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General => Other => Topic started by: gbl08ma on February 22, 2016, 07:58:42 pm

Title: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on February 22, 2016, 07:58:42 pm
I talked about this yesterday in the chat, and it generated quite a bit of discussion, so I thought it was worth a forum topic. Lucky CodeWalrus is the first forum to get a topic about...

Clouttery, the smart, cloud-enabled battery monitor which works with every device! (hopefully, one day)
Website: http://clouttery.xyz/

Clouttery currently:


It's currently available for Windows and Android, has a Chrome extension, and a web console. The Windows client provides some extra perks, like the ability to show battery percentage and remaining time in the system tray, as well as computation of the remaining time on computers where Windows does not provide it. The Android app also provides battery life estimates, separate from those calculated by certain Android versions.

Clients for more operating systems and platforms are planned; the intention is to support everything, from laptops to embedded devices ("IoT", if you prefer fancy terms), and provide a good user experience across all platforms. The idea is to integrate well with each platform, providing a UI that is recognizable across all of them, and yet doesn't look too far off from the platform's design guidelines.

Some screenshots:
(if the images look "zoomed in", it's because my computer has DPI scaling set to 125%. It's also good news: it means the Windows client supports DPI scaling!)

Web interface:
(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs.lowendshare.com%2F7%2F1471363952.648.cl1.png&hash=d7cd5323807c6abb8d41643bc60d43fd) (https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs.lowendshare.com%2F7%2F1471363978.61.cl2.png&hash=498c94ae393fefbf750c1a3c50f64c91)

Windows client:
(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs.lowendshare.com%2F1%2F1456099763.578.Untitled.png&hash=aa45d36c2e9ed03d5933bcfdba9e7d90)

Android client:
(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fclouttery.xyz%2Fstatic%2Fimg%2Fscrandroid.png&hash=015cc0ea2ae27fb6754889705cbccb9e)

In the future, Clouttery shall:


Clouttery currently serves well the following kinds of users:


I plan to offer a free basic plan for this service, then have plans at multiple price tiers with monthly or yearly billing. The more expensive the plan, the more features it has, the more devices it supports, etc.

But the good news is, a public beta-testing program is ongoing, and everyone who joins this program, and keeps being an active user until it ends, gets free Clouttery for life! Being a beta-tester requires keeping in touch with me in order to know the latest news and install the latest updates, and of course communicate any bugs and give suggestions. The Windows client updates automatically, so it means eating running whatever is shoved down the update line (but don't worry, everything is tested in at least two computers before).

If you are interested in participating, start here: https://clouttery.xyz/signup

Everyone else, feel free to comment!
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on February 22, 2016, 10:05:04 pm
I'm definitively interested and I like the idea. :) For me it might be mainly useful when game consoles and calcs are supported, since I  own a PSP,  PSVita and TI-Nspire CX that can remain unused for weeks then go from 100% charge to 0% in half that time. I might submit an application to beta-test, but I'm pretty busy lately.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on February 22, 2016, 10:30:11 pm
I may need to open the API at some point, because there's no way the few devs at Segvault alone are going to be able to develop clients for all those platforms.

It's probably better for us to focus on the major, widely known and used operating systems first, like Windows, Android, Linux, OSX and iOS, etc. and then get to gaming consoles, and finally take care of more niche platforms like calculators. Unless there's a big amount of calc users that wouldn't mind paying for Clouttery, we're generally headed where the money is - you probably understand, running a service like this comes at a cost to us.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: Araidia on February 22, 2016, 11:59:41 pm
Nice! If you go offline(like for a phone) does it sync when it goes back online?
Just signed up for it--Can't wait to get it!
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on February 23, 2016, 12:02:16 am
Yes, both the Windows and Android clients do that. They were built  so that going offline is not a problem - on the Android and Windows clients, you will be able to see the most recently obtained data since you went offline, provided you don't close the app. Obviously, certain operations always need an Internet connection.

I will send you an email in a few minutes.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: Dudeman313 on February 23, 2016, 12:25:30 am
I signed up as well! This is cool, and though I do not have an Android, I do have a Windows 10 Laptop with terrible battery life. :P
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on February 23, 2016, 12:54:22 am
I'm getting a bit tired of having to manually send emails to everyone who requests an account :), and to make things worse most people seem to ignore them and never sign up, so I'm turning this this into a semi-private (i.e. public) beta for the CW community (or rather, anyone who happens to visit this topic).

To get Clouttery access, all you need to do is:
1. Sign up for a dotAccount at https://dotaccount.tny.im/signup.php (unless you happen to have one already)
2. Sign in to the Clouttery management console at http://clouttery.tny.im/manage using your dotAccount.

The Windows client setup can be initiated by running the following executable (yes, it will probably give security warnings - proceed at your own risk, I can't force you to trust me, so...): http://clouttery.tny.im/clickonce/setup.exe
This is not a conventional setup wizard (of the "Next, Next, Accept, Finish" kind), so pay close attention.

The main UI of the Windows app is... the tray icon. Everything revolves around it.

After installing and pairing the Windows client, the first thing you should do is go into Settings (right click the tray icon and press Settings), then scroll to the bottom and tick "Start Clouttery on system startup". This ensures you won't forget to start Clouttery; it is most useful if it is running whenever the OS is running. It only uses about 10 MB of RAM and little to no CPU (I mean, otherwise it would be a battery hog itself...). Feel free to explore the other settings; everything should work!

The Android client needs some explanation, and since it doesn't auto-update, it also requires that I stay in closer contact with the beta-testers, to send them new APKs. Because of this, it is not available to everyone right now. Contact me if you want access.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on February 23, 2016, 12:55:57 am
Quote from: gbl08ma on February 22, 2016, 10:30:11 pm
I may need to open the API at some point, because there's no way the few devs at Segvault alone are going to be able to develop clients for all those platforms.

It's probably better for us to focus on the major, widely known and used operating systems first, like Windows, Android, Linux, OSX and iOS, etc. and then get to gaming consoles, and finally take care of more niche platforms like calculators. Unless there's a big amount of calc users that wouldn't mind paying for Clouttery, we're generally headed where the money is - you probably understand, running a service like this comes at a cost to us.
Especially if it gets popular and your web server suffers from severe lag and has 1% uptime as a result of its popularity >.< (requiring a better hosting plan)

But yeah calc users paying for this are unlikely, because 99% of calc programmers are under 18 and/or have no money. That's unless they can convince their parents to pay for this service.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on February 23, 2016, 09:28:54 pm
I was talking about open-sourcing the API, not open-sourcing the server. The backend is designed to be scalable so there should not be availability problems; if worse comes to worst, we can always adjust the client sync frequency so they don't poll the servers so often.

Consoles and calcs are hard to support, because these can't run the client in the background or while in standby, which means they would only sync when the user opens the client - this would be pretty useless for the "let them sit in a drawer" use case. These devices will probably be better treated as dumb devices - with "battery forecasting", with occasional user-input datapoints for better results. In the case of consoles, these manual inputs could occur after a gaming session so Clouttery knows they had a higher battery draw, and adjust accordingly. In fact, "battery forecasting" is a good idea even for computers and tablets, since these are completely turned off often, and yet still empty their batteries over time.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on February 24, 2016, 12:48:33 am
Yeah I guess you're right. They would need to be treated as dumb devices IMHO. For console peripherals or consoles themselves that can't support Clouttery, you would need to find documentation on how long the battery lasts on those devices, while letting the user calibrate if, for example, he knows his device eats battery more or less than usual. That said, if you can at least support phones and tablets then that helps the user already, since he has fewer devices to monitor, then.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: 123outerme on February 24, 2016, 12:57:43 am
Is this post used solely for announcements, or will/can there be bug reports, etc. here as well?
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on February 24, 2016, 04:57:43 pm
All kinds of on-topic discussion are accepted, including bug reports. Just make sure to provide details on how to reproduce the bug. I will then add it to the adequate private issue tracker.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: 123outerme on February 25, 2016, 12:54:50 am
Okay. I have some feedback. So far, I like using the app. I've tried the online thing and the Android client. I have a Windows computer, but it's a desktop, so it doesn't need a battery. They both work perfectly, and I can't wait for the features to come!
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on February 25, 2016, 01:13:00 am
Glad you like it :)

The Windows client, as initially thought, was planned to support being a view-only client (that is, with no battery attached, it just displays information about other devices). However, this functionality is yet to be developed. There's some support for computers without battery but at this point, after so many changes to the code and no testing of that part, it's possible that it will just outright crash when installed on a computer without battery.

I should note that, just as you posted that, a update for the Android app has been released. I pushed a notification to all users which you can click for information on how to update. If someone managed to clear the notification before opening it, contact me and I'll give you the link, or push the notification again...
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: 123outerme on February 25, 2016, 01:34:07 am
Quote from: gbl08ma on February 25, 2016, 01:13:00 am
Glad you like it :)

The Windows client, as initially thought, was planned to support being a view-only client (that is, with no battery attached, it just displays information about other devices). However, this functionality is yet to be developed. There's some support for computers without battery but at this point, after so many changes to the code and no testing of that part, it's possible that it will just outright crash when installed on a computer without battery.

I should note that, just as you posted that, a update for the Android app has been released. I pushed a notification to all users which you can click for information on how to update. If someone managed to clear the notification before opening it, contact me and I'll give you the link, or push the notification again...

Thanks for the update, I've received it. And there's not much that I'd need it for on the desktop, but if you'd like me to test it, I can.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on March 02, 2016, 09:20:09 pm
Microsoft agrees that some of the ideas present in Clouttery are worthy:

http://mspoweruser.com/cortana-will-soon-send-notification-on-your-pc-when-your-phone-battery-is-low/
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: aeTIos on March 03, 2016, 09:16:31 am
Quick, sue them!
On another note, I've been using Clouttery for a few weeks now and sadly, 'cause I don't have multiple battery powered devices, I haven't really found it very useful :/ I will keep it installed though, mainly to give feedback on the UI and UX (Which imo have been improving as of lately). One thing I would like to see is to not give a battery low notification on the device that is running low. Would that be possible?
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on March 03, 2016, 11:06:44 am
You can disable notifications about a device on just one device or on all the devices.

To disable notifications on just one device, open the device details screen of the client you're using (the one with the graph) and look for the "Mute on this device" option (Android, look under the top-right menu), or on Windows untick the "Show notifications for this device on this computer" checkbox at the bottom.
This means notifications for the device in question still get created; you just won't see them on that particular client.

To disable notifications about a device for all the devices, edit the settings of the device and untick the notifications option. You can also log in to the web console, go into "Settings" -> "Notifications", and disable notifications as desired.

I realize this is a bit confusing and not very versatile, so I'm thinking of better notification filtering mechanisms and a way to present them to the user that is not overwhelming.




In other news, Clouttery is now available for everyone - we entered public beta stage! It also has a new domain name, and website contents have been updated:

http://clouttery.xyz

Both clients are now available for everyone to download. And the best part is that the unlimited version of Clouttery is still free for everyone who signs up - but only while in beta!

Information on how to sign up and install clients is here: http://clouttery.xyz/signup
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on March 22, 2016, 06:04:52 am
THis is awesome to hear. I really need to install this at one point. I got caught up with life stuff, projects so I kinda had an hard time catching up on this. :)
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on April 12, 2016, 09:44:56 pm
I just realized it was time for a status update, even though this project hasn't moved as of late - I'm really busy with university exams and projects, and any free time I have tends to go towards procrastination (such as this post).

There has been no progress on the Windows and Android clients, nor on the web interface, nor on the backend. However, I am slowly, slowly developing a Linux client, written in Go, which uses GTK for the UI. It already mostly works, but it's too barebones to be released. I plan on making a command line/daemon version of it, too, so that it can be used on headless systems or systems where GTK is not available, for some reason.

Golang easily cross-compiles to many platforms/architectures, and GTK is available on lots of them. What this means is that this client should run on OS X with not so many changes to the code. In fact, it even runs on Windows already after commenting a dozen lines of code (to make the battery a "dummy", since "/sys/class/power" doesn't really exist in Windows outside of the new Linux compatibility layer). But for Windows, there's already the .NET client, which is a much lighter dependency (as in, the user most likely has it installed already, and it's much easier to install) than the whole GTK. So really, this "Linux client" is, in fact, a client for Unix-like operating systems: internally, the project's called... clouttery-nix.

I considered not uploading screenshots, as it's still so unfinished, but here they are anyway:
(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs.lowendshare.com%2F3%2F1460498205.394.khihoh.png&hash=f1c013f9d2d7dcb419b451599ffa37df)
(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs.lowendshare.com%2F3%2F1460498084.314.okokpo.png&hash=501db25e0e7f4ca0c8107e518283adfa)
The UI look depends very much on the GTK theme, and the one I have installed really makes things like vertical tab controls really confusing. I have tested it with the default GTK3 theme, on Windows, and it looks much better. The settings screen is already rendered with GTK but it's completely empty (no logic/interactivity behind it yet).

Finally, I have been thinking of ways to make Clouttery more useful for people with just one device. I think that a good way to achieve that goal is to turn Clouttery more into a "virtual battery expert" and not just a battery level synchronizer. It would analyse users' battery usage patterns and tell them about stuff like potentially damaging habits like repeatedly doing full discharges of Li-Ion batteries.

Such monitoring features would also distinguish Clouttery from the battery level warnings some companies are putting into their products (for example: with Windows insider builds, Cortana already warns, on the desktop, that the battery level of a Windows 10 phone is low). Apps that do notification mirroring also make Clouttery, as it is now, kind of redundant. Ideally, we want to avoid a situation where on the computer, the user gets two notifications for the same battery event, one coming from the client on that computer and the other coming from their phone through e.g. Pushbullet.

And this takes us to another topic: notification control must be easier to use while keeping, or even increasing, its granularity. The notification filtering system, right now, is a completely horrible in terms of user experience. In the backend, it's not very flexible, either. I still have to investigate what is the best solution for this in terms of how it's implemented technically, and in terms of user interface.

So many things to do, so little time...
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on April 12, 2016, 10:41:38 pm
I didn't have much time to follow updates to this lately, so I kinda missed out if anything happened between my last post and this update, but I'm glad this is still alive. :)
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on April 12, 2016, 10:55:21 pm
Well, it will always be "alive" for as long as the server keeps running... which is not too hard to accomplish, since the software itself is very stable, not very resource-hungry and very easy to move to another server if needed, too. (statically-compiled stuff has its benefits and this is one of them, just drop the binary and run). The only problem/my only regret with the server is not having made it horizontally scalable since the beginning, and now it's really hard to decouple it from the current database system. At the same time, if I ever decouple it, it will mean the code will need to become more organized (with better separation of concerns) and that's a good thing, right?

If for "alive" you mean "actively developed", then yes, it could be more active... and there are times when I think if it's worth continuing its development, since it progresses so slowly and others are already catching up to its capabilities... at this point, it's unlikely I'll be able to charge anyone for this service, but since I have some fun developing it, it goes on... should I get tired of it, I can just open-source it so others can take care of it, if they wish.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on April 12, 2016, 11:05:12 pm
My only concern about "as long as the server is running" is not really money-wise, but rather related to loss of interest or lack of free time. See what happened to Revsoft (another TI calculator forum): The one who had hosting access vanished into thin air and couldn't even be reached by phone. Same for the guy who owned the domain name. Then one day, Revsoft went poof and they lost everything. In order to sell this you will have to guarantee that your service will be running in long terms, even if you get married, get kids and move on in real life.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on April 12, 2016, 11:36:12 pm
Fortunately, history has shown that I'm quite good at maintaining useless/unprofitable services (see my tny.im shortener, or Goshify, or even the iCalToPCE converter for my Prizm software that goes months without being used). At the beginning it was hard - low-quality free web hosting didn't really help, and things only got more serious once I got my own servers. Fortunately, at that time I also had way more free time than I have now. Fixing servers that go down has gone from something more or less fun to being a chore (which is normal), especially when it happens, say, in the middle of class. That's why I'm always looking into better redundancy systems and automation, and I'm all over horizontal scaling, etc.
It's an almost dangerous obsession with uptime :) but obviously that doesn't mean I'll be available forever to "babysit" things and fix problems when they appear out of nowhere (plus support requests, dealing with er... less intelligent users, etc.).

Things would be easier if I was working in a team, and so for years I've been trying to get people to work together with me. It's been difficult, though, and it's not hard to see why. Since there's little to no money to be made, for one to enjoy working with the team one must be interested in the final product and have some fun making and maintaining it. However, few people are interested in using, let along developing, the services and software I maintain. I believe this is partially due to not being able to find The Right People(tm).

Furthermore, since the administration of the servers and websites is not as decentralized as it could be (which, as can be seen by the Revsoft example, is a really bad sign), on these groups I always end up doing all the work, and others lose interest (I'm not complaining, as obviously I can't and definitely don't want to force people to work for free; I'm just stating a consequence). Also, until recently we had no good communication channel, so people just lost contact over time. Slack is really helping with this, though.

Right now, Segvault (http://segvault.tny.im) has three members, including me. Only recently, as dotAccount was deployed, it became possible for other team members to sign in to some administration control panels - not that they cared, as they are as busy with life as I am. Of course, at some point you must find a balance between giving all the admins full power (and then have the problem of rogue admins, as some communities well know) and having the power all for yourself. dotAccount helps with this, as it has support for different permission levels, but there's stuff dotAccount can't help with, namely everything that involves signing in to dashboards of external services we use. Some stuff, like server administration, is still only available to me, maybe for good reason. Things like support requests and abuse reports still only go to my email addresses, too.

Oh well, let's hope our projects bring in enough money to cover the expenses and that other team members will either get more involved or bring their own projects along, or perhaps more team members entirely. On the other hand, this "passivity" of the group is not a bad thing either, since I really don't have enough time to participate right now. Perhaps all I want is to have a bit more of teamwork, and not actually more work :) /rant
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on April 12, 2016, 11:55:58 pm
Well, that's good to hear. Too many services go down without any warning because the author either forgets that it exists or other things. On CodeWalrus we try to ensure that all staff who has server access has the passwords and access to everything, just in case. As for dealing with less intelligent users, I just ignore them personally. Of course, by not intelligent I assume you mean people who refuse to search before asking questions and expect you to do the entire work for them, though.

On the other hand, I found out that team work is not always for the best. in the TI community, for example, the completion ratio for team projects is much lower than solo projects. And yeah in the case of the TI community we're a niche community so finding people is much harder. If someone is making a game and needs sprites, we sometimes have to redirect them to actual spriting websites.


As for money+Clouttery, what I feel is that if at one point, money doesn't come through enough, then this probably means that the userbase is low enough to keep bandwidth costs at the minimum, so you could simply downgrade to cheaper hosting plans (on CodeWalrus we pay $12 a month, including the weekly backup service, for 30 GB of disk space, 1.2 TB of monthly transfer, a single core processor and 1 GB of RAM.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on June 26, 2016, 11:13:37 pm
A long time has passed and I finally had some time to work on this again. Here's a screenshot of the Linux client after today's progress:

(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs.lowendshare.com%2F5%2F1466982268.395.roeoirejtoei.png&hash=b3ede2b5ea94bff7118f65dbf6da8d27)

It looks way better with the default GTK theme, but that one I'm using goes better with my KDE theme, with the downside that some stuff like unchecked checkboxes looks pretty strange.

I had to implement the graphs with a WebKit control because I was struggling to find a graph/chart library that would a) work with GTK, b) work with Golang, c) Deal well with many datapoints while still looking nice and d) allow zooming and panning (so static image renderers were out of the question). So I ended up using Dygraphs which I'm already using on the website.

Not shown in this screenshot, but the settings tab is now fully working and most settings are respected. Not shown either is also the tray icon, which is customizable (like the Windows one), but IMO looks much better, since on Linux the tray icons can be bigger and as such it's possible to have antialiased text even on standard DPIs. Like on Windows the text color of the tray icon is customizable.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on June 27, 2016, 01:21:58 am
Does the Win version require installing the GTK dependencies and one specific version in particular?

Glad this is still worked on :)
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on June 27, 2016, 08:34:18 am
No, the Windows version is written in C# and only requires the .NET Framework 4.5. It is also stable and ready for install, see http://clouttery.xyz/apps
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on June 27, 2016, 03:37:24 pm
Ah ok good. I had issues with GTK runtime installing in the past (eg one software required one specific version, while the other required another, so I could only install one of the two softwares at a time)
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on July 08, 2016, 06:47:34 pm
Because not a single person understood the notification settings (local vs. global toggle), I decided to change the UI for them. Before:
(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs.lowendshare.com%2F6%2F1468003478.20.Capture.PNG&hash=51db7593004aaf5dfa63277a52536c68)

After, the notification settings have moved completely to the Device settings window, and now instead of two checkboxes there are three options to choose from:
(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs.lowendshare.com%2F6%2F1467999810.805.Untitled.png&hash=5378efb7ef166b0f41684215b80d9283)

I will change the UI of the Android client to be more like this, soon.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on July 08, 2016, 06:54:45 pm
I,m unsure if I understand fully, but having all notification options together like in the 2nd screenshot might help at a bit at least. Also I like it better. I really need to get Clouttery on my two phones and PC at some point because I noticed lately that I often forget to charge my main phone during evening.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on July 09, 2016, 01:01:17 am
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on July 08, 2016, 06:54:45 pm
I really need to get Clouttery on my two phones and PC at some point because I noticed lately that I often forget to charge my main phone during evening.


When you feel the time is right, just follow the instructions at http://clouttery.xyz/signup . This is valid for everyone, by the way. Later, when Clouttery starts charging for subscriptions, you'll regret not getting an account now. Users who begin using Clouttery now will get unlimited, free for life plans. Like, a real lifetime supply of Clouttery. Only downside is having to deal with more frequent updates during the beta-testing phase...
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on July 09, 2016, 01:40:09 pm
Yeah I know that. Actually I wasn't sure if the free testing phase was over yet but I didn't have much time to test stuff yet (partly also why CW news pending queue is very large). I'll probably sign up very soon, though.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: Unicorn on July 09, 2016, 05:05:11 pm
Quote from: CloutteryCoupon

You have active coupons.

100% off for 100 years, until September 27, 2115.

What happens if we use this for 100+ years? :trollface:
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on July 09, 2016, 07:32:35 pm
It's a lifetime supply and stats by multiple organizations say over 99% of people aren't expected to live to be 100, but don't worry: if it happens, the coupon will be extended  ;D
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on July 10, 2016, 04:48:21 am
Considering my health a few yeears ago, I worried I wouldn't live past 35-50 or so but it looks like I could make it at least past 60. I hope for higher, though. But yeah by then most of my phone batteries will be dead anyway :P
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on July 12, 2016, 08:23:45 pm
Today, some changes have been pushed to the management console:

You can see these by yourself at https://clouttery.xyz/manage
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on July 14, 2016, 03:48:20 pm
...and today, there's a new version of the Android app. Here's what changed:


The download link is the same, get the clients at: https://clouttery.xyz/apps .

Prior to release the app was hanging after running for a while, but I think I managed to find the cause and fix the problem - at least, in further testing it didn't happen again. Please report if you experience any issue.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on July 14, 2016, 11:40:45 pm
Glad to see those bugs fixed. Does the app take a lot of battery power for notifications?
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on July 14, 2016, 11:57:05 pm
No, the app uses a negligible amount of power. It stays well below Google's own apps such as Gmail, and even below Pushbullet. For example, right now in over 12 hours of monitoring, Clouttery held my phone awake for a total of 27 seconds. Gmail held it awake for over thirty minutes (!), Android's default calendar 55 seconds (little to no events for today, and no reminders) and Pushbullet for 40 seconds.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on July 20, 2016, 03:27:43 am
That is good. I was worried because some community apps use lots of battery power just for notifications. For example, Cumred's post notifier for Android will drain them like crazy unless it's set to check for new posts every 60 second.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on July 22, 2016, 05:32:03 pm
On the server side, what feature would you like to see developed next?
- Support for advanced notifications, including battery health warnings (so you would be notified, for example, about devices staying on the charger for too long, or batteries left empty for extended periods of time), or
- Support for "dumb" devices which are never going to be able to support Clouttery clients, like toys, calculators, game consoles (and their remotes), etc.

After implementing the selected feature (and maybe after releasing the Linux client), and making the sign-up experience easier, I'd like to begin advertising the project more, including posting on more forums, maybe present it to websites like Hacker News, etc.
So ideally the feature to choose would be the one that makes Clouttery a more interesting product. But I'm unsure, so opinions about what you'd find more useful in the shorter term would be appreciated.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on July 23, 2016, 05:08:50 am
For the 1st one, I guess you would need to take the difference between devices into account. For example, I heard that older batteries are more prone to damage due to overcharging or discharging and that newer ones are more protected against that. You will probably need to do a lot of research about that and have some devices be flagged at risk (eg most old iOS devices)


I don't know how the 2nd one could be implemented, though, but I guess it would be nice to have support for "dumb" devices, especially TI calcs and the PS Vita. It's possible that many people outside CW might want that, especially the PSVita and 3DS on gaming websites. Personally, option 2 would be my favorite addition, but it's ok if you're unable to pull it off.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on July 24, 2016, 10:44:32 pm
Support for dumb devices would rely on users letting Clouttery know whenever they change the batteries or recharge the device. Of course, this only works for devices with more or less constant battery draw. For example, if it's a 3DS you rarely use and just sits in a shelf, then Clouttery would often get its battery level guess right, and could remind you to charge it when the battery gets to 40% or so (adjustable, ofc). But if you begin using it more often all of a sudden, for a while Clouttery's estimate will be off by a lot.
Similarly, if you use it every day for a bit, say, you spend 20% of the battery each day, then that is a approximately constant battery draw too, and Clouttery will catch on the fact that the battery goes empty every five days. Of course, with these devices it wouldn't be possible to notify the user when charging completes.

This feature really would work best with "set and forget" devices that are always on, like smoke alarms, wall clocks, watches, room thermometers and weather stations. It could also work well for low-power devices that are randomly used and thus use energy randomly, but have a constant draw when analyzing large time periods: remote controls, emergency/presence lights and doorbells. Finally, it should also work well with devices that are very rarely used but have batteries always put on for whatever reason (which will naturally lose charge by themselves as time goes) - pocket radios, flashlights, etc. It could be of use to people with large collections of calculators, iPods or whatever which they obviously aren't always using (but you should take out the batteries if possible, then. And the iPods could go to a museum ;D ).

Clouttery wouldn't care what type of "dumb device" it is, all it wants to know is how often the batteries need to be charged or changed and the last time you did it. It would then assume a constant power draw and let you know when the guesstimate of the battery level gets down to a certain value, which could be zero for alkaline batteries, or something higher for rechargeable ones of the kinds that don't like full discharges.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on July 25, 2016, 08:00:55 am
Yeah, I guess manually setting up the time when you get notified that the battery is about to get low for unused devices would do the job well enough. The user just have to calibrate. I guess there could be some pre-sets that the user can edit, though, if you can find the data online.

Without pre-sets it would still do the job, though. It would just require the user extra trial and error I guess. In my case, I know my TI-Nspire CX gets discharged after 2-3 weeks, so I would just need to set Clouttery so that after 2 weeks, it tells me I need to hook up my CX.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on July 28, 2016, 09:46:39 pm
Today, a major server overhaul was pushed to production. Even though it doesn't yet include any of the two features I mentioned earlier, this is a very important update, as it is the result of major code refactoring, laying down the foundation for more exciting stuff :w00t: It's one of those updates where things stay mostly the same on the surface, but major things happened deep down.

Probably the most important and visible change is that you can now sign in with Twitter, so if you have been put off from using Clouttery because you didn't feel like creating an account on yet another website, that friction is gone. Support for signing in with other services is coming soon, but first I'd like to test the Twitter+dotAccount pair to iron out any remaining bugs on the new authentication code, before adding more services to the mix.

The home page also had significant additions, including:

A help center: https://clouttery.xyz/help
Contact page: https://clouttery.xyz/contact
Security information: https://clouttery.xyz/security

Existing pages changed style to be more consistent with the new pages, as can be seen on the clients (https://clouttery.xyz/apps ) and sign-up pages ( https://clouttery.xyz/signup ).

Let me know what you think.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on July 28, 2016, 09:54:13 pm
I like the "You can contact an human" part a lot. A lot of services have contact forms but are in fact auto-responders and never reply. :P

Anyway the design of the website is very professional there. Good job so far. :) Also the Twitter sign in is nice. :)
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: CowTipper989 on July 29, 2016, 05:30:22 am
I've been looking for a good cross platform battery manager and finally found Clouttery, I was surprised about how they are almost non-existent as standalone apps. I really like Clouttery so far and can't wait until it will be available on the iPhone and Chrome store. When it becomes available on the iPhone will it still be in beta or will it have to leave beta for testers to get it on the iPhone as Apple has it so locked down?
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on July 29, 2016, 07:02:37 am
Heya CowTipper989 and welcome to the forums. I feel the same way myself. I'm glad such app exists now and is expanding to have more features.


EDIT: By the way @gbl08ma I tried downloading the setup.exe after signing in with Twitter and when I start the download it stops and says "Interrupted: Network Error" :(. I am using Opera 36 by the way.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on July 29, 2016, 11:03:20 am
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on July 29, 2016, 07:02:37 am
EDIT: By the way @gbl08ma I tried downloading the setup.exe after signing in with Twitter and when I start the download it stops and says "Interrupted: Network Error" :(. I am using Opera 36 by the way.


That's strange, because I just tested using different browsers, including Opera 38 (the latest version) and setup.exe was correctly downloaded with all of them. And my Internet connection isn't exactly good. Edge warned that "setup.exe is not commonly downloaded" or something like that, but it still let me open the setup, and that's just Microsoft's SmartScreen at work and hopefully it will go away once Clouttery becomes more popular.

Maybe your antivirus or firewall is cutting the connection before it ends?

Quote from: CowTipper989 on July 29, 2016, 05:30:22 am
I've been looking for a good cross platform battery manager and finally found Clouttery, I was surprised about how they are almost non-existent as standalone apps. I really like Clouttery so far and can't wait until it will be available on the iPhone and Chrome store. When it becomes available on the iPhone will it still be in beta or will it have to leave beta for testers to get it on the iPhone as Apple has it so locked down?


Unfortunately, while a native iOS app is definitely in the plans, it would have to wait until I pull enough money out of Clouttery to buy a Mac and a Apple Developer account (which I recall are not cheap, either).

I don't think one needs a dev account to make a web application that can be pinned to the home screen of iOS, and there is now an API for reading the battery level from web pages ( https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/Battery_Status_API ), but surprise, surprise: it's not supported in Safari (http://caniuse.com/#feat=battery-status ). So the only way would be a native app (and that's assuming Apple made the APIs available to native apps...).
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on July 29, 2016, 04:33:00 pm
Weird, I tried on my phone and it works fine. But on my PC I just tried with Firefox and it fails too. I get this:

QuoteC:\Users\DJOMNI~1\AppData\Local\Temp\XZ3UIzo4.exe.part could not be saved, because the source file could not be read.

Try again later, or contact the server administrator.


Even disabling Avast won't solve the problem.

EDIT: Ok so disabling Windows 10 firewall fixed the problem. You might want to fix that gbl08ma because many people will balk away if they can't run/install/download your app right away, or you could put a warning that your app in particular requires disabling the firewall.

In the 25 years I used Windows, this is the first time I ever had to disable my firewall just to download an application O.O (and normally when it tries to block something it warns me first and ask me permission to unblock it anyway)

Quote from: gbl08ma on July 29, 2016, 11:03:20 am
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on July 29, 2016, 07:02:37 am
EDIT: By the way @gbl08ma I tried downloading the setup.exe after signing in with Twitter and when I start the download it stops and says "Interrupted: Network Error" :(. I am using Opera 36 by the way.


That's strange, because I just tested using different browsers, including Opera 38 (the latest version) and setup.exe was correctly downloaded with all of them. And my Internet connection isn't exactly good. Edge warned that "setup.exe is not commonly downloaded" or something like that, but it still let me open the setup, and that's just Microsoft's SmartScreen at work and hopefully it will go away once Clouttery becomes more popular.

Maybe your antivirus or firewall is cutting the connection before it ends?

Quote from: CowTipper989 on July 29, 2016, 05:30:22 am
I've been looking for a good cross platform battery manager and finally found Clouttery, I was surprised about how they are almost non-existent as standalone apps. I really like Clouttery so far and can't wait until it will be available on the iPhone and Chrome store. When it becomes available on the iPhone will it still be in beta or will it have to leave beta for testers to get it on the iPhone as Apple has it so locked down?


Unfortunately, while a native iOS app is definitely in the plans, it would have to wait until I pull enough money out of Clouttery to buy a Mac and a Apple Developer account (which I recall are not cheap, either).

I don't think one needs a dev account to make a web application that can be pinned to the home screen of iOS, and there is now an API for reading the battery level from web pages ( https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/Battery_Status_API ), but surprise, surprise: it's not supported in Safari (http://caniuse.com/#feat=battery-status ). So the only way would be a native app (and that's assuming Apple made the APIs available to native apps...).



This is the same reason why the CodeWalrus shoutbox still lacks iOS compatibility for the most part. We cannot afford to buy a working Mac+iOS emu and/or iOS device to test WIRC code on it.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on July 29, 2016, 04:56:55 pm
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on July 29, 2016, 04:33:00 pmEDIT: Ok so disabling Windows 10 firewall fixed the problem. You might want to fix that gbl08ma because many people will balk away if they can't run/install/download your app right away, or you could put a warning that your app in particular requires disabling the firewall.


I did all my tests on Windows 10 and that didn't happen, other people have also downloaded it on Windows 10 so I'm not sure what's going on. Perhaps it has something to do with downloading the file over HTTP vs HTTPS? But the "source file could not be read" part makes me believe the browser is successfully downloading the file to a temporary folder, but when it tries to move it to its final destination, it is no longer there (presumably because something else deleted or moved it before). That's more the work of an antivirus than a firewall IMO, but in Windows 10 they merged MS Security Essentials even more and made it a core part of the OS, so I don't even know anymore. Using HTTPS should prevent the firewall from seeing it's a EXE file before it is written to the disk.

Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on July 29, 2016, 04:33:00 pmThis is the same reason why the CodeWalrus shoutbox still lacks iOS compatibility for the most part. We cannot afford to buy a working Mac+iOS emu and/or iOS device to test WIRC code on it.


AFAIK even if you have a iOS device you still need a Mac to compile native apps. Even things like Microsoft's Xamarin that allows for developing for iOS with .NET and VS (on Windows) need a Mac build server. If you just wanted to make a web app the device alone would be enough, though.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on July 29, 2016, 05:06:19 pm
Yeah I suspect it's an HTTP vs HTTPS issue (in my case your site defaults to HTTPS). But yeah it's definitively not Avast, because otherwise disabling it would have fixed the problem. The problem went away immediately when I disabled Windows firewall.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on August 03, 2016, 09:41:45 pm
I said the plan was to implement that exciting feature that was going to be selected ( https://codewalr.us/index.php?topic=1140.msg42016#msg42016 ) and to release the Linux client. But after that, the necessary and important "behind the scenes" server update of the last week, followed by another less important one today, got in the way. Additionally, I'm having some problems with the Linux client which I'm not really sure how to solve. I'll either need to switch software stacks or I'll need to do some serious debugging on the GTK bindings I'm using.

To avoid leaving Linux users in the dark for much longer, and because a few users like @CowTipper989 expressed interest in the Chrome extension, I decided to shift focus to it.

In an initial phase, the Chrome extension will only allow you to see notifications and information about the devices in your account. It will not read information about the battery level of the current device. However, there's no technical reason why it won't later be able to do so - be it a Windows PC, Mac or Linux machine (including ChromeOS). It's merely a choice I made to get something out of the door sooner.

I also need to see how much a Chrome Webstore dev account costs, and whether it can be shared with the Android dev account (I guess not). Last time I checked those were not exactly cheap (they were expensive in the sense they would cost almost as much as the new SSD I bought for my laptop). Unlike what happens with Android apps, with Chrome the online store is pretty much the only way to distribute extensions. Previously, crx files could be installed from random websites, but that was disabled some time ago for security reasons. There is still the option to load unpacked extensions (which is what I'm using for development) but that doesn't scale to more than a handful of users.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 03, 2016, 10:11:32 pm
Sorry to hear about the Linux issues. If you need specific help about that you could make a topic about it in the PC section (and on Cemetech/other places). Hopefully the issue is solved soon. Good luck!


As for Chrome, I am sure that a Webstore dev account is much less than what it costs to submit stuff to Apple Store. It would be weird if it couldn't be shared with Android, considering both Chrome and Android are made by Google, but I wouldn't bee surprised. It definitively sucks that we have to pay in order to release apps for specific platforms. I had the same issue with music, although thankfully there is now a non-scam service that is free (Bandcamp) for that.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on August 04, 2016, 05:15:02 pm
The Chrome Web Store and Google Play publisher accounts are indeed separate. The account registration fee for the Chrome one is $5; for Google Play, $25. The first one I can swallow (it's basically two months of tny.im advertising revenue, but whatever - it's pocket money) but the second one is five times that amount and before I consider it a worthy investment, I'd like to get some more users...
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 04, 2016, 05:20:42 pm
Yeah I agree. If for a service you pay a one time fee for multiple apps and you plan to release multiple ones, but otherwise it's not worth it.

At least on calcs it's free :P
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on August 04, 2016, 11:27:13 pm
Does anyone on Codewalrus have a Chrome OS device? Even though I'm pretty sure everything will work alright, it would be interesting to confirm that an extension can read the battery level on a Chromebook (or other Chrome OS device with battery).
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 05, 2016, 01:12:23 am
I think @alexgt has a Chromebook, but he isn't around often (including checking his private messages, since it sometimes take weeks before he replies to mine)
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on August 05, 2016, 12:06:58 pm
Those willing to test the Chrome extension can do so now, by downloading the CRX

An initial version of the Clouttery client for Chrome has been released to the Chrome Web Store. You should be able to install it from:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/clouttery/gikhlibmdfgcfbinclomljjbnbfdlodf
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 05, 2016, 09:43:47 pm
Hm, I need to try to get used to Chrome more in the future. I currently use Opera, which is now based on Chromium, so maybe I wouldn't have as much of an hard time switching.

Glad you released a Chrome version, though :). On a side note, is the $25 fee for Google Play a one time fee for every app or do you have to pay $25 per app? I thought it was the former...
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on August 05, 2016, 09:51:44 pm
It's a one time fee.

I just tested to see if Firefox 47 could load my extension, and it silently fails (Firefox now has partial support for what Mozilla calls WebExtensions, which is basically Chrome/Chromium extensions).

I'm now going to test whether the Chrome extension works in Opera. I expect to have better luck.

EDIT: I just tested the extension in the latest Opera. It works perfectly :)
I'm just going to rename it so that it becomes "Clouttery for Opera".
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 05, 2016, 10:44:51 pm
Ah ok, it doesn't seem too bad to me then, but again it depends of your finances. I know that sometimes for me, $25 can be pretty hard to come by (I mean, I could spend such money tomorrow if I wanted to, but I don't want to take the risk and prefer saving a bit first)

Also I didn't know that Chrome extensions worked in Opera, since OmnomIRC post notification feature for Chrome on Omnimaga warned me that it was not compatible with my browser.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on August 05, 2016, 11:36:25 pm
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on August 05, 2016, 10:44:51 pm(I mean, I could spend such money tomorrow if I wanted to, but I don't want to take the risk and prefer saving a bit first)


Yes, this is exactly the situation. I wouldn't mind spending it on something more tangible. But a fee for accessing a software distribution platform so I can publish my software, for which I'm charging nothing and I'm not even sure I'm going to get any revenue from, doesn't leave me very excited about spending $25. Especially when I know costumer support, for example, will continue to have the low quality Google has accustomed us to.

Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on August 05, 2016, 10:44:51 pm
Also I didn't know that Chrome extensions worked in Opera, since OmnomIRC post notification feature for Chrome on Omnimaga warned me that it was not compatible with my browser.


Right now, Opera is basically Chromium with a different UI. With Firefox, on the other hand, it will be much harder to get the extension going, as right now I can't even figure out why it won't load. Probably I'll need to wait for WebExtension support to mature in FF.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 06, 2016, 06:59:19 am
It probably also depends if you plan to release many Chrome extensions too, as I mentioned earlier. If for example you plan to release 10 other extensions unrelated to Clouttery in the future, then the $25 could be a nice investment, since that would be $2.50 per app.

I see. I guess it might be just that Omnimaga's notification thing in OmnomIRC (which CW also used for a while) was a different type of Chrome feature or Omnom author did some mishap about browser/user agent detection. Good luck on the Firefox port.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on August 16, 2016, 02:30:55 pm
It's Clouttery news time ;D

Recently, important changes in the server side have been pushed to production:

Advanced notifications! Clouttery will periodically do an automated analysis of the battery history for your devices and warn you about possible problems. Right now, three types of warnings are supported: battery left empty for too long, left with the charger connected for too long, and battery fully discharged too often. These are mostly applicable to Li-Ion batteries, which is not much of an issue since it's what basically every laptop and Android device uses nowadays, and that's what Clouttery supports for now. In the future, this kind of analysis will only be available for paid accounts, but those who sign up while in Beta get on a special "Segvault Insider" plan which has all these features and is free for life. As a quick reminder: "signing up" simply means signing in to Clouttery for the first time. You can do so with a dotAccount ( https://dotaccount.tny.im ) or with a Twitter account. So if you want to get one of those free unlimited accounts, all you literally need to do is sign in. And for those who only have one Clouttery-supported device: this feature is the reason why Clouttery is useful even with just one device.

- Finer notification settings: you can now disable only some types of notifications for each device (including the new advanced notifications). This is useful e.g. if you want to be notified about a low battery but don't want to see notifications when the device finishes charging, or vice-versa.

- New device list on web console: when you have more than one device in your account, you'll see a new device list page on https://clouttery.xyz/manage/devices . Each device gets its own small card which includes the battery percentage and a small, non-interactive graph with the percentage history for the past 12 hours. In addition, Clouttery is now friendlier for users with many devices: if you have more than five devices in your account, the new device list will show a filtering field, which you can use to quickly find your devices by name.

- Other web console changes: There are other small changes on the web console, namely on the notification settings page and on the pairing settings page. On the latter one, it's now easier to distinguish different pairings, as the most recent activity information is shown for each one.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 16, 2016, 04:38:10 pm
Thanks for the update. This will be very handy when I set up Clouttery. :)
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on August 16, 2016, 04:46:08 pm
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on August 16, 2016, 04:38:10 pm
when I set up Clouttery


I have the feeling you'll let the beta period end, and then I'll need to open an exception for you to get the full thing for free - let's hope nobody notices it by then :)
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 17, 2016, 03:14:52 am
I signed up a few weeks ago but I just haven't set it up yet. :P
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on August 17, 2016, 10:00:42 am
This is kind of important to make the service more user-friendly and to understand what the users need, so I must ask...
For those of you who have signed up but are yet to set up Clouttery on any of your devices, what's holding you back? The lack of clients for the platforms you use/want to monitor? Is it still unattractive in terms of features? Is it because it seems too hard/take too long to set up? Security concerns? Or is it something else entirely?

On the other hand, if you set it up but then stopped using it, what made you stop?

If I could get this sorted out it would help immensely in figuring out where to go next. I have my own development schedule, but if these plans are too far off from the needs of the people I can start by doing something else entirely.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: Unicorn on August 17, 2016, 06:23:05 pm
So I installed it on my windows PC, but I couldn't sign in, for some reason. When I clicked on the banner that said "sign in" nothing would ever happen. Not sure what that is about, and I have yet to install it on my Linux PC.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on August 17, 2016, 06:27:35 pm
OK, that's really critical, so what banner are you talking about? One similar to this:

(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs.lowendshare.com%2F7%2F1471458372.103.Screenshot_20160817_192544.png&hash=73b0c5c3eb1c389c050ae3e76eb51309)

...that appears in the "Pair with an account" window of the Windows client?

If yes, what is the version of Windows in question, and what version of Internet Explorer is installed?

Have you tried again since then?
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 17, 2016, 06:42:14 pm
Quote from: gbl08ma on August 17, 2016, 10:00:42 am
This is kind of important to make the service more user-friendly and to understand what the users need, so I must ask...
For those of you who have signed up but are yet to set up Clouttery on any of your devices, what's holding you back?
Mostly lack of time. I am not that busy this Summet but I have so much stuff and hobbies to do that everything moves on a lot slower.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on August 18, 2016, 07:51:19 pm
Clouttery now lets you sign in using a Google account.

EDIT: and woohoo, it has just been featured in the homepage of Cemetech. I wasn't expecting this. Let's see if it lives up to the expectations.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 19, 2016, 09:25:32 pm
Congratulations on the Cemetech front page feature. It was very deserved, IMHO, and also counters the negative remarks someone posted in the other topic (as well as many other projects) recently.

Also I'm glad it now supports Google sign up, since most people have a Google account but not necessarily a Twitter one (a lot of CodeWalrians absolutely despise social networks or want to use them exclusively for real life activities). I'm gonna see if I can spend some time setting up my Clouttery account to add all my devices Sunday or so. But I also need to check if all my devices are still in working order before adding them.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: Unicorn on August 20, 2016, 06:56:20 pm
Quote from: gbl08ma on August 17, 2016, 06:27:35 pm
OK, that's really critical, so what banner are you talking about? One similar to this:

(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs.lowendshare.com%2F7%2F1471458372.103.Screenshot_20160817_192544.png&hash=73b0c5c3eb1c389c050ae3e76eb51309)

...that appears in the "Pair with an account" window of the Windows client?

If yes, what is the version of Windows in question, and what version of Internet Explorer is installed?

Have you tried again since then?

Sorry I couldn't get back quicker, but I don't think I was ever able to get to the "Pair with an account" window. I'll try to update and take some screenshots so I can give a more detailed report. (I'm using linux right now) :P

Oh yeah, how far away is a linux client?

And one more thing :P
Could you make it possible to link your google account to your dotaccount?
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on August 20, 2016, 07:03:53 pm
If the "Pair with an account" window doesn't appear when Clouttery opens, you can try looking for its icon in the system tray, clicking it (a popup should appear above it) and then pressing the text in the yellow background. A window should appear shortly. If not, please try to record the whole interaction starting when you open Clouttery from the Start menu. If nothing appears at all, try to see with the task manager if there's any Clouttery.exe running.

About the Linux client, it depends... I had other plans for the next week (namely, work on the server side) but as there are multiple people asking about the Linux client, perhaps I'll work on it instead. Hopefully I'll have something to show by the end of the next week.

EDIT: no, linking dotAccounts with other sign in services is not supported at the moment and likely will never be. The dotAccount software has support for signing in with Google (that feature is disabled), but it doesn't support linking email-password accounts to social accounts. Clouttery has support for signing in with services other than dotAccount, but it doesn't have support for linking more than one service with one account. The latter functionality might be added in the future though. But dotAccounts will stay dotAccounts.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on August 24, 2016, 06:28:33 am
Hm I see. Hopefully it doesn't become a limitation as web services evolves over the year, though. For example, imagine if Clouttery came out in 2008 and only allowed registering with a Myspace or XFire account. Not saying that Facebook/Google accounts will become less popular in the future, but we didn't know this would happen to Myspace back in 2008 :P
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on September 02, 2016, 08:39:22 pm
Clouttery now supports sending notifications to your email! Scroll down to the bottom of this settings page to get started: https://clouttery.xyz/manage/settings/notifs
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on September 03, 2016, 07:36:30 pm
Oh nifty. That might be handy. Also maybe it could be a trick for those with very low-battery life (read: anybody who plays Pokémon Go), since they could disable Clouttery app notifications on their phone and have them go through e-mail, so they only need to enable notifications in one single phone app (although they would most likely be delayed)
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on October 05, 2016, 12:49:53 pm
Big news! Clouttery for Android is now available on Google Play!

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=im.tny.segvault.clouttery

If you had previously installed Clouttery from an APK, please follow this guide (http://clouttery.xyz/help#the-android-client-how-do-i-install-the-android-app-guide-update-from-the-self-published-apk-version-to-the-google-play-version) before you do anything.

This is version 0.9.0, an update to 0.8.0 (distributed by direct APK download) that brings important performance improvements (background memory usage reduced by up to 50%) and minor bug fixes. It also has some internal parts rewritten which cause incompatibility with the previous version, since most people will want to reinstall from Google Play, I figured it wasn't worth it to write migration code, and that's why you need to follow that special guide.

From on now, further updates will be pushed to Google Play so users don't have to install APKs manually.

~~ musical interlude ~~

About the Linux client, it's coming... slowly. I had to give up on using Mono, because even though I was able to reuse much of the code from the Windows client, I had trouble getting the GTK interface to work on anything other than my development machine (I had to compile my own gtksharp in order to get access to certain GTK widgets, and this made the process of redistributing the Mono version extremely complicated). I also couldn't get a tray icon to work in any Linux desktop environment.
All things taken into account (the fact that Mono needed to be installed, plus a gtksharp version that isn't compatible with the other apps that depend on it, plus the fact that the tray icon outright didn't appear on some platforms due to libappindicator and GtkStatusIcon problems), I decided it was best to give up on using Mono.

So I decided to take the Python base I had started long ago and continued its development, this time using GTK for the UI (I had previously tried tkinter which was clearly not adequate). This time, the tray icon works under MATE and KDE, and Gnome should be no problem either. I could also run it on three different Linux computers with different distros, after installing the necessary dependencies.
Only thing that's left to figure out is how to make the battery history graphs work, and how to distribute this. I tried using PyInstaller to build a stand-alone thing and it failed catastrophically. In the worst case this will be a ZIP file with Python code inside and you'll have to install some Python 3 libraries.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: E37 on October 05, 2016, 04:05:52 pm
Sounds cool! I hope it is still free... I don't have money.
Does it remain the full mongering and statistics for the device that is offline?
Nice work!  :)
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on October 05, 2016, 04:27:14 pm
Yes, Clouttery is still free.

When a device is offline (or on mobile data with the setting for syncing on mobile data disabled), Clouttery clients will keep collecting battery information. This information is then uploaded and processed on the server once the device goes online, updating statistics and issuing notifications.

As of now, it doesn't yet predict stuff about other devices while offline. Depending on how people are using it, in the future this may change, and Clouttery clients, at least certain ones, may get the ability to "guess" the battery levels of other devices based on their past history, eventually showing notifications even while offline.

I hope this answered your questions.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: E37 on October 05, 2016, 04:29:12 pm
Quote from: gbl08ma on October 05, 2016, 04:27:14 pm
Yes, Clouttery is still free.

When a device is offline (or on mobile data with the setting for syncing on mobile data disabled), Clouttery clients will keep collecting battery information. This information is then uploaded and processed on the server once the device goes online, updating statistics and issuing notifications.

As of now, it doesn't yet predict stuff about other devices while offline. Depending on how people are using it, in the future this may change, and Clouttery clients, at least certain ones, may get the ability to "guess" the battery levels of other devices based on their past history, eventually showing notifications even while offline.

I hope this answered your questions.

Epic!
I was wondering about predicting the life of the current device offline. (ignoring any others) I guess you answered that question too.  ;D
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on October 05, 2016, 04:34:36 pm
Both the Windows and Android clients can predict the battery life of the device where they are installed while offline. This prediction is (for now) independent from the online part. If you go to the Play store page you'll see one of the tablet screenshots has an estimate showing below the big percentage, that's what I'm talking about. (The estimate is hidden when there is not enough data to produce a good estimate).

While charging, the time until charging is complete is also estimated.

The Windows client can even do battery life prediction on computers where Windows for some reason doesn't, with very satisfying results. The Android one can be slightly more inaccurate at times, but the only way to make this better is by getting more people to use it and give feedback - which has been a hard task so far.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on October 22, 2016, 05:07:40 pm
Quote from: gbl08ma on October 05, 2016, 04:27:14 pm
Yes, Clouttery is still free.

When a device is offline (or on mobile data with the setting for syncing on mobile data disabled), Clouttery clients will keep collecting battery information. This information is then uploaded and processed on the server once the device goes online, updating statistics and issuing notifications.

As of now, it doesn't yet predict stuff about other devices while offline. Depending on how people are using it, in the future this may change, and Clouttery clients, at least certain ones, may get the ability to "guess" the battery levels of other devices based on their past history, eventually showing notifications even while offline.

I hope this answered your questions.
I like that guessing idea. That might be handy for dumb devices.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on October 27, 2016, 09:40:36 pm
Time for a quick update.

The server, and the Web Console, have been updated. The main change is that the new billing system has gone live, as you can see by going into Settings -> Billing in the Web Console ( https://clouttery.xyz/manage/settings/billing ). In order to help beta-test this system, some changes were made to the accounts of the existing users.

1. Everyone was moved into the new "Unlimited" plan, which is just like the old "Segvault Insider" plan, except it costs $5 per month.
2. Before you panic, a 100% off coupon was issued to everyone. ;D

In practice, what this means is that beta-testers will still get Clouttery for free, for life, but they will be "billed" on a monthly basis. Every month, an invoice for $5 will be generated... and immediately paid by the 100% discount coupon. Or at least, this is what is supposed to happen. Everything was very well tested before pushing to production, but there's nothing like testing on a live system.

This also allows beta-testers to test a bit of the billing interface, including the invoice viewing page. You can also add a credit or debit card to your account, but since we're still testing Stripe, it is still in test mode. So you can only use the fake card numbers listed at https://stripe.com/docs/testing. If you're really in the mood for helping us, you can try to trick the system into accepting an invalid fake card, like 4000000000000069. Or you could add many, many different payment methods and make the system unbearably slow, or break it.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on October 27, 2016, 11:46:54 pm
Quote from: gbl08ma on October 27, 2016, 09:40:36 pm
Time for a quick update.

The server, and the Web Console, have been updated. The main change is that the new billing system has gone live, as you can see by going into Settings -> Billing in the Web Console ( https://clouttery.xyz/manage/settings/billing ). In order to help beta-test this system, some changes were made to the accounts of the existing users.

1. Everyone was moved into the new "Unlimited" plan, which is just like the old "Segvault Insider" plan, except it costs $5 per month.
2. Before you panic, a 100% off coupon was issued to everyone. ;D

In practice, what this means is that beta-testers will still get Clouttery for free, for life, but they will be "billed" on a monthly basis. Every month, an invoice for $5 will be generated... and immediately paid by the 100% discount coupon. Or at least, this is what is supposed to happen. Everything was very well tested before pushing to production, but there's nothing like testing on a live system.

This also allows beta-testers to test a bit of the billing interface, including the invoice viewing page. You can also add a credit or debit card to your account, but since we're still testing Stripe, it is still in test mode. So you can only use the fake card numbers listed at https://stripe.com/docs/testing. If you're really in the mood for helping us, you can try to trick the system into accepting an invalid fake card, like 4000000000000069. Or you could add many, many different payment methods and make the system unbearably slow, or break it.
as long as free users are not forced to have a credit card or Paypal like on iTunes then I'm good. :P
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DarkestEx on October 28, 2016, 12:26:18 pm
Quote from: gbl08ma on October 27, 2016, 09:40:36 pm
Time for a quick update.

The server, and the Web Console, have been updated. The main change is that the new billing system has gone live, as you can see by going into Settings -> Billing in the Web Console ( https://clouttery.xyz/manage/settings/billing ). In order to help beta-test this system, some changes were made to the accounts of the existing users.

1. Everyone was moved into the new "Unlimited" plan, which is just like the old "Segvault Insider" plan, except it costs $5 per month.
2. Before you panic, a 100% off coupon was issued to everyone. ;D

In practice, what this means is that beta-testers will still get Clouttery for free, for life, but they will be "billed" on a monthly basis. Every month, an invoice for $5 will be generated... and immediately paid by the 100% discount coupon. Or at least, this is what is supposed to happen. Everything was very well tested before pushing to production, but there's nothing like testing on a live system.

This also allows beta-testers to test a bit of the billing interface, including the invoice viewing page. You can also add a credit or debit card to your account, but since we're still testing Stripe, it is still in test mode. So you can only use the fake card numbers listed at https://stripe.com/docs/testing. If you're really in the mood for helping us, you can try to trick the system into accepting an invalid fake card, like 4000000000000069. Or you could add many, many different payment methods and make the system unbearably slow, or break it.

I really like the plans. It's similar to what we discussed a while ago and I think they are reasonable. Good job  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on November 03, 2016, 12:43:31 am
There's a minor Clouttery Android app update, that pretty much doesn't affect existing users: one can now sign in with one of the Google accounts configured on the device, without having to type usernames or passwords.

Should get approved by Google in a few hours. The update was approved by Google right as I was writing this post :thumbsup:

I have noticed that of the 18 app installs, there were 5 uninstalls... I wonder what can be done to make the app/service correspond better to the expectations of new users.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DarkestEx on November 03, 2016, 12:49:37 am
Quote from: gbl08ma on November 03, 2016, 12:43:31 am
There's a minor Clouttery Android app update, that pretty much doesn't affect existing users: one can now sign in with one of the Google accounts configured on the device, without having to type usernames or passwords.

Should get approved by Google in a few hours. The update was approved by Google right as I was writing this post :thumbsup:

I have noticed that of the 18 app installs, there were 5 uninstalls... I wonder what can be done to make the app/service correspond better to the expectations of new users.

I have not tried the app yet, but does it require Google Play Services?

Also could you please upload it to the Amazon App Store too? It's free and I quite like their store (and it is my only way to get apps :/).
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on November 03, 2016, 12:55:50 am
Yes, since the last update, it now uses Google Play Services. I'm unsure of how it behaves if installed on a device without them - let's see if I don't forget to test. I can make builds without the Play Services and distribute them through parallel channels, but I don't feel like maintaining multiple build flavors and distribution methods.
For those who can't install through Google Play, the APK is still kept up-to-date at https://clouttery.xyz/static/android/Clouttery.apk , but I no longer issue notifications about app updates, so you'll have to keep up yourself. However, I would much prefer if people installed through Google Play as that aggregates the statistics (and increments the installs counter), and also gives me access to crash dumps (not that there have been any, so far).
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DarkestEx on November 03, 2016, 01:02:53 am
Quote from: gbl08ma on November 03, 2016, 12:55:50 am
Yes, since the last update, it now uses Google Play Services. I'm unsure of how it behaves if installed on a device without them - let's see if I don't forget to test. I can make builds without the Play Services and distribute them through parallel channels, but I don't feel like maintaining multiple build flavors and distribution methods.
For those who can't install through Google Play, the APK is still kept up-to-date at https://clouttery.xyz/static/android/Clouttery.apk , but I no longer issue notifications about app updates, so you'll have to keep up yourself. However, I would much prefer if people installed through Google Play as that aggregates the statistics (and increments the installs counter), and also gives me access to crash dumps (not that there have been any, so far).

I am quite sure Amazon gives you Metrics as well.
In case you might port it there, many users of Amazon Kindle devices could also profit from the App.
And good old Blackberry users like me :P
The sideloaded Google Play store somewhat works, but any App that relies on Google Play Services will fail (not really the fact that there are none as I sideloaded them too, but they are not Google signed so most Apps tell you to update them and that they don't work).
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on December 06, 2016, 12:15:04 pm
Sorry for the lack of updates, uni is keeping me very busy. I'm slowly porting the Windows client from Windows Forms (which while not deprecated, is quite outdated) to WPF. WPF should be better suited to the high amount of UI elements in the devices window, and hopefully it will reduce the UI "lag" (all those redrawing flashes you see when the window opens or is resized). I'm also taking the opportunity to redesign the tray window, to look more modern and touch-friendly.

Without further ado, here are two screenshots of the screens that are already converted:

(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs.lowendshare.com%2F11%2F1481026246.259.tray.png&hash=6f6c73a1d227092e027c6a5ff814cafa)
(https://codewalr.us/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs.lowendshare.com%2F11%2F1481026403.70.settings.png&hash=ffaa1f93266349a5f5ef4227e6f1e3d8)
(note that both images are at 150% scaling because of my DPI settings)


Once in a blue moon, I work a bit on the Linux client. But it has a lower priority than implementing new features on the server and other clients, as not too many people seem to be interested in it.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on December 09, 2016, 07:31:33 am
Looks great! Also sorry, I haven't setup Clouttery properly yet, because I was side-tracked by so many things and am kinda busy since the last months. I will probably try during holidays.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on January 03, 2017, 03:45:22 pm
Another month has passed and I barely had time to touch Clouttery. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem things will change any time soon - hopefully, by the end of this month, I'll have some more time. Here are the few changes since my last post:



Additionally, I just created a Matrix room for Segvault. This is highly experimental. The idea is that users and developers can get together to discuss Segvault and TNY network projects, and maybe do a bit of "self-service support" too.
Why Matrix? Well, it does everything we need, signing up for an account is not mandatory, it's more powerful than IRC, not a closed platform like Skype/Discord/Telegram/etc., you can use it without installing more software, and it integrates well with Slack - which we were already using internally, so the Matrix room just appears as yet another channel on Segvault's Slack.
Here's the link: https://riot.im/app/#/room/#segvault:matrix.org
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on January 05, 2017, 05:35:19 am
Do you still have plans to make this compatible with Vidéotron ISP and Windows 10 firewall? I still get the Network error when trying to download setup.exe and if I disable the firewall, it instead says "The site can't be reached" and that the connection was reset. Every single browser I tried also gives the latter error (Chrome, Firefox)

As a result, I will never be able to use Clouttery :(


EDIT: I solved the issue by downloading Setup.exe via a proxy (anonymouse.org). If anyone else has the same issue as me, use Tor or a proxy.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on January 05, 2017, 11:52:40 am
That is really strange. I never experienced that problem on any of my (and my friends') Windows 10 machines, just the standard SmartScreen warning.

Were you trying to download over HTTPS? Because if yes, your ISP should not be able to interfere (besides dropping the connection altogether, which may be the cause of the "connection reset" error). Get a better ISP, I guess...
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on January 06, 2017, 11:29:20 pm
After further investigation @gbl08ma I found the culprit: It's Avast. MateoConLechuga Oiram Level Editor has the same problem.

I tried both HTTP and HTTPS by the way. And I can't change ISPs now since I currently have an huge rebate that will last as long as I have this plan <_< (and Avast was the issue anyway)


EDIT: Also a bug report on the Android client: If I clear my notifications, they re-appear just two seconds later, fully intact.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on January 11, 2017, 02:14:21 pm
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on January 06, 2017, 11:29:20 pm
EDIT: Also a bug report on the Android client: If I clear my notifications, they re-appear just two seconds later, fully intact.


Yes, I have noticed this sometimes happens. It may be worse with faster connections. It should be easier to clear them for once if you go back to the home screen of your device (so the app isn't in the foreground), then clear the notifications from the Android notification center. That way it won't re-sync before sending the information about cleared notifications.

I have not yet identified why this happens, as I'm explicitly checking whether there are new cleared notifications (and sending their status) before fetching the current notifications. Perhaps there's a code path I am not aware of.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on January 11, 2017, 05:07:49 pm
Ok I'll try this out when I have a chance. Btw what's the minimum version supported for Android?
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on January 11, 2017, 05:16:23 pm
It runs on Android 4.0.3 and up.
In the future, if there's enough interest I can always build a "lite" client that runs on older Android versions, at the expense of having little to no features (such version would only be for sending battery information, so it's easier for people to keep old devices alive if they so wish for whatever reason).
But for now I see no reason to go through the additional effort to support Android 2.x.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on January 18, 2017, 04:42:02 am
Ah ok. This means I will have to setup my Samsung i5510 as a dumb device then (its max supported Android version is 2.2.2) :P
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on January 18, 2017, 10:41:48 am
Thanks for letting me know you have a sub-4.0 Android device, if there are enough people with such devices it might make sense to develop a client for such old versions. It'd be great if people with an interest in adding such devices to Clouttery posted here, so I can have a better idea of how common this situation is...

BTW, in the topic of old devices - if you have a Windows Mobile 5.x or 6.x device (with touchscreen) I have also built a simple client for that OS. It's incomplete and unreleased, because I only developed it as far as I needed for my purposes, but if anyone is interested I can make it available or even turn it into a more complete client.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on February 05, 2017, 08:15:51 pm
I know @Juju has a sub 4.0 device as well (not 2.2.2 like me, but still in the 2.x and 3.x range IIRC). Maybe he would be interested too?
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: 123outerme on February 05, 2017, 08:23:14 pm
I just wanted to drop by again (reminded by DJ posting on this topic) and say that I really love this. The app is extremely useful for even one device, since it keeps battery logs. I, at one point, had two Android devices (one was an older one I was gonna give to a friend), and being able to monitor one phone's battery from the other was an awesome idea, that I'm surprised no one has thought of before.

I have to ask a question, though. On my Moto X running Android 4.4 I think, I was able to access battery information through a seperate window (like Temperature, charge, voltage, health), but on my Galaxy S7 running Android 6.0, I don't see the window anymore. Is this a removed feature, or a glitch, or something that Android 6.0 won't allow?
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on February 15, 2017, 08:03:28 pm
@123outerme
Somehow, the forum failed to notify me about your message, and this is not a very popular topic so it took until now for me to see it  :-\

Glad to know you find the service useful.

The battery information window you're talking about is a system activity that is only available in some devices. Clouttery hides its option when it's not available. I think some manufacturers (namely Samsung, I think?) never included it in the first place, and my generic Chinese phone running a Android 7.1 ROM very close to AOSP doesn't have it either. With it being gone from AOSP, I don't think it's coming back.

I'd like the Clouttery Android app to evolve to the point where it completely replaces that window (it can already display and log the battery temperature...), but for now it may be better to use a separate app for that kind of detailed stuff.




I finally found some motivation to work on this project again. I had some ideas for features that were starting to be kind of hard to implement using the current database system (a simple key-value store with buckets, see https://github.com/boltdb/bolt ), so I'm currently on day three of rewriting a significant portion of the server to work with relational databases instead, using SQL queries. This should also make it easier to scale the Clouttery server to work on multiple machines by using a database with replication support.
I'm thinking of using https://www.c*ockroachlabs.com/ (access that URL after removing the asterisk, because the forum apparently censors the substring(0,4) of C*ockroachDB  :-[). If that doesn't work out, the SQL I've been writing should be compatible with PostgreSQL.
Most things already work even if not especially optimized, but I still need to test the hell out of this and ensure the server is as secure as before, before pushing it to production. And most importantly, write code to migrate the data from the current Bolt database to the new one...
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: Unicorn on February 15, 2017, 11:21:39 pm
So I've gotten around to re-installing clouttery on my new windows installation, and am liking it :)

The one thing I've found is that it takes from 15 minutes to an hour for the dotAccount two factor authentication to send me an email. Is there any reason that it takes so long?

Also... Linux application? :P

great job, @gbl08ma!
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on February 16, 2017, 12:13:13 am
Quote from: Unicorn on February 15, 2017, 11:21:39 pmThe one thing I've found is that it takes from 15 minutes to an hour for the dotAccount two factor authentication to send me an email. Is there any reason that it takes so long?


I too have noticed that, and other people have complained. I blame it on Mailgun. The emails appear there as sent and accepted by the destination almost as soon as I submit them, but it takes some time until emails appear in people's inboxes. Perhaps one of these days I'll try to switch to an alternative service like Sendgrid.

Actually I have a redesign of the Windows client in progress, to use WPF instead of Windows Forms. I posted some screenshots earlier in this thread. But I haven't worked on that in like two months, and it's yet another thing I have not yet found the time nor motivation to continue. The fact that the UI is also apparently becoming slower and more memory intensive isn't very motivating, either, but that could be due to these being debug builds and having the Visual Studio debugger attached.

The work on Linux client lags even more behind, the fact that there are so many desktop environment configurations doesn't make development easy at all, especially for something that requires a tray icon - something most desktop environments, since a few years ago, have all agreed to disagree on how it should work.
Some have kind of dropped support for tray icons, others use appindicator - with varying degrees of functionality/compatibility - and others are meant to support just about anything but then it turns out it's really buggy. What's a left click in some turns into a right click in others, sometimes you can set a tooltip and other times you don't, or the tooltip turns into a badge, or the badge overrides the tooltip... and then there's the icon, which in some desktops appears fine and others is just a blank space.
And then there's the question of whether the distro/environment in question supports the right version of GTK with the right libs, and whether packages for certain Python dependencies are available or not, etc..
And there's the problem that it's Python, because apparently it's the only language with some support for GUI toolkits that is not C or C++ (while I have enough experience with those, I really don't want to be dealing with networking and message packing/unpacking in them). There's Mono, but guess what, there you must use GTK 2 (which surprise surprise, some distros no longer come with it either!) because the GTK 3 bindings are buggy/incomplete/focus on old GTK3 versions only. Also, it turns out I can't port much of the Windows code at all.
It's really infuriating... I could go on for hours.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on February 18, 2017, 10:32:17 pm
I mentioned some posts ago that I was working on a complete redesign of how the Clouttery server stores data.

It was using a simple key-value store (Bolt). I slowly came to the realization that some of the features I have planned would be kind of hard to implement using Bolt; that the nested buckets structure used with Bolt was too limiting, by forcing a hierarchy (or interpretation, if you wish) on the data. The databases course I took last semester forced me to get my hands very dirty with SQL, and after seeing the benefits, I decided to move to a relational database.

Another reason for moving was that Bolt can't scale (no replication, it's meant for use by a single app, like SQLite), and while the server software is not yet ready to be clustered, moving away from Bolt (and, in general, uncoupling the server from the database) is a giant step towards that goal. I had known for long that I had to use something other than Bolt if I wanted to make the server distributed, I just wasn't sure whether to move to a relational database, another barebones key-value store, or some amalgamation of solutions involving specialized time series databases or what-have-you.

The database can now be accessed transparently by multiple applications, which means that, for example, in case I want to do some complex analysis on the battery histories, I no longer have to stuff that code into the server. I can even use a language other than the one the server is written in (Go), like Python, which I really don't like but has many libraries for data analysis.

Clouttery is now powered by a traditional PostgreSQL database.

The changes were pushed to production less than a hour ago - after extensive testing on the staging environment, which unfortunately didn't catch all the bugs.
A few hotfixes later, everything appears to be working fine. :D

It would be great if over the next few days users could pay a bit more attention to the behavior of Clouttery, namely making sure that battery histories are updating as they should, and that notifications are generated when they should, according to their settings.

I'm available to answer questions about the database design (both the new one and the previous one), the reasons for the switch, or really anything. I'm a bit too much proud of this (until I find out more horrible bugs...) so I really want to talk about it but I don't know where to start :)
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: p2 on February 27, 2017, 10:26:44 am
you know... if you just pushed two more posts, this could have been your 100th... <_<

I sadly lost sight of all the projects around, sooo I might sound pretty stupid now:
which Operating systems are supported so far? :)
(is iOS supported?) :)

also where are you hosting the data? :)
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on February 27, 2017, 01:34:41 pm
I'm not racing for posts :)

Right now, the officially supported operating systems are Windows and Android. Some work has been made on a Linux GUI client, but it isn't finished yet. I even sent @DarkestEx a alpha version for testing, but never heard back, and looking at the server it doesn't seem like he's ever used it. From my testing, it works, but installing it requires lots of different packages, that aren't called the same on all distros (and some must be installed through pip as they aren't in the distro repos). I tried to package the app (which is written in Python) as a single binary, using multiple methods, but all of them failed, namely due to how the GTK bindings work.

iOS support will require at least $1500-$3000 in profits/donations, since I'd need Mac hardware for developing and the Apple dev account for store publishing, and of course some real iOS hardware would more or less mandatory, since I suppose the battery stuff and standby synchronization is kind of hard to test on the simulator. All of this, assuming of course that Apple even made the necessary battery info APIs available (I think we already discussed this a while back, but I don't remember the conclusions?).
A client that can only show information for other devices in your account would be more or less useless, for that you might as well just use the website.

Data is currently stored in one of my VPSs in the US. Data is encrypted in transit (without any MITM like Cloudflare proxies), options for protecting the data while stored in the database are being studied. It's kind of hard, because the server should be able to open the data up for analysis, this means that it would need to store any encryption keys, making database encryption pointless.

EDIT: I forgot to mention, but earlier today I fixed a problem that was preventing the pairing of new devices. This also meant that new users were having trouble signing up. All should be fixed now.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DarkestEx on February 27, 2017, 01:41:39 pm
Quote from: gbl08ma on February 27, 2017, 01:34:41 pm
I'm not racing for posts :)

Right now, the officially supported operating systems are Windows and Android. Some work has been made on a Linux GUI client, but it isn't finished yet. I even sent @DarkestEx a alpha version for testing, but never heard back, and looking at the server it doesn't seem like he's ever used it. From my testing, it works, but installing it requires lots of different packages, that aren't called the same on all distros (and some must be installed through pip as they aren't in the distro repos). I tried to package the app (which is written in Python) as a single binary, using multiple methods, but all of them failed, namely due to how the GTK bindings work.

iOS support will require at least $1500-$3000 in profits/donations, since I'd need Mac hardware for developing and the Apple dev account for store publishing, and of course some real iOS hardware would more or less mandatory, since I suppose the battery stuff and standby synchronization is kind of hard to test on the simulator. All of this, assuming of course that Apple even made the necessary battery info APIs available (I think we already discussed this a while back, but I don't remember the conclusions?).
A client that can only show information for other devices in your account would be more or less useless, for that you might as well just use the website.

Data is currently stored in one of my VPSs in the US. Data is encrypted in transit (without any MITM like Cloudflare proxies), options for protecting the data while stored in the database are being studied. It's kind of hard, because the server should be able to open the data up for analysis, this means that it would need to store any encryption keys, making database encryption pointless.

EDIT: I forgot to mention, but earlier today I fixed a problem that was preventing the pairing of new devices. This also meant that new users were having trouble signing up. All should be fixed now.

Oops, I am sorry.
I actually used your program and tried it on Windows but it refused to work. No error, but I never lanuched again and Manual tries failed.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on February 27, 2017, 01:44:08 pm
Did you follow the instructions to install the required packages? I think some of them are not available in Windows, namely the GTK bindings might not work correctly.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DarkestEx on February 27, 2017, 01:44:48 pm
Quote from: gbl08ma on February 27, 2017, 01:44:08 pm
Did you follow the instructions to install the required packages? I think some of them are not available in Windows, namely the GTK bindings might not work correctly.

I think it launced once and never again. I will check later if I can get it to work.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on February 28, 2017, 07:30:12 pm
Out of curiosity I decided to take a look at the Linux client written in Go that I was writing before I decided going for Python instead.

After removing all webkit4gtk related stuff and compiling it with the latest version of the GTK3 bindings, it actually worked better than I expected.

So if you want to try it, check out:
https://clouttery.xyz/static/linux/v0.1/x86_64/clouttery-nix
SHA256 sum: bcfc3e893c3a1a6a3074a6639303e11cfc30c8f36422946007d0c1d51b6b1040

Requirements: a relatively recent version of GTK 3.
It's a (mostly) static Linux binary, chmod +x it and run.
It will create a config.json file on the same directory where the executable is the first time it is run. So it's not a good idea to copy it to any system directory. Keep it in your home directory for now. Later I'll add the option to specify a config file path, and make it look under ~/.config by default, etc.

What works: you find out (not much).

If people can actually use this, I guess I'll try to build a Linux client on top of it instead. It's much easier to package a Go program as a single binary, with assets and everything, than a Python program.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on March 18, 2017, 04:04:10 pm
While I haven't gotten enough free time to setup my dumb devices and calibrate them for Clouttery monitoring, I must say that this have become handy a few times since I installed it. I often forget to charge my phone  while on the computer or to remove it from charging, so Clouttery will notify me if battery levels are below 30 or fully charged.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on March 26, 2017, 12:22:06 pm
I just pushed an update for Clouttery for Windows that was preventing the client from working in certain time zones (in fact, about half of the world!).

The only reason I found out about this was because this night lots of European countries including mine entered daylight saving time.

This is all the more embarrassing because an extremely similar problem had already been detected when we exited DST. I'm pretty sure that at the time I tested the fix with multiple timezones, and the problem didn't occur. Now, and for future reference, I did the same, for time zones ranging from UTC-12 to UTC+12. If things go south again next October, I think I'll lose my mind.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on April 04, 2017, 11:50:21 pm
Lol I hope you don't have issues again everytime daylight saving time ends or starts O.O

Thankfully I had no issue, except once on my phone when Clouttery didn't auto-run on phone startup (only happened once).
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on May 02, 2017, 09:25:15 pm
By the way, I noticed that sometimes, the Windows Clouttery client will suddenly send me about 4 notifications at once, such as the last time my phone reached 29% or was fully charged, rather than in real time. There are also network sync problems since the last 16 minutes
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on September 02, 2017, 12:01:35 pm
Hello everyone again. I figured it was time for an update, even though this is not exactly a "happy" update, at least as far as Clouttery is concerned. This is a long post, bring it to bed so you can fall asleep to it if you wish, but trust me, it's worth reading. I hope you can learn a thing or two about managing your side projects, from reading about my mistakes.

Last school year was the last year of my undergrad course (and I'm starting a second cycle course in a couple weeks) and this required some more effort, so I had less time for side projects. As often happens when one works on something for an extended period of time, I too gradually lost interest in this project.

To make things more... interesting, in mid-March I launched a small website that was meant to be kind of a practical joke about the unreliability of the Lisbon subway (for those who haven't yet figured it out, I'm Portuguese). You'll be able to understand what it is about by checking out its repo on GitHub (https://github.com/gbl08ma/disturbancesmlx).
I started that project mostly to have something different to work on that was not Clouttery, and the original plan was for it to be something I'd build in a few weeks, publish and then forget, for it to be yet-another-small-thing in my portfolio. But to my surprise, after minimal "marketing" on the SkyscraperCity Portuguese community, that has a section dedicated to railways and subways, my website received a lot more attention than I was expecting, especially for something so simple and tongue-in-cheek.

I then understood there was a real interest in a service that would let people work-around the problems in the Lisbon subway, while at the same time denouncing the problems with the service (for example, by collecting independent statistics). Long story short, a small community assembled around this project, which ended up evolving into an Android app called UnderLX (https://github.com/gbl08ma/underlx) that's even published on Google Play (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=im.tny.segvault.disturbances). And there's still a lot of work to do for it to become the product I envisioned.
This obviously took most of my summer.
Yes, it's true that, unlike Clouttery (for which I had even written a complete billing system from scratch!), I'll never be able to monetize UnderLX effectively. However, it is way more satisfying to work on, at least until I get saturated of it too. With Clouttery, it often took a while to realize what it was about, and let's be honest: the final reaction of many people was just "meh". However, with UnderLX, people tend to pay a bit more attention, and those who understand the whole potential of the project usually become much more involved in it. "Unfortunately" for me, the technical side of it is more complex than Clouttery.
It also has an "advantage" to my eyes: both the client (Android app) and the server are open-source from the first day. I regret not going this route with Clouttery; now I have lots of closed-source code which I can't easily show to anyone because, well, it's in private repos. I'll go back to this point, later.

Finally, to add to the school work, the gradual loss of interest, this happy accident that was UnderLX, there's a fourth factor in all this. Because of multiple reasons including the astronomical rise of the price of Bitcoin, it made economical sense to fulfill a long-time desire of mine: to build a desktop, so I could have a powerful machine, more powerful than my six-years-old laptop. Picking parts and putting it together was very enjoyable, and now I have a proper workstation like I had been dreaming of for the past couple years. If you are interested I might even post a thread about it here. I wasn't much into PC gaming before (in part, because the hardware didn't really allow for it), but... you see... to sum things up, many hours were spent chilling to some great triple-A titles (thanks Steam summer sales!...). ;D

That's all really nice, but I thought this topic was about Clouttery?
Work on Clouttery gradually slowed down through the last months of 2016, subject to how busy I was with school, and pretty much completely halted in March this year, as I got more and more tired of working on it, so I decided to do that "small" subway thing. It also didn't help that I was going through a complex phase with Clouttery, more specifically regarding the Windows and Linux clients.



For you to get an idea of how inactive this project has been, these are the dates of the latest commits to Clouttery repos:

Earlier, I mentioned I regret not open-sourcing Clouttery from the beginning. I decided to work on it privately, because it was supposed to become a commercial service, and I feared that if I made it possible for people to host their own Clouttery servers and recompile the clients to talk to it, then nobody would pay for the service. This is obviously a stupid way of thinking, especially when the project in question is a personal project of a student that doesn't have much time to work on it, and likely would never be able to get it to a commercially-viable state. If the service was worth it, I guess most people would happily pay for it, just to not have the hassle to figure out how to make the server and clients work for themselves; this is especially true since the target audience wasn't exactly software developers nor sysadmins, i.e. it was people who wouldn't have a clue how to do that nor would bother even if they were given clear and easy instructions.

Right now I have 30K lines of code, possibly more, that's closed-source, but for no good reason. To aggravate things, Clouttery shows more of my abilities in software development and engineering than any of my open source projects, because it contains code in more languages, for more platforms, than any other of my projects; it includes web design, API design, use of cryptography, etc. It is not the most beautiful code (for example, the UnderLX Android app has much cleaner and organized code than the Clouttery client, and even then it's not exactly stellar), but it works, and definitely shows what I'm capable of.

This whole situation is even more ridiculous, because right now there's very little to no code in Clouttery that's "novel" to the point of requiring intellectual property protection. :banghead: At this point, Clouttery is extremely dumb, as I never got to work on the "intelligence" that would involve machine learning, pattern matching and the like. And in the end, if I wanted to make my super-awesome-and-courageous battery level prediction and damage identifying algorithms secret, I could always have added them as a closed source module while keeping the "infrastructure" open source.

Finally, I always told people that if I were to stop working on Clouttery, I would release its source code. I don't know what you think, but if I half-close my eyes and look from far away... yeah... like that... yep, I definitely stopped working on it. :-|

Then why don't you open source Clouttery?

I definitely want to open source Clouttery, so I can show its code to more people, and so that others may eventually try to pick up on the project. I intend to keep running the official Clouttery server - if for no one else, for me, as my family finds Clouttery useful. I think I would be a little sad if someone took the project and simply changed its name and started running their own "official" service, available to the masses and possibly profiting from it, so I'll see what kind of licensing restrictions I can add to prevent that. Without the help of a lawyer, it's a bit hard to add clauses to existing software licenses or write new ones from scratch; even with legal help, it's easy to get to a controversial result - for example, Facebook has that famous problem with the "patents" file on their open source projects, like React.

...so why didn't you do it already?
Because ideally, I'd like to publish the source code with the complete commit history. The problem is that, in the past, secrets (API keys and the like) have been committed to the repos. If I remember correctly, the latest server code no longer has that problem - keys are read from a separate, uncommitted file and no longer stored in the source code, but going back in history the secrets are still there. Some of these secrets are hard to revoke and replace, and I'll need to go on an individual basis to see what can be done about them. Furthermore, the clients also contain secrets in their repos, but this is just one secret per client that's used to authenticate the client before the server, and since it's relatively easy to get these secrets from the binaries anyway, I might just go and make them public anyway - their only purpose is to stop people from using the official server with unofficial clients, but if the whole thing is going to be open source, that doesn't make much sense. These secrets are not involved in securing the pairings between clients and user accounts, so in terms of user account security, there's no problem with publishing them.

I also need to write a bit of documentation explaining essential things about each repo, and ideally also explaining how to run the server, what needs to be in the database, etc. Or I could not care about any of that, and just have people figure it out by themselves - at that point, I make it hard for people to contribute, but at least people can already look at the code, which is much better than the current situation.

As you can imagine, all this takes time and effort, and I've been busy with all those things I mentioned in the first section. But with classes starting very soon, I'd like to get this going ASAP, or it's not going to be done for some more months.

Did I "give up" on Clouttery too soon?
Is it a good idea to open source it, even if in the distant future I decide to turn it into a proper commercial service?
Do you agree it would have been better if it were open source from the beginning?
What license do you think would be most adequate? - don't forget the server and each client can have different licenses.
Would you be interested in submitting pull requests for this project, perhaps even taking over one of the sub-projects or the whole thing?
Share your thoughts.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on September 02, 2017, 02:07:38 pm
I cannot help but I must say that Clouttery has been quite handy so far for me. I hope that the server remains online
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on September 02, 2017, 02:46:02 pm
Shutting down the service is very much out of the equation, as it is not really that demanding to run and I need the servers for other projects anyway (like UnderLX).

With this said, I've been lucky that the increase in price of Bitcoin has been sufficient to allow me to keep paying for servers and domains, as I have no means of income. The advertising in tny.im really doesn't pay out much if at all, it pays at most for 10% of the price of running my "online empire".
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: 123outerme on September 19, 2017, 12:11:09 am
Clouttery has been extremely helpful to me, as I hope I've made clear. I love the app, and think it's an awesome idea that I'm surprised no big utilities developer has ever caught on to. I love adding various apps to my phone like this and IFTTT to make things a lot easier for me to manage; in this digital age, half the fun of programming is making a shortcut that you can use later. Luckily for me, I don't have to figure out networking, servers, or anything like that, and get to just enjoy the hard labor of someone else. I get great mileage off of your app and I'm glad you're gonna keep it running, at least for the near future.

I think that if you're looking to put something on a resume or an application, this would be great. It shows your ability to work on the backend side of projects, as well as the front-end. You get to show that you know what it is to create, develop, and maintain an idea that people all around can enjoy. I'd love to see some of the code that you put behind it, if\/when you release the source, even if I wouldn't be able to understand most of it. I'm also glad that you found another project that people seem to like as well. Having feedback to an idea is always my best motivator to get something done, and I'm sure you like to know if people are enjoying what you make. I think you've done good work on this project, and if you're not feeling like you need to continue updating it, by all means, pursue what you enjoy. You'll only write better code, with your heart and soul in it, doing something you like. Good luck to you in the future, and I'll be waiting for what comes next.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DJ Omnimaga on September 26, 2017, 05:54:02 pm
Quote from: gbl08ma on September 02, 2017, 02:46:02 pm
Shutting down the service is very much out of the equation, as it is not really that demanding to run and I need the servers for other projects anyway (like UnderLX).

With this said, I've been lucky that the increase in price of Bitcoin has been sufficient to allow me to keep paying for servers and domains, as I have no means of income. The advertising in tny.im really doesn't pay out much if at all, it pays at most for 10% of the price of running my "online empire".
Wait, you still have no income? D: That sucks. Anyway I'm glad that Clouttery will remain in operation
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on February 25, 2018, 04:50:22 pm
As you might have noticed if you actually use it, Clouttery keeps working as well as it ever did. Back in September, I talked about open-sourcing Clouttery as if it was something I was about to do very soon. Months have passed, and it didn't happen yet... but I'm happy to announce that today, I finally found some time and motivation to work on Clouttery again.

The work I've done moves the last remaining big obstacle out of the way, which was to rewrite the dotAccount authentication code so that it no longer relied on a mess of PHP code and instead used a proper library, in the same language as the Clouttery server and built into it. I did not want to release the source of Clouttery as long as the PHP bridge was used, because it relied on quite a lot of security through obscurity. Now that the server uses something proper, I'm closer than ever to being able to open source Clouttery - both the server and the clients. However, I'm still not entirely sure I want to do it.

The reason is simple: I had the opportunity to talk about Clouttery (or in entrepreneur lingo, "pitch Clouttery") to a few people who have relevant experience in the area of bootstrapping projects like these and turning them into real businesses. Most of these people found the idea to be great and agreed that it's realistically possible to make the subscription model work and have people pay monthly for something like this, especially if the service is extended to support most of the features I initially planned and which are yet to be implemented. In this sense, I might not want to open source the code. I'll see, over the following months, if I feel like working on this ever again or not, and decide whether to open-source it or not.

As for my other project, UnderLX... you have no idea what happened. In November we were featured in national media for the first time. Since then, we have been featured in over ten online news sites, from tech news sites to "mainstream news" sites, and we were interviewed four times - and I'm talking about full-length interviews here. Here are some of them (in Portuguese): 1 (http://www.sabado.pt/portugal/detalhe/as-perturbacoes-no-metro-de-lisboa-sao-tantas-que-inspiraram-uma-app?ref=HP_DestaquesPrincipais), 2 (https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/pais/937964/linha-mais-problematica-horarios-pico-de-falhas-app-poe-o-metro-a-nu), 3 (http://www.jornaleconomico.sapo.pt/noticias/underlx-o-vigilante-do-metro-de-lisboa-263696).
The UnderLX Android application now has over 3500 active users and it doesn't seem like it will ever stop growing. I honestly never expected so much exposure and success from a silly app for public transit. Hopefully this lets you understand why Clouttery has been basically dead for almost a year, and also why I'm not ever going back to developing software for calculators - at least, not as a hobby.
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: 123outerme on February 25, 2018, 05:54:26 pm
Quote from: gbl08ma on February 25, 2018, 04:50:22 pm
As you might have noticed if you actually use it, Clouttery keeps working as well as it ever did. Back in September, I talked about open-sourcing Clouttery as if it was something I was about to do very soon. Months have passed, and it didn't happen yet... but I'm happy to announce that today, I finally found some time and motivation to work on Clouttery again.

The work I've done moves the last remaining big obstacle out of the way, which was to rewrite the dotAccount authentication code so that it no longer relied on a mess of PHP code and instead used a proper library, in the same language as the Clouttery server and built into it. I did not want to release the source of Clouttery as long as the PHP bridge was used, because it relied on quite a lot of security through obscurity. Now that the server uses something proper, I'm closer than ever to being able to open source Clouttery - both the server and the clients. However, I'm still not entirely sure I want to do it.

The reason is simple: I had the opportunity to talk about Clouttery (or in entrepreneur lingo, "pitch Clouttery") to a few people who have relevant experience in the area of bootstrapping projects like these and turning them into real businesses. Most of these people found the idea to be great and agreed that it's realistically possible to make the subscription model work and have people pay monthly for something like this, especially if the service is extended to support most of the features I initially planned and which are yet to be implemented. In this sense, I might not want to open source the code. I'll see, over the following months, if I feel like working on this ever again or not, and decide whether to open-source it or not.

As for my other project, UnderLX... you have no idea what happened. In November we were featured in national media for the first time. Since then, we have been featured in over ten online news sites, from tech news sites to "mainstream news" sites, and we were interviewed four times - and I'm talking about full-length interviews here. Here are some of them (in Portuguese): 1 (http://www.sabado.pt/portugal/detalhe/as-perturbacoes-no-metro-de-lisboa-sao-tantas-que-inspiraram-uma-app?ref=HP_DestaquesPrincipais), 2 (https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/pais/937964/linha-mais-problematica-horarios-pico-de-falhas-app-poe-o-metro-a-nu), 3 (http://www.jornaleconomico.sapo.pt/noticias/underlx-o-vigilante-do-metro-de-lisboa-263696).
The UnderLX Android application now has over 3500 active users and it doesn't seem like it will ever stop growing. I honestly never expected so much exposure and success from a silly app for public transit. Hopefully this lets you understand why Clouttery has been basically dead for almost a year, and also why I'm not ever going back to developing software for calculators - at least, not as a hobby.

I'm glad you have great opportunities opening up! It's always great to get local and even national recognition, no matter how small the article. Hopefully this will help you land where you want to be! I'm also thankful that you continue to keep Clouttery going with updates and the such. Every now and again, it stops monitoring (although I'm pretty sure that's my phone's fault, it's getting to the point where it can hardly run one app at a time :P), but still works, like you said, great as ever!
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: DarkestEx on March 01, 2018, 04:31:07 pm
I have read your blog post and it's an interesting story you went through.
Clouttery is still installed on my laptop but since it at some point kept refusing to open, I abandoned using it.
Since my phone is not compatible with Clouttery, I had never installed the app either.
I suppose, while there is nothing wrong with it, some people felt put-off with the business aspect of it, since almost all projects in this community are entirely non-profit. They would have rather paied 99 cents or 2 Euros for it once and used it happily ever after.
This is, as I can tell myself, not a viable business model. I have some web-apps running too that cost me money to run them, but fortunately, I get generous donations (usually about 30-50€ per donation) every few months to keep the service running and me motivated to keep working on it.
Talking about Clouttery again, I never really needed to keep track of my battery status, since I keep recharging my phone every night and it usually last for one full day (however, I keep putting it into flight mode and I prefer lower backlight settings, so power consumption is not too big either).
My projects went the same way as your new public transport app. I was the first one to work on that particular project and people started using my services. As far as I know, nobody else offers these services at the moment.

I wish you the best of luck with your new projects. :thumbsup:

Cheers
Title: Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
Post by: gbl08ma on March 01, 2018, 06:27:46 pm
That the Windows client sometimes stops opening is a known problem I never got around to fixing. It's because the local database (not written by me, I'm using an apparently buggy library) gets corrupted. To fix it, delete the file C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Apps\2.0\Data\<something.xxx>\<something.xxx>\clou..<something>\Data\batterylog.dbs and try opening Clouttery again (this only makes it forget local battery history, settings and etc. are kept).

The "business model" of Clouttery is something that was never set in stone, hence why it is still free (and probably will always have a free plan) and that's why I prepared its billing system to deal with both one-time payments and discounts, as well as recurring payments (subscriptions) and discounts.

I don't consider Clouttery to be a failure, I was just a bit tired of working on it when I began working on my other project over a year ago (and I never planned for that one to take more than a month to complete... but, as I explained, it got a bit out of control after unexpected popularity and traction). At any moment, I can resume working on Clouttery more intensively as opposed to just looking into it for emergency bug fixes (fortunately, that has been rare). And if I decide to make it open source, that doesn't necessarily mean I have given up on developing it, or given up on any "business model".

Clouttery, in its current state and the way it is presented now, is only appealing to a handful of people with very specific needs - for example, people like me, who own quite a few models of phones for software testing, and don't want to ruin the batteries of these phones. However, one of the things Clouttery was set out to do, but is currently very far from achieving, was to cater to enterprises by providing ways to manage fleets of devices - not just consumer electronics, but more specialized stuff such as those PDAs with barcode scanners you see on supermarkets and warehouses. In these contexts, Clouttery could work alone, or as part of a more complete device deployment and management system, and the idea would be to work with the clients to develop semi-customized solutions (that is, take the common Clouttery core and adapt it to each client's needs).
I, and some of the people I've talked to, agree that's where the real money is, as (like you pointed out) it will always be quite hard to get the masses interested in paying for Clouttery.

I wish you luck with your projects too ;)

EDIT: I forgot to mention, but just a few days ago, I renewed the clouttery.xyz domain for two years. Now, it will only expire in 2020. I think this is a solid proof that Clouttery is here to stay.