New Forum Categories Discussion

Hello @staff, @maintainers, and everyone else,
in the near future the openHAB 2 category here in the forum will get merged with the rest of the forum. This and the fact that some other categories might be needed by you or the community are the reason for this thread.

Merge of the openHAB 2 category

openHAB 2 is now the production system of many users. Despite the special category for openHAB 2 many OH2 related topics are discussed outside, e.g. in the Beginners category. With the soon to be released openHAB 2.0 final, this category will be removed and postings will be moved to suited categories. The forum will become “openHAB 2 default” from this point on.

An open question is the way how openHAB 1.x related questions will be managed. We could provide yet another special category for these posting or we could ask users to explicitly mention openHAB 1.x in their postings or preferably as tag while using the fitting category (like “Rules&Scripts”)

Setup, Configuration and Use

  • Binding Usage - One more category for questions specifically related to binding usage, problems with item definition and such. Difference to the Bindings main category: There new bindings or enhancements should be discussed

Tutorial & Examples

“Tutorials & Examples” is currently a subcategory of “Setup, Configuration and Use”. I would like to upgrade it to it’s own main category out of three reason:

  • I believe it to be quite important and interesting place for all experience levels of users
  • The category hosts threads with solutions, rather than questions
  • I would like to create subcategories

Subcategories and other Considerations:

  • The main category will be the home for normal tutorials and examples about general aspects (e.g. Grafana+Influxdb)
  • Automation examples (combinations of items+rules+sitemaps+…)
    • Binding usage: tags can be used for that
    • 3rd Party Integration - tags
  • Scripts and Rules examples (focused on the technical possibilities of automation rather than the practical application examples)
  • HABPanel, see comment by @ysc
  • “Scriptable Automation” examples - too early but should receive it’s own category
  • openHAB Stories - name shamelessly stolen from Unifi Stories


openHABian doesn’t need it’s own subcategory. The existing thread will stay the discussion thread for changed to openHABian, openHABian related questions are often actually related to Configuration and Usage, Bindings etc. no category is needed for that. The openhabian tag can be used in this case.

Topic Templates

… should be introduced in some categories. See New Forum Categories Discussion

… etc.

If you have any ideas for or experiences with missing categories, let us know.

1 Like

I think providing a tag would get more users to actually use it than asking users to reference the version in their post. And even then there will be probably the majority of postings where you will have to guess based on provided information or having to ask. :frowning:

I don’t think there is a good answer to this problem.

Honestly I’ve always been a bit fuzzy on where the dividing line between the two is. Intuitively I would expect the Hardware category to talk more about server hardware and devices and less about OS installation and configuration. But my intuition often bears little resemblance to the world.

I strongly support this move.

What subcategories are you thinking? A few off the top of my head:

  • 3rd Party Integration - articles about how to integrate with a 3rd party’s API
  • Rules Examples - articles showing how to work around the weirdness of the Rule’s DSL, Design patterns, etc.
  • JSR233? - I know it isn’t ready for OH 2 yet but I suspect even as the new Rules engine matures that JSR233 will still be used. Does that warrant its own category?
  • Binding Usage - examples of how to use certain bindings. For example, the new Exec binding is causing a lot of people some consternation with its split into separate channels. Though there is already an Add-ons top level category so don’t know if this fits.
  • Debugging and Troubleshooting - don’t know if this warrants its own category. It also somewhat implies it is a place to post questions rather than solutions so perhaps it would be best to avoid this as a category.

NOTE: My “server” died yesterday with a failed SSD and now I get to suffer the fate of those who do not practice what I preach, no recent backups. I’ll be mostly offline for the next week or so rebuilding that server and won’t be on the forum much.

1 Like

Side note: While we are at it, I’d like to introduce Topic Templates for certain categories to guide users and show them a few formatting possibilities like

code fences

Second note: The following article(s) are currently hard to put into any category:

Providing a tag would be an option. I would encourage users to use it and moderators to add it when needed. We both agree that there shouldn’t be a openHAB 1.x category because of the reasons mentioned.

I’m not sure either. Maybe someone else has an idea…

Nice list. I would actually be careful to not create too many sub-categories. “Binding Usage” and “Rules” might for example often overlap. The rest of your mentioned sub-categories sounds good. I would add:

  • Next-Gen Rules Engine (not final name)
  • HABPanel (? @ysc)
1 Like

Yes yes yes! I love it! If we can provide a bit of a hint for users to actually provide needed information (OH version, OS, copy of their Items definitions, configs or rules if relevant, etc) we wouldn’t have to play 20 Questions all the time with the “Its broken, can you fix it?” posts with no other information.

Yes, definitely, that’s something that could be considered at some point for the more advanced topics (AngularJS templates and custom widgets and so on); tough right now I feel there isn’t enough material to justify a dedicated “tutorial” category - the existing Addons > HABPanel category seems to be just fine for the community now, perhaps a couple selected threads could be stickied but that’s all. I’m willing to hear other opinions on this though.

I actually disagree. I see a new HABPanel tutorial or someone showing off something cool about once a week. I think there is plenty of content to justify a category.

Tutorial may be too strong of a word but I would exit any “I made this and this is how I did it” posting would fit.

I’ve seen lots of those. They don’t have to be advanced.

Everyone, I’ve updated the first posting.

1 Like

Thanks @ThomDietrich, it is indeed time to restructure the categories now!

So what would be the very first step, we all agree on?

  • remove (I’ll have to check what happens with existing posts) the “openHAB 2” category
  • Move Tutorials & Examples to the first level

As a second step, we can then go for creating tutorial sub-categories and topic templates.

Shall I go for step 1?

If nobody has any arguments against that, Yes I’d say let’s go for step 1. I would still like to hear more ideas from others. My initial post can’t be complete…

I’d expect (surely hope) we can mass-move threads to another category. In that case I’d move all openHAB 2 threads into Configuration&Usage. the subcategories could just be moved as well (I suggested to create a Binding Usage category anyhow…)

Take your time with step two, I do not have the time to sort through existing threads the next few days. It’s the same for Topic Templates.

Ok, just did this. I moved the openhab 2 categories to “Setup/Configuration” resp. “Add-ons” (where it was a better fit). Identical sub-categories (“bindings”) have been merged.
Linkts to topics should not be broken through this as the links do not include the categories. Only links to categories themselves will now result in a 404, but I think we hardly use such links.

1 Like

Hey Kai,
The Tutorials&Examples section is growing quite nicely. Let’s talk about subcategories.

  • “Solutions” or “Automation Examples” (Concrete combinations of items+rules+sitemaps+…, can be binding or device specific: tagging)
  • Scriptable Automation Examples/Next-Gen Rules Examples (does it have a final name yet?)
  • “HAPBPanel Examples”, as discussed with @ysc
  • openHAB Stories - alternative: “openHAB Showcase” (Plain presentation of (hardware) solutions in the form of a few pictures without the necessity for further explanation. Also a place for “Show your sitemap”. Looking at Unifi Stories I see real potential in this category)

The main category will stay home to more general topics, e.g. Getting started tutorials, Design Patterns, InfluxDB+Grafana etc. The goal shouldn’t be to have articles scattered around dozens of categories. I hope I have covered all “Tutorials&Examples” aspects with the above.

Please be aware that I’ve deliberately added “Examples” to some category names. While inside an article you only see the name of the subcategory it was posted in. A subcategory named “HABPanel” would be misleading in this case.

@maintainers wdyt?

1 Like

Sounds good to me, go for it!
Wrt “Scriptible Automation”, maybe don’t create that category just yet. but rather wait for being in place as this will change a lot wrt available features.

:thumbsup: fine with me.

Sadly no other voices regarding this topic but that probably mean that everyone is thrilled about the idea :blush: Creating these categories is “Kai grade access level” I’m not authorized for. Take your time :smiley:

Created! Do you want to move existing topics in there now? If so, do you have the rights to do so?

I can do that topic by topic. Thank you!