Funnily enough posting every hour seems like the same to me. You are inventing a data entry just because it’s time.
But like you indicate with your example, almost all of this depends on what the data represents, how frequently it is updated, and what you are using the charts for.
So do you typically use linear, null, or 0 for fill? I’ve found that if I don’t use linear or last value the graphs are almost invisible for sparsely reported data. I suppose Bars would be a better choice than line graph in that case.
I think it depends on which side you attack that problem from. I suspect you don’t use restoreOnStartup but have System started rules, polling, and/or other mechanisms in place to get the current state of everything.
I do the same, but in the other direction. I let everything restoreOnStartup and have System started rules and other mechanisms to figure out what the current state is for those Items where it matters (which is less than half).
In neither case are the rules really operating on outdated data. For me, since more than half of my Items are storing states, things that don’t change frequently, virtual Items, and stuff like that it is less work to restoreOnStartup everything and update those Items that need it than it is to repopulate everything.
But I think we are actually on the same page.
As one example: even though I restoreOnStartup everything including presence, I have a System started rule that flips presence to OFF. Then the sensors need to report someone home to show the house as occupied. I do the same for my services monitors (simple pings of ports where various services run). When OH comes up, restoreOnStartup everything and have a System started rule mark all the services as OFFLINE and wait for the sensors to report ONLINE. For my MQTT stuff I wrote them so when OH comes up it publishes a “tell me everything” message and all the MQTT sensors report their current state.
I think we have all come to the same conclusion. There is no solid rule of thumb we can offer. The best approach depends on the detailed specifics of what you are doing.