It was fun while it lasted!

(Andrew Rowe) #21

I’m going to guess that it is my statement you are roughly paraphrasing from this thread

Actually the quote is

‘really only makes sense’ is a lot different then ‘useless’
Anyhow, have you ever paid for support, in my same experience, paid support is usually only capable of helping with the most minor of problems like ‘is your monitor turned on’. In this community, you often get to speak directly to the developer. And quite often, id you’ve truly found a problem with the software, they often fix it right away… That is unheard of in commercial products.

(scott dee) #22

i have a very close friend who does crestron programming… you want to know what real support costs?

(Sascha_S) #23

I guess the first step when using openhab is to make up your mind what you want to achieve.
I am very new to programming myself and let me tell you - it is quite possible to integrate and automate things. With openhab everyone becomes a developer or say contributor. Each individual contributes by posting pull requests, questions and problems and those people capable of greater things implement those into the code.
If you ask me it is outrageous to expect a system like openhab, which is completely free and opensource to be supported in the way the Originator of this threat asks.
Everyone can happily go out there, pay a fortune for a gateway from some company and find out that there service is much worse.

Openhab is not customer friendly, the Wife does not always approve of my fiddling around with things and making them smart. But nothing beats the feeling when you have accomplished your goals or tackled some problem you didn’t even know you have :slight_smile:
So please keep things as they are. This forum is by far the most productive and helpful I know. The capable guys behind this are extremely patient with people like me and never stop supporting and helping.
Latest example: I had issues installing influxDB+grafana using the openhabian installation. I posted a pull request on github.
The problem was solved within 3hrs - and implemented into the program. It doesn’t get any better, does it?!

(Rich Koshak) #24

Thanks for the correction. I knew that and totally messed it up in my response. I need to practice more of what I tell my five-year-old. “Stop. Think. Then speak.” I was miss-remembering something mentioned, probably as a joke, in the videos of the home automation day.

Another challenge one has with the docs is if they are wrong, there is no exception in the logs to tell us. If they are incomplete VSCode won’t tell us. What makes sense in our mind and what gets written may not be as clear or concise to someone who doesn’t have the same amount experience. So we need need help from users as well, including and especially new users.

If the docs are not helpful or useful to you, are wrong, or missing key details we need to know. And more importantly, we need to know in a way that is actionable. “The docs suck” isn’t actionable. We need details. What are you trying to do? What do you find confusing or missing from the docs? Do you have suggestions that might help?

Even better, submit a PR and make changes yourself. There is a link at the bottom of every page that will take you to where you can edit the page yourself. You will need a github account but it isn’t all that hard and you can do it all in your browser.

The same people who are on this forum helping everyone are the ones writing the docs. We are stretched thin and writing technical user’s guides is hard and time consuming. We are doing the best we can with the time we have to donate.

Postings like the OP’s set me off because it diminishes and undervalues the work of all the people who contribute hours of their time on this forum and writing the docs. We get blamed because we are not donating enough of our time. Well, our time has value too.

But do you want to know what would make every person listed in Kim’s very kind posting jump for joy? A posting like “The docs suck and I’m frustrated. What can I do to help make it better?” Instead of “you all are not doing enough to support users like me”, post “I see you are struggling to support users like me, what can I do to help.” The former diminishes our work and the time we contribute to the project and comes across as arrogant and entitled. The latter shows you value our work and our time and shows you want to contribute to the community in some way. We will bend over backwards to support the latter. We will probably argue with and dismiss the former (as happened in this thread). Who wants to help someone who doesn’t value the effort we spend helping in the first place?

I hate to see when people pile on users who post in frustration like the OP. But users like the OP also need to realize that our time is valuable too. We are frustrated too. The reason we often respond with “read the docs” is because we honestly believe the answer to your problem is in the docs. And we need you as the poster with the problem to show at least a bare minimum amount of effort (look at the docs, search the docs, search the forum) to solve your own problem and provide us with at least a bare minimum amount of information necessary to help. Failing to do this is wasting our valuable time as we have to spend 3-5 back and forth questions and answers just to understand the problem. Or we have to duplicate an answer to the exact same question that was answered in an easily find able posting.

I’ll say it again. Our time is valuable too.

This this this. :arrow_up: :arrow_up: :arrow_up:

OH isn’t just a program or an app that we use like Word or Excel. OH is a platform upon which we all build our own bespoke home automation system. From this perspective OH has more in common with an operating system than a regular program or app.

Building a home automation system is an exercise in development. I think the source of a lot of people’s frustrations with OH stem from that. They are not prepared for how complicated it all is and how much work it takes. OH has made and is making huge strides to reduce this work and make it simpler, but it will always be an exercise in development.

And to address your second point, we LOVE when you contribute back. Even if it is just to review the forum and answer questions that you think you can answer. Or making minor updates to the docs. It doesn’t have to be much and can can take as much time as you are willing to give. But you don’t have to be a binding developer to contribute to OH. And ALL contributions are valued and appreciated.

(SiHui) #25

I gave him a like for that :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:
What the OP demands is unbelievable …

(Arun Gupta) #26

So, here is OH website:

Please show me where is paid support option? I suffered the same fate as OP and gave up on OH2. Luckily I was just in the testing stage, so it was no huge effort to move back to ST hub.

The attitude of community maintainers is just awful, asking a member to quit in such a manner as was done to OP (don’t let the door hit you on the way out).

If developers do not have time to support their own code, they should not contribute to OH2. Alternately, it should be mentioned on the OH2 home page that this is just a hobby project with very little possibility of support if things do not work. Or add a payment option.

Not sure who are the creators of OH2, but this is sad, very sad way to run a community where developers are asking to be paid whereas the vision statement of the creators doesn’t have paid model.

Please understand, we are end users of home automation. Our goal is to use HA to do things which makes life easy. Struggling with fixing code bugs is not our goal. We do not want to get into the minutia of Z-Wave protocol or intricacies of Java. We want to use it.


(Miika Jukka) #27

Here’s your payment option: Introducing BountySource for funded development

And please understand that this is peoples free time. I think that’s a quite big investment.

(Daan Lindeman) #28

we understand that it can be very annoying if things do not work. but you can not oblige a devoloper to offer support. luckily most do. It is already great that someone makes free code, unfortunately you can not oblige him to support that code for 5 years. I do think that it would be nice if a paid support project were to come out in the future. But it is very difficult because there are so many different developers

openhab now offers many possibilities with the downside that you have to figure out a lot yourself. if you do not want that and you’re want a suport desk, Openhab is not for you right now

(David Graeff) #29

Why are you exactly registered on this forum? There are plenty of paid options. openHAB plays in the same liga with domotics, home assistant and therealike and we want to be the more seamless, most user-friendly and easiest to extend solution and DIY friendly.

People like you are destructive for the community though, as you do not appear to help archiving this goal. If you have forgotten how to unregister, the community will gladly help you out.

One of the free time developers

(Kim Andersen) #30

This is the part of “open source” concept you really don´t get. That IS the game play of open source. You´re taking a chance, you relye on the developers as well as the community. If they dissapear, you´re on your own. This is what you get, take it or leave it. But dont slam the door behind you, just because you didn´t like the rules.
A small surprise to you, maybe - This problem can and DO happen with commercial projects as well. Only thing you´re guaranteed in life is - One day you will die, for sure!

However, I do agree with one of your statements:

This I can relate to.
The problem is, you dont know if they are continuing to support their code, until they no longer do.

I´m 100% possitive, that every developer starts of with full intention of getting everything done and running flawless, including fulltime (their avaiable fulltime) to support as well. But they are humans as well as WE are. Their life can change as well as ours can.
The only way to try secure developments, is for the openhab “team”, foundation, as well as the community to stay focus on this rather serious matter. If/when it becomes a problem they/someone need to search for a new developer to continue supporting the development. I believe thats what github and this community is best for. And to be honest, I think there are people allready having focus on this, specially someone like @Kai If not, then he should :wink:

(David Graeff) #31

I would introduce a label for bindings that would be one of “Stable, Staging, Unmaintained”.



(Rich Koshak) #32

I think you misunderstand. They are not asking to be paid. The people who help on this forum are not asking to be paid. And there isn’t a lack of support.

What we are saying is OH is not a company. NO ONE who contributes to the OH project in any way, shape, or form gets paid anything for their time and efforts. As a user to expect a helpdesk type support from an open source project is wholly unreasonable. As a user to get frustrated, lash out, and belittle and undervalue the time and effort that the volunteers of OH contribute is insulting and demoralizing.

OH is not a service provided to others. It is a project we are all building together.

I agree, that ONE developer’s response was probably a bit too much. But that is one developer out of dozens. We are a community, not a monolith. Everyone in this community is allowed to have their own opinions and express them in their own way. This sentiment is not the universal sentiment of all those who actively contribute to OH.

Then you need to use a far less capable commercial offering. Or you need to step up and contribute to the project to help achieve that goal. If all you want to do is take, bitch it isn’t good enough, and then leave after insulting everyone who is here to help then I’m sorry but we don’t have much use for you. That doesn’t help make OH any better.

Whether or not you as an end user uses OH or not is frankly not all that valuable to us. Your leaving or choosing a different home automation project doesn’t hurt us much. We haven’t lost any revenue since we don’t HAVE any revenue. In fact it is better for us as we have to spend less time supporting you and there is less stress on the servers. Someone who just wants to use OH without giving back is a net DRAIN on the community and on OH as a whole.

Don’t get me wrong, we are happy to help and support those who just want to use OH. But don’t expect us to feel bad when you come here, insult us, and then decide to leave. Obviously we do want you to use OH and to do so successfully, it’s why we do what we do. But if all you want to do is take without contributing, even in some small way like responding to a few questions in the forum, then yes, you are far better off using a commercial offering. At least they will get your money in exchange for supporting you. We get nothing but complaints and threats to leave.

Though based on the number of users who come to OH from ST I have to wonder how good that support really is.

Often the developers don’t know ahead of time either that they won’t be able to support the code. But the nice thing about open source is some other developer can pick the code up and continue developing or supporting it. It may take some time because you need to find someone who is capable (can program), willing (has time to contribute), and knowledgeable (understands the technology).

Short of posting on the forum or on a github issue I don’t know how easy that is to do. The vast majority of open source developers self identify and volunteer. They are not recruited. Though I don’t know what goes on with the core development team.

Coupled with a well defined set of criteria to determine why a label applies I can see this being quite useful. Though I was under the impression that stuff in the “Staging” stage were supposed to be deployed and tested through the IoT Marketplace first before being merged to the baseline.

(David Graeff) #33

The IoT marketplace is actually meant to be used for commercial bindings. If for example the company wants their products to be available for openHAB they would put their binding into the marketplace.

Open source, community beneficial bindings should go into the openHAB repo.

(Rich Koshak) #34

I understood that was the place for commercial bindings and/or bindings that can’t/wont conform to the Eclipse License. But I also thought it was a place to alpha test bindings before they moved to the OH baseline.

For example, if we had access to the MQTT 2 binding prior to it showing up in the list in PaperUI we probably could have avoided a good deal of grief. Having a pre-release, even if it doesn’t use IoT Marketplace, for HTTP 2 binding would be something to consider.

(SiHui) #35

I don’t agree and am glad I put a “like” to that post.

I’m feeling personally offended about those two sentences and am not willing to accept that from a user who is only taking and not giving to the community. Take a look at his history and you will know what I mean.

(David Graeff) #36

I mean the MQTT binding was basically finished with OH 2.4 and one bug still slipped in. But yeah that’s the plan, to allow “alpha” releases. I tend to call them “Staging” though, like in the Linux kernel.

(Hilbrand Bouwkamp) #37

I have 3 bindings in the market place: DSMR, TP-Link and Spotify. I use it both for new as well as for bug fixed versions. It makes it much easier for users to test them, (Except that if it is dependent on other features the user must install them manually, but thats a different problem).

(David Graeff) #38

That’s not optimal though. The maintainer situation is not scaling. If we would have another “staging” repository with fast merge cycles, where only the static code analyser vetos, people could test new bindings easily. In the UI we would mark those bindings “staging”.

And I like to introduce another mechanism. For every PR that is made, a jar file is generated. We know exactly where that is, but users don’t. How about adding the possibility to also install a PR jar. If users could test early, that would reduce the maintainers job so much.

(Rich Koshak) #39

It’s more than just about that one bug and perhaps this is better moved to another thread. But having a bit more access to it before it showed up in PaperUI would have allowed folks like Vincent, Dim, and myself to test it out, learn how it works, prepare transition tutorials, contribute to the docs, and help with other contributions that might have made the transition a little smoother. It may not have worked any better but it seems like we were all rushing and didn’t have time to think and prepare.

Just a thought.

For some bindings like zwave this would be awesome.

(Jürgen Baginski) #40

Even on thread that started with bitching on them those "this is what I did” people come up with ideas on “how to improve”.
It is fun and it does last!