OpenHab Marketing is Lacking

The best would be a little set of fake devices placed on a webpage allowing some sort of interaction. So you could trigger your motion sensor by clicking it, having a “HUE light” that shows how it is dimmed up and down and changes colors, … Then you could open it in a parallel browser window to interact.

I use frontail in a webframe on a page in Main UI to have it available on every terminal in the house in case something does not work as expected.

Why would Chapter 1 differ from one show case to another? Currently this sounds like 80% what I am working on.
Which is not a bad thing,… Gives us the option to save work if it makes sense.

I think its wrong focusing on windows based openHAB.
Two reasons:

  1. People are moving away from PC´s and towards mobile devices, smartphones, tablets etc. Alot of “smart home” devices comes with smartphone app today.

  2. Windows based PC´s are expencive to have running 24/7. They use quite alot of power. And sometimes they´re even noisy.

The dilemma is, most people know Windows alot better than Rpi/NAS devices or simular. So it may take a huge job to convince them to use another platform. Lots of them will give up long before you even would succeed. They´re scary of an Rpi… Its a green plate with “something” soldered to it! This is where to convince them to buy a cover/case as well. But they will wonder… Where the heck is the cover… Their window PC came with a cover/case just fine. Now I just want to run a smarthome, and I´m about to build my own computer…

For none techinal people, this is an absolute no-go. Now matter how well the smart system (platform) is.

Now try and convince the same people to buy an expecive NAS :slight_smile:

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As there are different platforms to run OH, different showcases should use different platforms just to cover the whole bandwidth. With the matrix of defined content per chapter i proposed, a user can then combine from several showcases his or her personal system. And with every additional showcase following this approach more well described varieties can be used.

First there may be (should be) a showcase based on openHABian and z-wave, e.g. With the next showcase based on a pure Debian and zigbee you can already follow different ways to score the goal of the described use cases, like taking openHABian from the first showcase and combine it with zigbee to get to the necessary items you need to implement the use case described in the first showcase by writing rules and designing a GUI for it.

I do not focus on windows at all! Please read carefully. This was just one example of a showcase to demonstrate how they would look like, following the approach of chapters with a defined content and “Interfaces”, so that a user can combine a platform described in one showcase with a technology used in another showcase to implement a use case from a third showcase.

So, here for you another example, you might like more:

The story (use case):

Peter built his PCs by himself since he was 16. He does not mind plugging parts together although he always avoided to solder something. He bought a Raspberry Pi last year he installed in a nice case, now standing in his living room, used as a media server for his not so smart TV. He already has some rollershutters automated via Homematic. To save energy he loved to close the rollershutters as soon as it gets dark, but hates it to have them closed if he has a party with friends.

He thinks about buying a second Raspberry Pi do integrate entries from his Google calendar to the rules for the rollershutters.

What you need

Raspberry Pi, SD-card, case and power supply
Homematic CCU with already attached rollershutters
Google account

Chapter 1: Installing openHABian on a Raspberry Pi

Defining concrete showcases will need some time and effort, so please noone should take any example as “the most important and first to write showcase” to criticize because of the choosen platform, the used technology or the use case to realize. Therefore I will not answer any critics on Windows, Debian, openHABian or z-wave, zigbee, Homematic, …

This is great! I can add:

  • I love the old Sitemap / basicui. I have never been good with graphics / eyecandy stuff. I just want something simple, quick and easy for UI building and the old Sitemap is perfect for it. I can very quickly build my phone / web interface, and it’s also file-based
  • I love the fact that I can use Visual Studio Code to fully manage all my my openhab settings, rules, items, things, persistence, etc. and not forced to use UI stuff to manage them. Using VS Code is just such a joy.
  • No telemetry of any kind

@oliver2 not sure if these are already on the list.

I would suggest that more openhab folks join r/homeautomation - it’s a decently busy area but it’s practically all home assistant (well, just about every home automation groups / forums out there are all about home assistant).

I know it was just an example. Im was trying to state, why windows can become a problem in a marketing campaign.

And its a dilemma, cause I have no good/better options to suggest, since they all require somekind of knowleged, which is beyond what most users knows.

Which goes back to: our target users aren’t the average people.
Our target users are geeks who love tinkering with technology.

The average person won’t obtain and setup a dedicated computer (be it Windows, rpi, linux) dedicated to running a home automation system 24/7.

Unless it’s a blingy / flashy “turnkey” black box solution like Google Home / Nest, Alexa, etc. where you’d plug it in and set it up with a guidance from a phone app and say “Discover my devices!”. This is “high tech” enough for the average person. In fact, someone who does this would already be thought of as a “geek” by the society


I think that used to be our target user in the past.
OpenHAB made so many progress that we can easily address less experienced users.

We’re not quite there yet. As @John_Siemon said above, why not market OH to the more technical people who can comfortably use openHAB now. Right now these people may not have even looked at openHAB either because they haven’t heard of it, or comparison sites out there have made OH sound so unfairly inferior that they haven’t bothered checking us out.

Sorry, I disagree. This even reinforces our situation/problem that openHAB is perceived as a home automation solution for geeks and nerds and will make it even more difficult for us to get out of that niche in the (near) future.

One approach that has worked well for me in the past (and not so well for others so be forewarned) is to create a new thread in the Development: Docs section of the forum for the first rough draft of what ever you are working on. You can request and I or one of the other moderators can convert the first post into a wiki so more than one person can edit it, though in practice that rarely happens.

You can start with a post and an outline and fill it out as you go. You’ll almost certainly get feed back.

You don’t really need a Thing for that though. You can achieve that with just Items. The Thing’s purpose is just to show how to connect the Channels to Items.

A third reason is the overall experience on Windows is not as good as Linux when it comes to installation, upgrades, etc.

There should be no “special” focus on Windows :slight_smile: for sure, but to be honest, energy consumption is comparable when it comes to Windows vs. GNU/Linux. There are many capable hardware platforms out there, may it be a NUC or a ZimaBoard, and most of power consumption is about the hardware anyway.

Windows gets its points because people are used to Windows.
Most unexperienced users today think there would be a benefit from a GUI like the Windows GUI (“Where is the GUI in openHABian? How to maintain openHAB if there is no GUI?”)
So, for a really low entry barrier, Windows may be appropriate, although most of these users will suffer even to get Windows up and running in the first place. But the computer is already setup to run Windows, that’s the point.

One power of openHAB is, it can be run under Windows, MacOS, GNU/Linux, FreeBSD… you can use a big machine, a Raspberry Pi, a virtual machine, a docker container, even a NAS will be suitable.
So a more or less experienced user could use hardware which he is used to, at least as a starting point.

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For Windows, the target hardware is an old laptop. Anybody who uses Windoz has a couple laying around :roll_eyes: :rofl: :joy:

Listen to Rich, this works, that is how we developed the blockly reference docs

Oliver… Jim is right, but…

This is true
We don’t want to position ourselves into that niche. I propose a compromise. How about we develop the marketing with the idea that even a less tech minded person can handle this but we promote it in more techy outlets first. Like Jim continues

I worked in IT for 30 years and I have been home automation for probably 20 years.
I have used MisterHouse ,domotica and Openhab and have used rfxcom, X10 (which I don’t use now). I am phsing out wifi devices mainly because Tuya killed the fun of that idea and am going Zigbee using Zigbee2mqtt and have never used the Zigbee Openhab binding.

Openhab is the best I have used but when I first started using it back in OH2.5 even I found it hard to work out. I eventually found a YouTube video in German that showed my how to do the thing and channel and item. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, well a video is worth a million words in my opinion.

My Openhab system is nothing fancy and I have a few rules all in JavaScript (ported over to the latest version) and I still don’t know how to read the JavaScript manuals that people refer to me to use. EG Overview (openHAB Core 4.1.0-SNAPSHOT API)
No idea what I am looking at.

All I need is a dumbed down example to work on and I am good to go.
The examples here Home - Documentation were good enough for what I needed.

P.S I have looked at Home Assistant and I cannot understand why it is so popular as the YAML stuff would do my head in and I do admit I didn’t spend too much time looking at it because who wants to check the configuration files after every change and then have to reload everything? Not me that’s for sure. I do look at their examples of how to set up devices so I can do the same in OpenHab and that has come in handy.

Am I the target audience for Openhab?

Anyway that is my 2 cents worth.


I feel like you are our sort of typical marketing target

smart techie guy

The ‘outgrowers’
That is our target

Hue app isn’t exactly childen’s play, getting it all set up, the right rooms, scenes, … then eventually, they ‘outgrow’ it, they want true automation. HA looks good at first but… eventually they ‘outgrow’ it


I have 8 laptops, (only 2 are running), and a desktop platform, (desktop is running when I feel like playing a game, which is very rare since a coupple of years now… Hmm, its outdated and need exchange/upgrade I guess :rofl:).

The 6 laptops not running, havnt been turned on in years, and I have got idea about their status.