Status update

17. November 2017, Robert Klotzner - gonimo-development

So much work, so little time - status update

I am really busy right now with a lot of things, so I barely find time for blogging about it. So in short what is going on at Gonimo:

  • Android App: I already have a native version of Android running on my phone, it works already but needs some polishing/fixing of minor issues.
  • New Logo/Art work we have already some very nice drafts!
  • Haskell Exchange: Martin and I have been to Haskell exchange in London, which was very inspiring and motivating. It was totally well spent money, I got a whole lot of new ideas for making Gonimo better.
  • Meeting with A1: A1 is interested in supporting us as a startup, they approached us at ARS Electronica and we had a very promising meeting this Tuesday.
  • New protocol: Based on our experience, we will improve Gonimo's architecture further. One major building block will be a new Server/Client protocol which I want to deploy before launching the App, as installed Apps can't be updated as easily as Web clients. I hope to finish this work in the next three weeks.
  • New UX: We already have a really awesome new concept which we will adjust and fine tune this Saturday.

Current Plan:

  • End of this year we will hit Google Play with our app.
  • February to March: We will launch our new UX.

This was just a short status update on the development of Gonimo, now I am going back to work - we have deadlines to meet ;-)


Beware: Chrome 61 for Android regression!

01. October 2017, Robert Klotzner - gonimo-development

Chrome 61 for Android Regression

First things first, we just discovered a regression in Chrome 61 for Android. If you upgrade to Chrome 61 it might happen that Gonimo is no longer usable as a video parent station. The bug shows the following behaviour: The video on the parent station stays black, the volume meter does react to sound. Sound is still transmitted though. We already reported the bug to the Chrome developers, we got the promise that it will be fixed in Chrome 62.

We recommend skipping the update to Chrome 61 on your Android devices and wait for Chrome 62. If you upgraded already (auto update for example), you can still use Gonimo with Audio only - this works just fine. Alternatively you can try Firefox mobile in the meantime.

One note, apart from this very unfortunate regression, we really recommend keeping your browser current - which works best with auto updates. It would be nice though, if Google allowed users to manually downgrade in case of such issues.

A current browser in general will offer you the best experience, has security fixes applied and makes our lives as developers easier, as we can take advantage of newer browser features and don't have to find workarounds for bugs and limitations of ancient browser versions.

New Team Member

We are very pleased to have Julian on board now. He is a great artist, who is going to take care of our art work needs. The first drafts for our new logo, left us stunned! Many thanks to Julian!

iOS progress

Apple still has potential to drive us crazy. We are lacking Apple hardware, so we tried installing Mac OS in a virtual machine to get going. This proved to be quite involved. My machine just crashed all the time, Martin's machine is installing the images a second time right now, as we write this article. We hope to have a working environment soon, so we can fix the iOS/Safari issues that are still there.

New User Experience

We strive to make Gonimo even easier for you. Both Martin and Chris finished their first drafts of the new UX, this sprint and we already had quite a bit of discussion. The UX is taking shape and we are getting more and more satisfied with the progress.

New Logo

Due to our recent parting with our graphic designers we are in need of a new logo. As already mentioned, the sketches by Julian are amazing!

New Alert Sound

We got the feedback from our users, that our current alert sound can be annoying at times, so thanks to Hannes we have a new one!

opensource.com Article Online

Last but not least, our opensource.com article about Gonimo got published! You can have a read here!

Stay tuned!


ARS Electronica Festival 2017

17. September 2017, Robert Klotzner - gonimo-development

ARS Electronica Festival 2017

Thanks for visiting, thanks for your interest and sharing your ideas! It was a great festival, we are very glad that we were able to be a part of it, although we are still recovering.

Some of the ideas:

  • sleep-tracker
  • breastfeeding notes
  • food calendar when changing from breastfeeding to cooked food
  • diaper diary
  • push to-talk
  • turn on video when audio is loud

Together with sonicontrol, a fellow netidee project sharing the room at ARS Electronica with us, we birthed the idea of pairing devices with ultrasound, an endeavor that is in the future, but nevertheless a great idea to try out.

opensource.com article

We finally finished our opensource.com article, to be published soon! We are glad and grateful, we could write for one of the largest open source news platforms.

TURN server and backend bug hunting

We found the cause of a long lasting problem with our TURN server. After each reboot of our server, coturn would not properly relay connections. It turns out the systemd service should depend on network-online.target instead of network.target so it would also listen on the ipv4 address which gets set via DHCP.

This bug might have affected you, if you used gonimo over the internet.

We also hopefully fixed an issue with our backend hanging from time to time. It seems to have been caused by a ghc bug. We switched to the single-threaded runtime for now, until we upgrade to ghc-8.2, where this bug is already fixed.

Telegram does not work currently

At ARS Electronica we noticed that our invite via Telegram button no longer works correctly. This is most likely caused by a recent Telegram update and we already reported the issue. We hope this gets resolved soon. In the meantime, please use the "copy to clipboard" button as a temporary workaround.

gonimo & iOS 11

iOS 11 will support webRTC, meaning gonimo will now be available for iPhones and iPads too! We still have to get our hands on an iPhone, so we can fix the inevitable issues that will pop up. If you are an apple user and have some developer skills, any bug reports with browser console output would be really helpful for us!

New Ux

Despite the ARS Electronica festival eating up a lot of resources we managed to work a bit on our new UX design. Which will be our main focus in the next and upcoming sprints.

Stay tuned!


New Landing Page

03. September 2017, Robert Klotzner - gonimo-development

Sprint: ARS and Landing Page

ARS Electronica Festival 2017

As we have already announced the gonimo-team will attend the ARS Electronica Festival 2017 in Linz. We are really looking forward to see what you think of us and of course what uses of the app you have or which ideas you think would be worth bringing into gonimo.

Bug hunting, catching and squishing

We are proud to say, we have found the cause of a few more bugs in the app, gonimo not reconnecting - is no more an issue, or at least we have no indication of it occurring after a week of testing. With regards to the bug, where gonimo complained about it being open in another tab, without it actually being the case, we are quite confident to have fixed that one as well. Robert happened to be able to debug one of the rare occurrences of this on the phone, found an unhandled exception - and fixed it.

Land ho - a new landing page is launched

Gonimo has a new look: tell us what you think of it. This has been a major task for the last few weeks and we are proud to see, what the team has achieved - despite us working full or part time, having two children to take care of, or being self employed.

A glance in the future

Gonimo is getting a new user experience, more polished, less clutter and easier to use. Thanks to Fluid and balsamiq we have access to professional prototyping/wireframing tools. Something they provide for free to non-profit organizations. Thus we will be using the product of their hard work to build something better for all of you.

We have already done some sketches and models, but nevertheless it will take some time - so be patient with us. We hope we can show you some of the progress in the near future.

See you at ARS Electronica!

Stay tuned!


Stability improvements & ARS Electronica preparations

19. August 2017, Robert Klotzner - gonimo-development

ARS Electronica

We will present gonimo at "ARS Electronica Festival 2017 AI: Artificial Intelligence - Das andere Ich / The other I" from 7th to 11th of September.

Come and meet us there, bring some food or chat with us ;-)

We also have a little surprise prepared ... Looking forward to seeing all of you!

New Landing Page

We are also working hard on a new look for our landing page. Unfortunately our former graphic designers have left our team, farewell to Romana and Chris, their good work will be missed!

Fortunately, Christian has recently joined our team as product owner, while managing the team he is also passionate about the look and feel of gonimo. Together we are confident to push gonimo as a team. We plan to release our new landing page soon.

Stability

If you have experienced stability issues with gonimo in the past, there is a good chance that they are gone. We fixed several crashes, related to bad network connections and also fixed a resource leak.

Network connectivity problems

Mainly we are now handling rejected promises properly in the connection setup. This sounds easier than it was, because the wrapping library we used, ghcjs-dom-jsffi, did not cover handling of rejected promises. So we had to work together with the author of ghcjs-dom-jsffi for fixing this first. Which was a very pleasant experience, many thanks to Hamish Mackenzie!

Fixed resource leak

It turns out just because JavaScript has a garbage collector, it does not mean that resources are freed too....

For audio-only connections the browser would hold on to audio channels, even after the underlying MediaStream was stopped. This was caused by our audio compression logic, which needed to be stopped manually when the audio source ended, instead of stopping automatically. You could have noticed this bug, if you happened to keep gonimo open for a while, closing and opening streams over and over again. The result was high CPU usage and on mobile, an exhaustion of sound resources, which led to no sound at all.

Next sprint & Future

In the next sprint the main focus will be preparations for ARS Electronica. Apart from that we will be try to fix a few remaining issues:

There is one remaining bug, we know of: It can happen that gonimo looses connection to the server and won't recover for a very long time (hours!). We suspect this to be a low level WebSocket issue, for which we will try to find a workaround.

Hopefully this will also fix the infamous Opened Gonimo in another Tab issue, where gonimo will complain that you opened it in another tab, without that actually being the case.

After ARS Electronica we will put our efforts into creating a new user experience, making gonimo even easier for you. We are very exited about transforming our plans to reality and are sure you will love the new gonimo!

See you at ARS Electronica!

Stay tuned!


gonimo and OYD

01. August 2017, Robert Klotzner - gonimo-development

Own Your Data

OYD is another project funded by netidee which offers private storage and analysis of your own data, without giving it away. What data you ask? For example noise data (volume levels) of your baby while sleeping, so you can later analyze whether your baby slept well or woke up often.

Gonimo and Own Your Data

And yes indeed, Gonimo has a hidden feature, which, when enabled, will make Gonimo send noise data to your "own your data" data safe. Your data will be stored there and you can analyze it later on. Christoph made a nice tutorial, explaining how to setup OYD for use with Gonimo on your own Synology NAS.

I have to admit it is pretty hacky, especially enabling the feature in Gonimo is not very user friendly, to say the least. If you like the feature, just comment on this blog for example or drop us a line. If there is demand, we will likely make our OYD integration more accessible in a future release!

Happy monitoring! :-)


Gonimo is back up!

07. June 2017, Robert Klotzner - gonimo-development

Gonimo was down for two days!

We are very sorry and embarrassed , but somehow gonimo stopped working two days ago and we did not notice! We are very sorry for the inconvenience and we will improve our monitoring so we will be able to react far more quickly in the future! Something like this should really never happen again and we are really embarrassed it happened at all.

Back to work!

I am back from a small vacation, which I really needed with all the stress we had until launch. So work now continues and Gonimo will be further improved, also our infrastructure will see improvements in order to provide a more reliable service!

We also really depend on you, for improving the Gonimo experience. So if you use Gonimo or used it in the past, telling us about problems, inconveniences and such would really help us! Especially if you used Gonimo and stopped doing so - we would really like to know why ;-)

So stay tuned and sorry again for a 2 day downtime! (Really two days, two freaking days, I can't believe it - we are early stage, but this really should not happen!)

Anyway, thanks if you stayed with us!


Launch!!!!!

05. May 2017, Robert Klotzner - gonimo-development

Launch and Gonimo learned German!

Gonimo learned German this week and today May the 5th we launch!!! Gonimo goes live now, we will now update our landing page, our FB site, will post, share and like. Gonimo is on, we are ready for real users now!

Things accomplished this sprint

  • Gonimo is bilingual and Language can be switched in the running application
  • Security Audit was finished, with great results
  • Some Browser compatibility bugs have been fixed - We now support Firefox - at least some versions on some devices, yeah web development is hard.
  • Polished landing page, new impact illu for launch
  • Promotion video on youtube, English & German!
  • Tutorial video on youtube, English & German!
  • We got ready, ready for laaaaaauuuuunch!

Promotion Video + boosted reliability

24. April 2017, Robert Klotzner - gonimo-development

Video action

Our promotion video is finished now in a beta version! We got a lot of feedback and are currently in the progress of a few further improvements. Also instruction videos are currently being made. So, on launch, we will have some videos to show!

Other progress

The first week of this two-week sprint my kids have been sick again and I was not able to do much. In the second week I mostly fixed bugs/issues that arose during our beta testing. The app is now even more reliable, we also fixed a resource leak, some ux improvements also made it in. The app now informs the user when the connection to the server is lost, instead of simply not doing as requested.

We are working on a new illustration for our landing page, so it gets clear from visiting that there is something new, also the page is being revised, the FAQ reworked, mistakes corrected - this process will continue in the current sprint.

Now still ahead of us: Translation and fixing of some more bugs.

Technical

Reliability

gonimo is now more reliable, in that it detects, in all cases, a loss in connectivity to the server. This was not the case previously because of the design of TCP. TCP, for saving resources does not transmit any data on it's own, this means for a baby station no data at all gets transmitted - because the baby station is only waiting for requests.

The problem is, transmitting no data means, you won't notice when the connection is long gone! This can only be detected by trying to send data and getting feedback from the network. So the fix was easy, instead of server-side WebSocket protocol pings that get responded to by the browser itself, we now use application level pings triggered manually by the app, this way, we can detect broken connections and trigger a reconnection procedure.

Resource leak

This one was mean, I noticed that there is no audio on mobile after connecting/disconnecting a few times. On my laptop I saw that pulse audio resources kept being created, but got never released. Turns out, this is a bug in chrome: Resources of video tags won't get freed automatically when the tag gets garbage collected! You have to set the srcObject to null yourself. But this was not the mean thing about it, I got this quite fast actually and had a fix quickly too, but the chrome dev tools made me believe that we still had a leak, so I kept searching for it for 2 days, to finally find out that there is none, the tools just did not report correctly.

Security Audit

Also the penetration test by FH Technikum Wien is in progress since the beginning of April, we hope it will be finished soon!

We are making progress! Production lauch is happening soon - we target the end of this week or worst case end of this sprint, so in two weeks!

Stay tuned!


UX ready & Secret Launch

11. April 2017, Robert Klotzner - gonimo-development

UX ready

Last sprint was all about polishing, which we did. A lot of work was accomplished the last sprint, mostly related to the user interface. And the results look good! Good enough so we secretly replaced the old dev version on the landing page with the new version. When you now click on "Start" the new app will be launched already!

The sprint before, we prepared everything for the security audit, which is now in progress and also implemented the last missing features. Like our connection loss alarm and the auto-start feature. The alarm sound we use now, got composed exclusively for gonimo by the way!

Our promotion video is also taking shape, the video is there and Hannes will take care about the sound and text. For this he will travel to Berlin next weekend, where he meets a very famous actor who will lend us his voice for the video!

The next sprint will prepare everything for our real official launch. The app will be translated to German, we will fix remaining bugs and we'll see what other browsers we can already support.

Stay tuned! :-)


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