A seemingly well-worn topic but the z-wave firmware update button's purpose is not free from doubt

TLDR: Links to supporting documentation would be greatly improved if they pointed to specific relevant information (and the Hubitat Documentation - Homepage is not always the most relevant or helpful location).

Onward with the Journey!!!
I have less than 10 z-wave devices and I've never had much issue with them once I got them included and setup. But I've got one device that is being cranky currently so I went fumbling through the Settings to System Settings to Z-Wave Detail. Long story short I saw the Firmware Update button at the top of the Z-Wave Detail page and had no idea what firmware it was referring to. With no description but some context clues I hit the Firmware Update button. And without any further information it just started transferring firmware from some undisclosed location to some undisclosed device. Had kind of expected some information at least once I hit the Firmware Update button instead I just got a little worried about whether I was about to destroy my Z-Wave mesh.
So I went the logical route and hit the question mark symbol on the page and was taken to supporting documents that provided no additional information. This is the link. It goes to the Hubitat Documentation - Homepage. Less than ideal in my opinion.
I looked at the options from the sidebar and the only thing that seemed to lead to a logical path was the Z-Wave Manual. That is a long page but I read it all looking for hints to help me fix my errant z-wave device and also to figure out if I had just released the Kraken on my C-7.
Then to the community where I found this discussion that seemed to indicate UI improvements were going to happen but the thread was closed as the discussion had ended long ago.
More searching though posts from '20 (which is prehistoric in Hubitat time if you get where I'm coming from) until I found this.
and somehow amongst that discussion I found what I needed - which is also what the Z-Wave Details "?" should be pointing to IMHO.
This page finally provided an extremely helpful written explanation that answered every one of the questions swirling around in my brain.

Firmware Update (D) - Appears if optional hub Z-Wave radio firmware update is available. This button will not appear if Z-Wave radio firmware is currently up to date. Note that this is hub radio firmware only; to update device firmware, use the Device Firmware Updater app (or another method the manufacturer recommends).

I would really appreciate if a decision is made to leave something like this spartan "Firmware Update" button, - and someone goes through the effort to fill in the gaps left by such a head scratcher of a button - then care is taken to make that written description obvious and readily apparent. One way to accomplish that could be to provide a link directly to the written description but I'm sure there are other strategies that could also be employed. :man_shrugging:

To a small degree I agree with you but that button being on the z-wave details page has been known about since Though z-wave firmware updates have been released the same way in the past.

Yes, good point. For me almost 5 years in, not needed, but we need to assist our new users as much as possible, so we don't wind up like Wink :wink: :wink:


This is what the "Documentation" link in the footer will do (and you'll see that on this page, it takes you directly to the Z-Wave Details doc). A decision was made to have "?" in the header take you to the docs homepage no matter where you are in the UI.

Some apps also have a blue "?" icon towards the top that takes you to specific documentation for that app (including some built-in UI pages that use an app as their front-end, e.g., some parts of Settings), which should also be context-sensitive.

So, there are three possibilities here. Sounds you normally want the blue "?" or the "Documentation" link in the footer. I don't know all the discussion that went into why each is the way it is, but that is how it is at the moment. :slight_smile:

They did happen; the "Update Firmware" button is, as requested in that topic, now visible only when the radio firmware is not already on the latest version.

You know I saw that Optional Z-Wave firmware note but I never had a clue how to "opt" to get it. :smile:
I guess that's why I still had the mysterious Firmware Update button...

Although this specific issue may just be transitory or impact a small percentage of users, I do believe that newcomers from other platforms or those completely new to home automation would benefit more from the efforts put into the new documentation repository if they can easily find relevant information specific to their issue right from the page they're on. I think that is what Hubitat is attempting to do with the new documentation at least to a certain degree - maybe...

I'm close enough to a newcomer to remember how empowering it was/is to locate really good information that is on point to build a bit of baseline knowledge to either figure it out or at least to more confidently reach out for assistance here in the community. Alternatively, when eyes are glazed over trying to figure out why something won't work and the links found are not instructive to the issue it can cause frustration and potentially could cause hands to be thrown up in defeat.

My perspective likely isn't the same as that of the plurality of members here so I'm just trying to provide some feedback. That's all it is. Maybe it's not even worth a conversation. idk.

Happy Friday
Its Friday Dancing GIF by Holly Logan

1 Like

I do think the wording should say Z-Wave Firmware Update or similar. But honestly we've been here so long we take it for granted when new users come along.. :stuck_out_tongue: I did add it to my gotcha post a bit back... :slight_smile:

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.