What's In A Name?

So I got some things working in OpenHAB 2.1 and I’m tinkering…

My question is when I’m naming things. There’s lots of information on the programming rules side, but I’m looking toward the simplistic side of the GUI. Does it matter if I name my cell phone via some standard naming convention, or can I just name it “My Cell Phone”?

It seems like OpenHAB gives it a unique name on the backend all by itself, so all I’m tinkering with is the label? I was just wondering if there were any caveats now that I pulled in a bunch of stuff?


Hey @wormuths,
That might clear things up a bit:



It didn’t… LOL

My dilemma is where are these names? I’ve never had any opportunity to create a “GF_Living_Room_Lamp” name? I am sitting in Paper UI and it seems what I’m changing is the label, not the name.

Yeah, that’s the label. Sounds like you have Simple Mode turned on, and you have allowed OH to create your Items for you.

I have Simple Mode turned off and manually add/remove/change my Items in items files (I migrated from OH1). Item names cannot be changed if created automatically or through PaperUI. You will need to delete them and recreate with your preferred names. A forum search turned this up:

Manually configured Items can be modified by changing the items file. It is best to do this when OH is offline.


Yeah, that’s what I wanted to verify.

But turning off simple mode only allows me to name the LINK. It had no effect on the default name created in Paper UI. I’m not worried about the names and link names at this point. Paper UI is essentially creating location tabs (rooms), and I want to give things reasonable names within those locations.

I’ll continue branching out from there, although I imagine writing rules would be harder like this. From what I see happening, it would seem the ultimate goal would be to make GUI’s for automation rules down the road… If that happens, I think naming conventions would be less important…

One step at a time… For what it’s worth, as a newbie, following the instructions led me to choose the standard package, and Paper UI, and turning on simple mode, etc… I’m just following along and asking when it isn’t clear. It’s pretty cool, though.


After turning it off, you will need to delete the Items and create new ones, either in PaperUI or an items file. If the former, you should be able to choose the name at creation. If the latter, then you can change the name as needed, but will need to get the channel info from the Thing to configure the item. Pick one, or try both and see which route works best for you. Either way, you should be able to quickly wipe out all your items by running smarthome:items clear in Karaf.

Simple Mode will be a good option for people who want to do all their configuration in a UI, and when the new rules engine is ready. I have no idea what state it is in (PaperUI under Misc), as I am happy to write my rules, which would be very difficult to do without the ability to specify the names of the items.

Keep it up! Ask questions! The demo has some items files that you can check out and see them in action. It doesn’t take much to stand up a second instance and run the demo. Just shutdown your existing one first.