I wish you all a Merry Christmas and want to thank you for the great work that all of you are doing and your support of openHAB - this project would be nothing without you!
I’d briefly like to take the chance to give you a short outlook on what my plans are for openHAB in (early) 2016 - I know that many of you wonder about the state of openHAB 2 and on which version to best spend efforts on.
The release 1.8 on January 11 will be the last one that comes with the core runtime and the designer - while the repo will switched to 1.9.0-SNAPSHOT, it will from then on only contain the code of the add-ons.
For users, this should not matter much - they can use the released runtime 1.8 and also deploy 1.9.0-SNAPSHOT add-ons to it, so this won’t mean any direct consequences.
For developers though, it is the moment to switch the development environment to the openHAB 2 runtime. I will try to have a suitable IDE ready by Jan 11, so that almost everything should work smoothly on it for development. But it also means that you are forced to then make sure that add-ons work smoothly on the openHAB 2 runtime and that any potential problems will have to be solved in the next months - so sorry in advance for any additional effort, but I am sure it will be worth it.
A few words on what openHAB 2 is about: It all was triggered when we decided to move the code of the openHAB runtime & designer over to the Eclipse Foundation two years ago. Since then, the official place where this code is maintained is the Eclipse SmartHome project. In general, this mainly meant a change in the namespace of the classes. In order to still be able to run existing add-ons on the runtime, I implemented the compatibility layer in openHAB 2. So in short, openHAB 2 is a distribution of Eclipse SmartHome with an extra bundle that maps the new old namespace to the new one - the result should behave more or less identical to an openHAB 1 runtime.
And this is my main priority for the moment - forget about any new features that Eclipse SmartHome resp. openHAB 2 brings - the goal is to have a smooth transition over from the runtime 1.8 to the runtime 2.0 - once we release it, the users should not be impacted much and they should be able to keep their existing setups (with items, sitemaps, rules, etc.).
Once additional change that I would like to mention is the move to Karaf, which I am currently pushing. This will bring quite some goodies, especially it allows to define proper dependencies between add-ons - with it, it is e.g. not necessary anymore to know that a certain binding requires a specific transport bundle etc. Instead, it will nicely install whatever is required and we can even have UIs for that like
It should also build a good foundation for a future update mechanism.
Unfortunately, Karaf is in some respect more strict, so probems pop up in add-ons which are bugs that always existed, but only surface when being used on Karaf - this is also the main reason why I haven’t come up with a 2.0 beta release yet as I want this to work smoothly first.
Besides the efforts for Karaf, I am also working on building a proper setup for building the distribution. openHAB 2 is not a “single repo” project anymore, but the distribution is rather an aggregation of features from different repositories: From Eclipse SmartHome, from openHAB 2 (core, like the compatibility layer), from openHAB 1 add-ons and openHAB 2 add-ons and possibly further repositories in future. I hope to have the basic structures for this ready by Jan 11 as well.
Last but not least, I will initiate an organisational change in the coming weeks - the creation of a charity organisation (openHAB Foundation). I will reach out to all volunteers that want to actively participate in this soon, so if you are willing to spend some of your spare time on helping organizing and supporting the project, contact me through a PM (thanks to all that have already done so)!
While this post won’t answer all your questions, I hope that it gives you a good sense of direction where we are heading to. I count on your help and support and hope that I will be able to set a good frame to get started for everyone by Jan 11, so stay tuned!
Best regards and Merry Christmas to all of you!