For what it’s worth:
I’ve been using OH now for as little as six months (I see myself as just getting started). I’ve chosen OH after evaluating multiple other solutions. In finding your/our way forward for OH 3.0 I at least like to share my thoughts and if they make sense great, if not well, no worries. Thanks for reading.
As I’m not an active contributor please see my input into the discussion as one soul looking to automate/smarten his home/life. Nothing more nothing less.
Why choose OH
I choose OH since after evaluating multiple alternatives. These were the things I valued the most:
- The easy integration of hundreds of types of hardware.
- Abstraction to logical items (wchange a binding/hardware and still have everything working).
- Build under software architecture
- Resillience, stability, active life-cycle and release cadans
- Active, positive and skilled community (your guys).
- Being able to work disconnected (Internet down, no problems).
- Plug and play integration with persistence providers (Influx), rule engines (NodeRed), etc.
- Bridging capability to cloud (OH Cloud) without exposing entire system.
Stuff that hurts a little:
- Complex setup.
- Breaking changes when running an upgrade @ 11pm (my bad, RTFM).
- Developer energy / innovation speed might be lost in maintaining 3 or 4 UI’s.
Why I like the idea of OH 3.0
Other home automation systems speed up. The ecosystem is rappidly developing and more and more players enter the realm. Every supplier want’s their piece of the pie (data, lockin, etc). Not the least being Google, Apple, Philips, Ikea, and other large vendors themselves. One could argue it’s about time to standardise item descriptors, hardware bindings etc, rule definitions, etc. so as to ease integration going forward. But that might be a different topic.
Having worked with OH for only 6 months made me dive into the Eclipse Smarthome sources to debug some settings and the whole architecture and composition got quitte complex over the years (IMHO).
I hope OH3.0 continues to be THE platform of choice for reliable future proof integration of smarthome devices, services and being the foundation for many more years.
What considerations I have going forward
Outside my OH bubble around me I see a larger community of consumers picking up and integrating Apple, Google, Ikea , Philips Hue and IFTTT as platform to build their home automation on. Integration is key and they find it more and more difficult to integratie.
Downside to these services is they almost all are connected, everything is connected to everything. No internet means no automated home, and thus being locked out of your home, missing safety lighting, irritated spouse because the convenience they are used to is no longer there. With a growing privacy and security concerns, I see people willing to share less and less data.
I would like to see OH3.0 be THE platform for integrating all my smart home appliances, optionally connected to the cloud, but being very well integrated into it.
On the debated topics op rule engines, and UI’s…
To be really honest I’ve spend weeks on building a UI for my home. Only to find out nobody in our household is using it (it might be the UI design, my bad). But thinking about it I see different behaviour. In our home we use the UI’s less and less. We use voice assistants and a few smarthome switches for scenes. Even the kids talk to the house. The rest of the house is mostly automated in rules and behaviours. The odd case I need to query for historical data I use Grafana. For managing OH I use source code, and a configuration UI (Paper).
Looking forward I’m going to spend my time improving the experience of interacting with the smarthome through voice, chat by natural language while using a basic UI for simple scene control and information.
Rule engines: the brains
I’m trying hard to minimize spreading the logic/ rules/ “intelligence” of my house by singling in on 1 rule engine. Sorry to say it became Nodered and not OH’s native rule engine. Nodered is far from perfect but it does the job. I’m missing version control and a lot more.
The key thing IMHO is going forward to build an eco system of a community being able to share advanced scenario’s so people are able te learn from inspirational examples from others. Simplicity is key I find. Most people don’t wake up and build a smarthome thinking through edgecases, initialization of scenario’s, persistence of state. They just want to connect things. For example: send my spouce a message when I leave office or if I run late and predict my arrival time based on expected traffic delays of use of public transport. How hard can that be
Wishfull thinking on my part would be a home that knows about semantics and moving forward from there propose new rules by learning behaviors of individual users. Why would an smarthome not be able to detect someone diverting from normal behaviour and by voice interaction suggest turning on the light because the person gets up from the table, it’s almost dinner time and the calendar indicates a dinner appointment in the house. Please don’t shatter my dreams
I hope we can keep the good op OH looking forward and make OH more accessible for the masses and integrating with leading platforms and thereby becoming/staying a leading platform for smarthomes. Open, Reliable, Smart.
Thank you for all your hard work you put into the platform I’m an absolute fan and hope some of the things I value in OpenHab resonate with the future plans.