I use to get excited every time I read of improvements and new functions on OpenHAB. However, the NGRE fell short of my expectations. Don’t take me wrong, I still congratulate you all for all the hard work and dedication to make this system better and strongly believe it is one of the best home automation systems out there. Therefore, this is more like a constructive feedback in order to improve the system.
As a power-user, I prefer to use JSR233 for my rules as it is very flexible and powerful; because of this, I never used Paper UI to create rules.
However, before using OpenHAB, I was using other tools to do some “basic” automation with my lights, which was the only smart appliances I owned at the time.
The reasons why I’m not so excited about NGRE are:
- It’s still a text interface
- It’s quite inflexible (only IF - THEN structure)
I believe we should progress towards a more flexible, powerful, fully graphical user interface, which allows drag-and-drop, nested conditions, loops, etc. Then I believe the term “Next Generation Rule Engine” will be more appropriate.
I think those who used Stringify (and cursed when it was shutdown) will understand what I’m talking about. Stringify had an infinite matrix where we could drag-and-drop items and connect them together to configure triggers, actions, etc.
I’ve never seen a better user-friendly rule engine. Unfortunately since it was purchased by a competitor and shutdown, only images can be found on the web.
A second option is Zapier, which is actually a system to interconnect web apps and automate events.
I would encourage the developers of the NGRE to check these 2 apps as it might provide some ideas for future improvements.