nd.

Taking the red pill and crossing fingers...