Typica: Software for Coffee Roasting Operations

Check Your Spam Folder and Other News

Lately there's been an increase in people sending vague emails requesting help with Typica but not really providing enough information for me to know what they're having trouble with. That's fine, but when I reply to these emails taking my best guess at resources that might help them or requesting more specific details, there's no follow up. Neither the details requested nor a thanks, figured it out message. I tend to respond to such messages within one or two days depending on when I receive them and what else is on my schedule so if you're trying to get help from me and you don't see a response in that time frame, please check your spam folder or whitelist typica.us (promise I'm not going to start spamming you).

There have been a couple of reports which I have not yet had time to get to the bottom of claiming that Typica does not work with PostgreSQL 13. That might just mean that I need to pack up a release with a newer libpq or it might require modification to QtSql. I haven't had the time to look into that yet, but until the next release I recommend against the latest major version of PostgreSQL. Personally, I'm still on 9.x at work, but I haven't received any reports that it doesn't work with major versions 10, 11, or 12.

There have been some other changes pending for the next release of Typica. Personally, I'm most excited about a set of changes that adds support for Phidgets current sensor devices. This allows powering a 4-20mA current loop (0-20mA also seems to work) which is not something that I see in a lot of coffee roasters, but is very common in industrial monitoring applications. I've been using this to add a degree of roast channel that lets me know how light or dark the coffee is throughout each batch using a prototype from Madison Instruments, but this can also be used for things like monitoring fuel pressure if you have a gauge that can work with this kind of current sensor. For those who are comfortable with compiling Typica from source code, this feature and a set of supporting features has been in use at my shop for a while now. It works.

Some of you may have noticed a slow down on new releases and on the work going into Typica. This is something that I've been warning about for quite some time, which is that Typica is not a sustainable project. In the many years since Typica was released, there has not been a single outside code contribution (a few have said they wanted to add a feature here and there but none followed through on doing the work) and financial support has never covered expenses associated with the project. I've always just made up the difference out of my own pocket, but there's a fairly low limit to what I can afford to spend on this. In the year 2020, financial contributions toward ongoing development of Typica totalled about $170. While that's appreciated, it doesn't go very far. Personally, I would love to be able to drastically reduce my hours at the shop for a few months and work on Typica full time to make changes required to make ongoing maintenance easier (Typica still is built against Qt 4, updating to Qt 5 would have required massive architectural changes, and now Qt 6 is out so it is increasingly difficult to build Qt 4 on current platforms), support newer computers (The Mac build of Typica is still 32 bit due to the lack of 64 bit support for National Instruments hardware the last time I checked and now they're switching to a different processor architecture), and there's a huge list of features and improvements that I simply cannot afford to get to at the moment. There's also a lot of room for improvement in the documentation of how to use Typica. If you value Typica and find that it helps you run your roasting operations better, please consider helping me continue to do that work.