Some general comments:
I am completely dependent on having a speech enabled home automation system.
Over the years, I put something together: x10 hardware, networked Windows computers, Java client and server programs, Dragon NaturallySpeaking and Vocola speech control.
Recently, it became obvious that if I was going to take advantage of the enormous capabilities of the Internet of things and mobile programming I would have to learn some new programming techniques.
After experimenting with other programs I tried openhab. Now, after a couple months of use I love the program. Even though I’m using only .1% of what openhab can do I have a very attractive, configurable, and powerful speech-enabled system that controls my new wireless devices (lights and switches) as well as my old x10 network, exactly the way I want.
Initially I was very frustrated. I had a lot of trouble understanding the documentation and nothing I tried worked without a lot of effort. BUT these problems were overcome with enormous support from the openhab community.
I think that the program is NOT intrinsically difficult to use but that the documentation needs lots of work. It’s clear that the developers of this program realize this but I’m not sure if you realize how tough it is to fix. Good documentation requires someone with a lot of experience at writing documentation. It also requires someone who is willing and able to put in the time on something that is not much fun to do.
Regarding open source:
Elsewhere in this forum there is a discussion of open source versus proprietary purchased software. I am not convinced that you get better software just because you paid for it (look at Windows). In any case, I didn’t find any commercial software that fits my needs.
On a personal note, there is so much trouble in the world these days-people in power acting out of greed and self-interest. Open source software, to me, is a very encouraging and uplifting idea that opposes these trends.
My heartfelt thanks to the openhab developers and forum members. It’s a wonderful program.