[CLOSED] New Docs Discussion: Should we recommend a platform?

(Rolf Vermeer) #61

And I am strongly against that opinion, as said before, as a new user I would like the idea that I can use whatever I have.
And then statements like “Windows sucks” and “Pi sucks least” definitely aren’t helping.

I think you are not getting my point. I am only trying to understand what you are suggesting, as you seem to suggest that a new user shouldnt go with a Windows system. But so far you haven’t given any reasons why not to go for a Windows system. Then why the bias? (Like, why any bias at all?)

(lipp_markus) #62

At the risk that I am repeating something that has been said already earlier: IMHO a recommendation needs to come from a place that assumes little to nothing. Taking myself as an example: when I started with OH2, I had some 15y old programming experience in Pascal (Pre-object-oriented…lots has changed since…), and just some user application experiences on Windows and MAC. And not particular deep knowledge in either. So in this case, which system does the community want to recommend?

If anyone has some deeper experience on any system: the dies are cast already, and there is no recommendation necessary, familiarity will almost always win. This forum is a great example: docker, cubernete, and other various virtualizations, various single board computers, Windows, MAC, Linux (in various distros), PCs, MACs, servers, with configurations supported in GUI, text files, through ansible, github and others, etc. are all in use in various combinations by those who have the experience for the respective systems.

Reading all of this…is fascinating…and confusing. Again, as a new user, which system is likely to give me the lowest entrance barrier. Again, don’t assume anything, I was willing to learn, but there is a limit to it. Hence for reasons above, I chose RPI (mainly it is easy to set up a new system).
From the posts here, you all seem to have a computer knowledge that is vastly superior to mine. So of course, you have strong choices and preferences. I don’t even have a favorite editor…and yaml, XML, or JSON (just because there are discussions in another thread on this) are all things I have (had) to look up…again, the inexperienced and uninitiated (as myself when I started and still to some extent today) have due to a lack of knowledge little to no possibility to voice a preference…one way or the other, that is just something you, the uninitiated, has to learn anyway.
In my day job, I am using only standard MS applications on a windows computer…so again no synergies or preferences here.

Maybe I am/was not the typical new user, but again, I believe for any sysop, dev, programmer, etc…recommendations are nice-to-have at best (and maybe only serve to start animated discussions). But what if i am only a user that at best works with MS Office…I don’t need or want options…I need guidance in this case on what is likely the easiest path to get started. RPI and openHABian seems to fit this bill, not the least due to the support on the raspberry forums and this forum…where the support for RPI seems to be the deepest, and as mentioned before: they are cheap and super easy to set-up from scratch if it seems the easier way to fix a configuration problem.

(Stuart Hanlon) #63

Thanks for the tip, I’ll give it a try the next time I buy a batch of them.

Currently, I just use Clonezilla to flash an image to the fresh eMMC chips.

(Markus Storm) #64

Step back a bit to get out of that dead end type of discussion please.

Remind you this thread was started following up on the thread on reworking the introductory docs.
These are now going to read like this:

So the recommendation is not a Pi but to use what you like or know best.
But as there’s a large amount of newbies that in fact have no preference (as all of us to discuss here do), we agreed that we should help them in providing them with a recommendation (and to say that again: that recommendation only applies if they don’t have any strong preference).
Now on what to recommend most people agree that the best option is a Pi with openHABian because in addition to this being the ‘mainstream’, there’s convincing reasons (cost, openHABian) to exclusively apply to this combo. Fully re-read this thread if you disagree.

A current Pi (3B+) has all the power it takes to run even complex home automation setups 24x7 - I do myself and a couple of other power users do.
It’s not perfect but none of the options is. And although you dislike the wording, it’s certainly the one to suck least. So for most users, let alone the average one, there will not ever rise a need to move to yet another platform.
All in all, I don’t see a single good reason to deviate from that recommendation as it is written down in the intro.

EDIT: except that in the last sentence it should read “Raspi 2 or 3” to avoid any misunderstanding.
@lipp_markus could you please add that to your PR.

(Vincent Regaud) #65

The introduction paragraph looks perfect as it is now.

(lipp_markus) #66


(Kim Andersen) #67

None dead. If something dies, (cant remember when this last happened), new will be bought.
I never actually counted, but now I feel I´m forced to :slight_smile:

5 x windows 10 pro´s. (these get regular hardware upgrades when needed)
3 x Rpi (linux), (two openHAB, one IHC Captain).
1 x Windows 7 (old mediaplayer)
1 x Windows server 2008 (WHS2011. Not really doing anything other than running a single domain for mail)
1 x QNAP NAS (I believe its Linux as well. Not really doing anything anymore… Dont know what I havn´t shut it down long time ago)

Hmm… No wonder why our house use alot of power… I should never have counted :grin:

(Kim Andersen) #68

This one I second…
It seems that I have hit´d the limit of my Rpi3B+ now, specially after updating to openhab 2.4. I can no longer use Grafana for rendering more than 1 (sometimes 2) charts at a time. Then openhab will crash and restart.

I actually thought the limitations was way higher on the Rpi3B+. But a combination of openhab 2.4 and my requirements simply gave me problems which I never thought (or knew) I would get. I actually do not run that many bindings. But I have alot of channels and items.
I wonder if recommendations of InfluxDB and grafana is good, when also recommend an Rpi… It does no longer seem like a good combination… Perhaps it´s worth considering.

I´m hunting new hardware now and an easy way to port everything to this new hardware. Not what I wanted to do this early in the process.

(David Graeff) #69

Would be easier if there were some ready to buy solutions and an adapted Download Page:

One of the options could be “DIY Pi-Box” which links to a page with a complete set of items to buy (with working Links!), and how to flash an sd-card with openhabian. And how to connect the boy to the local network via wires or via wifi. openhabian should have an access point configured by default for this to work, of course,

Best would be of course if the foundation could sell pre-flashed SD-cards.

(Stuart Hanlon) #70

Now there’s a thought.

I’ll happily offer pre-flashed ODroid C2 eMMC cards.

(Markus Storm) #71

Well Grafana is a memory heavyweight and OH is, too, so I wouldn’t recommend to run both on the same machine unless you really really know how to optimize both of them and their memory consumption. Running on separate Pis should do, though.
But Grafana is no recommendation for first time users anyway, and of course you can always build an application landscape or rules that will exceed any Pi’s or even any other computer’s capabilities. But that’s corner cases.
This thread is about a recommendation to the average beginner what to use to start with OH.

(Kim Andersen) #72

I dont agree on this…Rpi is recommened as well as influxdb persistens and grafana for charts, according to the docs. All mentioned in the openhabian (hassle-free) setup:

Precise… openhabian hassle-free… Look at the page jump to Optional Components… There you´ll se both influxdb and Granafa.
"openHABian comes with a number of additional routines to quickly install and set up home automation related software. "

We can argue all night wether this is misleading or not having resommended an Rpi first.
Point is, it´s part of the recommendation!

(Skinah) #73

Totally agree Kim as documentation is not just for new/first time users. We all have different approaches and requirements so one size does not fit everyone.

An example is how Kodi displays the information as clearly with Kodi one platform does not fit everyone’s needs. Openhab should not need to be anywhere as complex as this, but it could be just a few lines when recommending a few example systems… If you want a system that can handle this, we recommend this. If you want a cheap system you can use this, but it will be limited in these ways…


(Markus Storm) #74

No it is not. The openHABian docs do not “recommend” neither Pis nor Grafana. Remind you openHABian is not openHAB and Grafana is not part of openHAB an even in openHABian it’s just an option.
Also remind you we’re talking about the recommendation to go into NEW openHAB docs in this thread, it is not about existing docs, not about openHABian or any optional complementary software or combination of any of these.
And the Pi recommendation isn’t to cover all use cases. It’s not even a “recommendation” but a suggestion, and written for the user to try out OH for the first time.
Read the text.
I understand you’re annoyed because you understood it that way and now you have problems, but that doesn’t entitle you to go cherry-picking only those parts and interpretations of the docs that made you select this combo.

I wish @ThomDietrich hadn’t written that slogan to contain “hassle-free” long ago because ever since a lot of people with problems come along and complain “hey, but you promised no hassles” regardless of whether their problems really can be attributed to openHABian. Most cannot, and any interpretation to go like that is naive on the user part anyway.

(Stuart Hanlon) #75

Arrrr yes, managing people’s expectations…

That’s the hardest part of any project.

(Hans-Jörg Merk) #76

No, the foundation can‘t sell anything, as we would put our non-profit (charity) status at risk!

(Stuart Hanlon) #77

Does the foundation need to setup a “Non-profit” company with a web shop, that donates it’s excess to the charity?

I’d happily list ‘official openHAB2’ products on my company eBay page, and donate all profits to the charity.

(Hans-Jörg Merk) #78

Sorry, charity was the wrong word, so in fact, openHAB foundation is a non-profit organisation, therefore we are not paying taxes in Germany.
For that reason, it is difficult to sell goods, as the tax authority and the rules are quite complicated.

(David Graeff) #79

But some non-profit organisations do that. They distribute their work as cd/dvds and you can order those online for free distribution and you are paying transport and a little fee.

I think that is allowed but of course German paper work, so I can understand if you reject this idea.

(Alex) #80

The question was: Should we recommend a hardware platform?

I’m saying right now: NO
This question should be answered by users for themselves and to use hardware or operating system with which they feel most comfortable and most familiar.

Next you should suggest in the introduction, however, a useful solution, but not recommend! One could point out the many advantages of Openhabian and / or Raspberry. However, it must never give the impression that this is an absolute requirement for Openhab.

I think, most of this is still in current introduction.

But in my opinion, however, in the mentioned documentation too often referred to said Raspberry or Openhabian. All links point there, but not to the other systems (macOS/Linux/Windows), at least much later. So the impression arises, without RaspBerry/Openhabian an Openhab is running badly. Certainly Raspberry/ Openhabian are good choices, so I have no reservations.

If you want to make newcomers curious about Openhab, but those newcomers first have to wait for their newly ordered RaspBerryPi, how exactly should they stay on the hook? If they’re also willing to buy something unknown, even before Openhab starts!

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to achieve this (acquisition) easiest?