That’s a valid concern and we think we have isolated the cause of the OTA bricking. Under some circumstances, the device would attempt to flash an upgrade twice. This led to the device rebooting itself while writing to the SD card, which caused SD card coruption. Unfortunately, the only way to get the new OTA system is to upgrade to FBOS v9.2.1, since we can’t retroactively flash new code onto devices running old versions.
As for our long term support policy, we discuss the matter more here. To address some of your concerns, getting the “outdated version” message is not a guarantee that your device will stop working- it is entirely possible that your device will continue working on its current version for months or years. We still urge you to upgrade at your soonest convinience.
For example, we are aware of users that are still running FBOS v7, which reached end-of-life on April 12, 2019. Although we wish they would upgrade, they are still able to access the server at
my.farm.bot until we hit an issue that requires us to break backwards compatibility with that version. Simply put, reserving the right to break backwards compatibility is not the same as exercising the right to break backwards compatibility. Historically, this has only happened to FBOS versions that are greater than 6 months old, though we reserve the right to deprecate versions that are > 60 days old.
We exercise this policy only when:
- There is a major security problem with old versions that would put users at risk
- The effort to support the old version would cost FarmBot an inordinate amount of time or money. We are a small company with only two software developers on payroll. Spending time writing legacy support takes time which could be spent on new features or bug fixes for later versions of FBOS.
Additionally, we will not perform QA against old versions of FBOS when releasing new versions of the Web App. If you discover bugs with old FBOS versions, the only corrective action we can offer is an upgrade (we do not backport or re-release old versions).
I hope this answers your question and I am happy to continue investigating your OTA issues after you upgrade to v9.2.1. I would like to re-iterate that our current legacy support policy is the result of financial realities. If it is possible to support old versions with a reasonable amount of effort, we will do so, but we regretably cannot provide guaranteed support for very old versions.