OpenHab Marketing is Lacking

We did in corporation with bangertech and we will find a solution to get more out….

But it is not only producing videos, we need volunteers with ideas and preparing the content.

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OK… I’ve seriously clicked past that page thousands of times to get to the forum and never noticed that is a live demo server!!!

I realize it says ‘Try me!’ plastered across the top but… is there anyway to make it more obvious that it is a live demo?

And yes it could (and should) be enhanced but it is still AWESOME!!!

Maybe when you click on it, a floorplan view pops up beside it and responds to stuff you do in the phone interface

@seime once pointed me to Google trends. Looks like intensity of search calls related to openHAB is at the same level as in 2014:

[source: google trends openhab]

I intentionally do not compare it to anything else, in order to see scale of change for openHAB itself. Clearly there is some up around release dates, and downs once everything is set. It is evident that trend line went down from its peak in 2018. Lowest points in 2021, 2022 and 2023 are smaller then in preceding year.
It could be that our software is so good that nobody needs to search it, but after putting other solutions in the graph it is clear that interest is fading away from openHAB towards them.

The end score is 3:83 (27x times) for HA.

This is sooo depressing… :frowning:

I only saw this today, as I use a direct link to the forum. Very nice…

It’s because just about any blog / articles out there that one can google is very much biased towards HA and for sure, obviously written by HA users. Obviously an OH user wouldn’t be recommending HA over OH.

So as a new user just doing some “research”, you’d end up choosing HA because every article you read say that HA is the better one, why would you bother with OH.

It’s kinda the same as to why Python is so popular even though, well…

We need more articles from the perspective of OH users, explaining why they love OH.

I’m not a writer, I don’t even have a personal web site of my own, so unfortunately I can’t help much with this :frowning:

When I first started to look into home automation back in 2018, I came across a youtube video that recommended openhab. But even then, I started by trying out Home Assistant and honestly found openhab a bit too hard. My memory could be wrong, but as I remember it, with HomeAssistant, my 2 pitiful “smart” devices were instantly discovered and displayed on the front page of home assistant, automatically, without my having to set up or “add” anything. I had absolutely no idea back then but at least with HA I could start “playing” with something. So I tried to stick to it for a while until eventually I found how extremely annoying Home Assistant was and how extremely limiting it was. It is night and day compared to what can be done with openHAB despite back then having to use RulesDSL. Today with modern JavaScript and the elegant JRuby, plus MainUI, I’d say openHAB is in a much better position to gain new users, so it’s back to marketing.

Also maybe the moral of the story is to turn on autodiscovery and auto add everything, not just to inbox, but obnoxiously create Things / items as a default, just so first timers can immediately have a play with their devices. That should pique their interest to learn more. Then have a “Wipe everything out, disable auto creation, and start afresh” button LOL.

Or maybe call that “Beginner mode” or something and offer to turn that on during “first-time installation wizard”

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That is what I’m thinking, a wizard that can be clicked right by for expert users and never pop up again. But for a first timer, it leads you thru the process and forces you to create a ‘Thing’ and then attach an ‘Item’ to your first Thing using ‘Channels’. Then it pops up a card in UI and click, your $50 smart bulb turns on and off!
The point though is you don’t make it past go without the nomenclature being made completely obvious. You immediately know a ‘Thing’ is my $50 smart bulb. An Item, the light switch, is hooked up to my $50 smart bulb ‘Thing’ using a ‘Channel’. And all this works because I installed a ‘Binding’.

Something like this gives you almost what you describe here

But only, it is openHAB! And from day one, you realize bindings hook my devices to openHAB. Things are then created using the binding. Channels of the Thing are used to hooked Items like a switch to the Thing.

My question is to Yannick and UI guys. Is there some functionality that could be used to create a wizard that pops up for first time users? What if it could be contributed to like the help docs? What if it could have a framework where binding developers could create wizards for their own bindings? (or have a helper create and maintain)
Of course, it would need to be completely permanently dismissed and easily by-pasted for expert users

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Guys, there are quite a lot of nice and beautiful ideas, especially for beginners.
But as always, we need somebody volunteering to contribute thos additions.
I am sure, if there would be a PR for those ideas, or even multiple parts, maintainers would love to review those to get it merged.
As said, we need developers for those ideas…

Even for new youtube videos, please post your idea and how you could help creating the video and we will see if we can have it produced…

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It is worth noting that 1) This is pretty much exactly what the Getting Started tutorial in the docs does, and 2) that tutorial is available as a direct link on the initial Overview page after installation is complete.

Perhaps the simplest place to begin in this regard is a PR that updates this starting page to make the tutorial link more prominent with a polite suggestion that a First user is going to get almost nowhere by just poking around but really should go through the Getting started tutorial.

Converting that getting started tutorial to an interactive wizard is huge leap in complexity, particularly (as always pointed out at this stage in these discussions) given the varied nature of new Users’ starting technology.


A bit off-topic, but probably the first we would need to do is extract UPnP/mDNS discovery services from the bindings, so we could discover devices before installing any bindings. The UI could then propose to auto-install relevant bindings for discovered devices. I still remember this idea because it would be so neat - last mentioned by @Kai here:


There’s a HUGE difference between reading a tutorial (i.e. manual) vs having it done for you, ready to be clicked and played with.


Yes, but… if I were a developer and looked at the Google Explore graphs, I’d probably donate my time to HA instead of OH. I didn’t say it in my “I am depressed” post… but this graph alone got me thinking what the future of OH might look like. I am in the process of owner-building a house, where cabling for automation is very soon on the schedule, making me now re-evaluate my approach with OH, to at least ensure, it is not OH specific.

When one looks at the Google graphs, by selecting ‘YouTube’ instead of 'web search, then selects China, the writing is on the wall. Given the hardware coming from China, these guys don’t even check for OH on YouTube at all. OH has not one search in the Philippines.

Also checking out the YouTube videos for "best home automation system in , OH is not mentioned, not even under ‘other’ or ‘alternatives’.

So users telling stories on this forum, and there are quite some nice and good ones, won’t matter until YT videos are being created. Creation of these videos can be sponsored, by engaging great YouTubers in this space.

I won’t do a runner, away from OH, (and I hate to spell it out), but this discussion has made me cognisant that I might be dealing with a fading product. I might be overreacting; but at 66 years of age, I have to think ahead, in terms of what I might be facing in, say, ten years, when I may have to redo my home automation system with something new I may no longer grasp (due to e.g., mental deterioration).


As much as I hate it, I tend to agree with this statement. A lot of people today (I think) use YouTube or Instagram… To some, it’s a lot easier than poring through documentations.

This is always wise to do. In 10 years who knows what it will all look like.

I’m afraid I agree with this too. I have encountered this several times through the years that the technically superior and the more elegant solution isn’t always the one surviving and thriving.

It's the one with the most users that will eventually thrive. It’s often the one that’s super dumb and annoying to me that became the major defacto and my chosen one ended up going extinct (in the case of commercial products) or remain in obscurity. I can give some concrete examples

Freebsd vs Linux
Hsphere vs cPanel
Ruby vs python
*nix vs Windows

Note this is obviously subjective

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Betamax vs. VHS
Amiga vs. PC


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If we take into account release date of OH 3, its new UI and trendline it is clear that it didn’t make a significant change. We can look for reasons outside or inside of own community and work. But clearly, that link and its labelling didn’t make, and likely will not make, any difference.
I acknowledge that documentation is much better now than it was several years ago. I have no doubts that it helps. It is under continuous improvement, however since others improve faster and make more significant moves, we loose.

It still might be ok too loose on certain fields. For example, if we set ourselves goals which are not about attracting the largest pool of people but i.e. chase technical or technology excellence, then definition of success is in our hands. :wink: And if you look at openhab foundation goal - it seems to be a case. Its not about making openHAB winning solution, but about building awareness of possibilities in era of smart home and promotion of free software idea.


So here we are again, all developers (contributors) and even the maintainers are spending there free time on openHAB, not because they get paid, no, cause they love it.

We started with somme really great videos for openHAB 4 which have been publishe on our youtube channel. One reason for not having more of those s nobody came up with a good idea for further videos. If you have an idea, please publish it here and we will see what is possible.

So why not writing blog posts for such good stories to have them published on our website ?

I won’t call openHAB a fading product

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Exactly :+1:

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OpenHAB is going nowhere guys. This has been the same trend for years now. Every update we get new users, then some stability, then more users.
Commenters comparing google trends between different applications fail to see that this isn’t a competition. Every win for home assistant is a win for us. The home assistant mqtt auto discovery. The esphome integration. Let’s wait and see if they get the matter server going too. So you should applaud home assistant victories because we are also benefiting. What we should be doing more is contributing as a community, there we could do well to improve - not the devs, but the community members

Home assistant has their own objectives and openHAB does too, but is on a different path. Nothing stops you from having both solutions up and benefiting from both. This isn’t an either or kind of situation.
I’m also undergoing a full house remodeling (full new electrical circuit breaker box, full new wiring, new network cabling, etc) and there is absolutely nothing stopping me from using openHAB or home assistant, or both together. @Max_G , saying that your remodel brings you to a situation where you need to “pick” between two solutions, that talk is fear mongering. This community is primarily (in my view) a highly capable troubleshooting community, and by god we solve problems.
So while the conversation is actually quite good, I don’t think we need to raise any Pickforks or to say that openHAB is dying :smiley:

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Clap. This is a great answer. This is the right mentality. This is why having options is important, because you have different options for growth :slight_smile:

Edit: oops sorry for the two posts in a row, thought someone had replied already :frowning:

Having more articles on is good but, absolutely not the same as having many many different sites write about it. The latter, tells the searcher that this product has the validation of many others.

I think this is complacency. Indeed openHAB is not dying today, and may never really die because it’s an open source project, so nobody is going to shut it down. But a decline means you’re either losing developers (illness, death, moved on, etc) or simply don’t gain more developers who can help contribute or introduce new ideas etc. I know throughout the years we have lost several developers and hopefully also gained some new ones. Right now, if we were to lose j-n-k, wborn, yannick, florian, etc. it would be a huge blow to openHAB.


Of course, but still needs someone to do the writing…
And this is the reason why we always send the news about a new release to the famous german computer magazine c’t… If you have other media in mind or have contacts, please feel free to share …