Help, I'm ready to give up

( ) #29

(Tommy Sheppard) #30

I think the biggest issue with the current documentation is that it assumes too much. It assumes that a user knows that the default sitemap should be named default.sitemap or that you have to go into the config and tell it to load whatever.sitemap by default. It’s little details like that which cause the most frustration for me. Once, someone answered that for me I was able to get things going. Now i’m just working out proper syntax for controlling things the way I want.

( ) #31

But there is a problem right there. The “default sitemap” does not really matter. You can call your sitemap whatever you want and even create multiple. BasicUI or your smartphone client will prompt you to select the one you want to open. Setting the “default” sitemap in Paper UI is a second step but that’s totally up to you.

(Tommy Sheppard) #32

Ok, I’ve got it working with 2 lights now. I’m trying to get it to show the percentage the light is at but I can’t get it to do that. I’ve read the docs and tried each one but not sure what i’m doing wrong.

Also, sometimes the icon will update based on the percentage and sometimes it doesn’t.

Here’s my files:


Bridge hue:bridge:1 [ipAddress="", userName="xxxx"] {
	0100 bulb1 [lightId="1"]
	0100 bulb2 [lightId="2"]


// Rooms
Group	WH	"Casa de Tomas"	<house>
Group	HL	"Hall"	<corridor>	(WH)
Group	BR	"Bedroom"	<bedroom_blue>	(WH)

Dimmer	bedroom_lamp	"Bedroom Lamp"	<slider>	(BR, WH)	{channel="hue:0100:1:bulb1:brightness"}
Dimmer	hall_light	"Hall Light"	<slider>	(HL, WH)	{channel="hue:0100:1:bulb2:brightness"}


sitemap home label= "Main Menu" { 
	Frame label= "Hall" icon= corridor { 
		Slider item= hall_light label= "Hall Light is [%d %%]" switchSupport 
	Frame label="Bedroom" icon= bedroom_blue { 
		Slider item= bedroom_lamp label="Bedroom Lamp is [%d %% ]" switchSupport 

(Daniel Hermann) #33


Concerning the documentation: I found the installation documentation quite good (could be extended or clarified here and there, but generally it was good). But after the installation I was quite left alone. I would add (in the openhab2 configuration documentation) what can be configured where, the relation between OH1 and OH2 configuration, mix-and-match-ability, and what part of the OH1 configuration can be used, should be used and is not outdated.
Also an Example collection would be very helpful, as many of the “old” examples do not work any more, mainly due to minor issues, but for a beginner that can be a deal-breaker.

I am travelling at the moment, but I will write a more comprehensive suggestion as soon as I am back.

( ) #34

Please do so.

These are good points. Waiting for the extended list.

(Wayne Jones) #35

I’ve found the BasicUI to update sometimes, when it feels like it. I’ve tried messing around with it to try and see what the problem is and came to the conclusion that it “just doesn’t work properly”.
I’m not overly concerned, as I only use openhab to interface all my stuff with Alexa. Hopefully one day someone will create a nice interface, then I might use it.

Regards the documentation, I’ve found it to be all over the place, unorganised, and a lot of it is out of date.
I tend to search these forums for answers, and usually find them!

I think the best (only?) use for openhab, is as an interface to Alexa or HomeKit.

My 2p :slight_smile:

(Nathan Stratton) #36

Ouch! I and many others use openHab for a LOT more then just talk to Alexa or HomeKit. Most of us use openHab because we can integrate dozens of technologies and not be forced into one limited ecosystem. Yes, as a group we need to get better at documentation, but overall I find this community one of the best most helpful of all the other HA platforms out there. I see a lot of people on this thread saying lets just do things one way, but as has already be pointed out you would lose a good chunk of the base. I for one would NEVER run a Debian based system over RedHat and others have the opposite view. I know it sounds lame, but it really is our differences that make this project stronger.

( ) #37

Hey Nathan, I almost wanted to agree with you but then came “RedHat” :astonished:

Hahaha just kidding. You are totally right. That’s exactly how it is :wink:
As I said before “openHAB is not an iPhone”.

(George Erhan) #38


Rainman quote: “definitely not an iPhone” :wink:
I would propose as a definition: “a geek’s tool to automate almost everything, but hopefully there will be a org.openhab.binding.wife in the future”. And I am a geek! :grinning:

Sometimes we do need to laugh a bit!



(erland_lestander) #39

As I guess I’m one of those :wink:
There is a difference between doings things only one way and at least documenting one way of doing it in a precise way.

For instance, I’m assuming that it makes very little difference to folder structure if you retrieve the package using apt or yum, If so, there is a lot of room left to be more precise, even if you drop those of that want to download the zip files by themselves and install the sw in a folder of their own choice.

Having one OS specific doc page that defines variables that are then used in the doc is another way:
For example:

RH:  $CONFIG =  /etc/somewhere/openhab2/  (example only)
non-pkg install:  $CONFIG =  /opt/openhab2/conf/  (replace /opt/openhab2 with you install folder)
windows      $CONFIG = c:\programfiles\openhab2\conf  ( example only) ```

and the in the doc it could say ```edit $CONFIG/sitemaps/_default.sitemap```
 instead of saying ``` edit your default sitemap ``` 
( where did the underscore go?)  

5-10 of those predefined locations would cover some 90% of your uses cases

I honestly don't think there is a big conflict between more precise doc and allowing people to do things in alternate ways. 

And I think OH can move closer to iPhone without giving up the essentials of the good stuff. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

(Wayne Jones) #40

Yes, integrate dozens of technologies and then control them from one system (like Alexa or HomeKit). :slight_smile:

Hopefully in the near future, someone will write a pretty, usable UI for controlling openHAB, so then we have a third option.

Apple’s HomeKit also does exactly what you describe, integrates dozens of technologies and makes them work together, however with one caveat; they have to be HomeKit approved.

(Nathan Stratton) #41

Most of the control in my house is done from one of 21 PoE android tables in almost every room. My wife and kids also use OpenHab on their iPhones when they are not near a tablet. I have both Alexa, Google Home, and respeaker but they are not in every room and frankly most of us rather use the tablet then current state of voice control.

( ) #42

This is one good idea, let’s see what we can come up with.

(Tommy Sheppard) #43

My complaint is not about how open it is but about how the documentation is written in such a way that a newbie can’t understand. Like @erland_lestander said, rather than saying “edit the default sitemap” say [quote=“erland_lestander, post:39, topic:20006”]
edit $CONFIG/sitemaps/_default.sitemap

That way when new user is trying to learn the system it makes sense. I’m not an idiot, I just need documentation to be helpful and to actually be up to date.

(Wayne Jones) #44

Wow! You live in a Manor House or something?
You have to admit though, the openHAB app isn’t very usable other than for extremely basic setups, for example, look at these screenshots of mine:

Messy isn’t it.

( ) #45

Nobody is assuming that. We all need good documentation. There is simply a mismatch between people looking for documentation and people volunteering to actually spend time and build documentation. If everyone who solved a problem for himself would also provide the solution for others, we wouldn’t have this discussion. I’ve just checked and indeed nobody did fix the max_idle problem we were talking about as an example two days ago

If you want to contribute, have a look at the documentation issue tracker, the FAQs or the complete Tutorials & Examples section. Links can be found here:

(George Erhan) #46

I completely agree that the documentation should be more exhaustive and comprehensive in the same time, but what we are having now is a project started from sheer devotion to an idea!
I also agree that having a documentation pushed to completion by everyone is a true accomplishment!
Your frustration is surely going to help everybody here doing something about it! Thank you!

Best regards,


(Rich Koshak) #47

Which version of OH were you using at the time. There have been a large number of bugs with BasicUI that have been fixed. At the moment I’m finding BasicUI to work flawlessly for me. If you have specific elements that don’t work please file an issue on github so it can be fixed.

Have you looked at Habpanel? It is quite nice and people who use it seem to love it.

Can you point at any particular instances in the OH 2 docs that are out of date?

I wouldn’t be so sure about that. There are some pretty major differences between how the RedHat distros do some things verses Debian. It has been a long time since I’ve done some serious work with a RedHat/CentOS/Fedora distro so I can’t be certain that it is.

I can’t speak for @ThomDietrich but I’m sure we would welcome any PR that implements any such changes. The challenge becomes dealing with the vast majority of people who will not read the docs in any sort of order even if it were not “all over the place, unorganized, and … out of date.”

But, as @ThomDietrich mentioned above, your default sitemap can be named anything. You set your default as a parameter in PaperUI or the BasicUI config file.

Apparently using “_default.sitemap” was never intended to be an official way to do things and I believe it is no longer supported.

Again, have you looked at Habpanel?

(Michael) #48

As an ex 6502 programmer from the 80s, I struggle with modern software, terminology, syntax and programming methodology. I have little experience of Linux, Java and until recently had never heard of AngularJS and ‘reverse proxy’ and thought Json was a character in a film. Thanks however to Openhab, the developers, the community here, Google and the documentation, I have a rather nice home automation system on my Raspberry Pi.

A few suggestions from my experience:

  1. Get it up and running on Windows first. Apart from setting the JAVA variable (solution found by googling) after installing Java, it is easy. Unzip the distro, store in a directory off C: and you are up and running in minutes.

  2. Spend time exploring the demo. See how the items, sitemap and rules work together.

  3. Check the file structure. The locations will be different on say a Raspberry Pi but you can explore, check the logs etc.

  4. I renamed the demo files as ‘home’ changed the site name and modified the demo for my own system. It saved starting from scratch.

  5. Get simple items working first before moving to complex bindings.

  6. I use a Raspberrry Pi and found there were no problem following the documentation for installing Raspbian and then Openhab. Make a note of each step so you can easily repeat the process on a blank micro sd card or preferably buy a spare. (I haven’t tried Openhabian yet)

  7. I wanted a password log in for external access and found I needed to use ‘reverse proxy’. There is an excellent thread here that tells you how to set it up. I haven’t a clue what ‘reverse proxy’ is, hadn’t a clue what I was doing when I followed the instructions but it worked.

  8. I didn’t like Eclipse Designer so I use WinSCP for setting up the configuration files on my Raspberry Pi. This allows me to modify the files on my Windows PC and upload to the raspberry Pi. No messing with the Raspberrry Pi OS and their desktop.

  9. Try Habpanel, it’s awesome.

Finally, enjoy your FREE software.