An app driver website

I'm not so sure it should be written off so quickly. Ideas have been exchanged and questions presented. Doesn't mean it's not doable, just may take some more thought to keep things current or relevant.

I can see why "hobbyist" devs don't want to be subjected to a rating system. Get a few people that don't understand how the apps work,or don't take the time to work with the dev or community to figure it out and it won't be long before a good dev gets completly trashed for no reason. Think about the times you have seen a one or two star rating. How often is it really obvious that who ever wrote it had no clue what they were doing and trashed the subject as a result. Maybe using update dates may be an option? Just spit balling. It's an intriguing idea, worthy of discussing further.

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I don’t see the relevance. What does a Hubitat developer not wishing to participate in a rating system have to do with your girlfriend learning to use her Hubitat hub?

There’s plenty of 5-star products on Amazon boosted by paid-for reviews. Conversely, I’ve purchased unrated products that have worked out just fine.

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Good talk.

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The idea is solid and needed. There just needs to be controls in place to make sure the dev's have control on how they are represented.

If this was a commercial endeavor, then yes, a rating system and/or reviews would probably be relevant. But as we can all see from using sites like Amazon/Etsy. It only takes one person to ruin a products reputation. Whether the rating is true or not. As a hobbyist, non-professional, self-taught developer, I'm just not willing to put up with that kind of scrutiny.

That's reason enough to go at it and the main reason I write code.

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I think you missed the laugh at the end of my comment - it was said as a joke.

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Responses inline below.

  • Imagine a site that showed 'most popular' apps/drivers. Popularity isn't always the best measure of how something will perform, if you are just going by a star rating. And statistics often can be misleading. If you are trying to track how many downloads for measure of popularity, that opens a whole can of worms with tracking users. Tracking (or lack thereof) is one of the main reasons most of use use Hubitat and not another solution.

  • Imagine a site that gave a nice search front end (that lets you search tags, categories etc). HPM does everything you list out here, and more.

  • Imagine a site that provided a background on the devs and what apps they have. Does their background really matter? Where on Android Play store does it give a bio for those apps? Maybe it would be nice to see a list of other apps by a particular user in one place. But if you know the name of the developer, you can search them via HPM and get a listing of all their apps.

  • Imagine a site that had instructions/walkthroughs on installation, removal for complex apps. Isn't that the point of HPM to some extent? Echo Speaks is a LOT easier to install with HPM, for example. There are still steps that need to be done manually, and the developer has an excellent writeup in their Github, and instructions throughout the app to guide the user through these steps. That guide took time and effort to make, and I don't see how having a new site will encourage developers to document their code if they currently do not.

  • Imagine a site that had examples of usage for specific apps. The forums here? You can search for virtually any term (humidity) or device (Jasco), and something is sure to pop up. There is even a whole section of the forums dedicated to apps and drivers and examples of them** Community Apps and Drivers - Hubitat

  • Imagine a site that had a 'gallery' ... a 'show off your dashboard' sort of thing. Again, the forums here? this is one terrific example with too many to pick from. Show Off Your Dashboards! The CSS thread is also has some terrific examples.

  • Imagine a site that allowed an Icon, as well as even an Image representation (developers option). ??? Don't get this. So you mash the pretty button on some random site and you still have to go to your hub, and do whatever steps to import code, or use HPM to do the import. You added an extra unnecessary step there just to have an icon?

  • Any link on the site would send you to either back to the github of the app, or, if user has created a profile, to your HPM within your hub. HPM does this already for the most part, see screenshot below. Or maybe more helpful, it links back to the forums where you can get questions answered and discuss these apps/drivers with the developer and other users.

  • Links to readme's, links to licenses, all would be easier, clearer and quick to find. OK so maybe this is where HPM isn't the best, there isn't a good linkage between when you find a package and the licensing. However, many/most people would likely start their search or ask questions in the forums, (or look for links to a Github readme from the forums) if they need help. I bet most everyone ignores the licensing terms, unless you are a developer. They will skip over reading those TOS/TOU on any site. And in that case (if you are ethical), you are probably reading the raw code or asking the author for permission to edit or use their source code.

So maybe there is a need for what you are suggesting, and maybe it would be nice to have a snazzy new interface. But we already have most everything in place now, and getting everyone to switch to something new is going to be a huge task, most developers won't want to support two sites. So I could see HPM going away if everyone went to this new thing.

And maybe the biggest elephant in the room is you might create the problem you are trying to solve. What if you leave the platform, or were unable to maintain your site for whatever reason? I would think that if you do this, you will want to make your site a partnership with other developers who will continue the project if something were to happen to you.

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morning. Limping along on a laptop but no longer at the old location!

Clearly @neonturbo - your not a target for this. Being a master developer would exclude you from getting any value from something like this, although as an 'Ambassador' I'd think you'd be supportive. I guess that community 'rating' system isn't very accurate ...

Strong arguments have been made regarding using any form of 5star (there are MANY rating systems - 5star was suggested more as a concept than a specific but I'll decide later if/how I'd implement some form of fair and acceptable method based on feedback. For now I've removed that from the design doc.
Since this would be written for the neophyte, any form of review and feedback about it would mean me finding some outside source or pool to solicit reviewers, like the FB group where I've made some friends, or a few of the home automation sites.... Thoughts about that?

I don't like the idea for a rating system for something like this mainly because of personality or style clashes. The first time a dev doesn't feel like rewriting one of their apps to suit a particular use case, that user is gonna leave a bad review. The first time someone casually says something a user doesn't like, everything that dev does will get a bad review. This is a small enough community where that will happen. I would also say it would be useless in the end because there is little overlap between apps. Sure, there are a few apps that do the same things but not many. Most are written for need and when another dev sees that app already out there, unless they need something slightly more or slightly different, they tend not to duplicate it. I mean, even though it's abandoned, Hubigraphs is a great example. As is the unofficial Ring integration, or most drivers. You give an app like that 1 star, what's that in comparison to? Those are my thoughts anyway.

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All excellent points. None worth arguing, thats for sure. I'd point out that 'ratings' can be as simple as 'downloads', or controlled by a moderator, or 'how many posts on HE Comm forums'. None of which reflect personality or style. Regardless, as I've said a few times now - it's not something I'd implement out of the gate. Things evolve. Needs change. Maybe at some point there may be a benefit but is not a positive at this time.

Not everyone who’s been around here for a while and has a good (enough) grasp of how Hubitat functions is actually a developer.

I am not, neither is @neonturbo.

I’m not sure it’s accurate to say that devs wouldn’t get any value out of this either. Wouldn’t that assume developers never use anyone else’s code but their own?

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Because you have said that you can do the website development that is necessary, I am left with three practical questions:

  1. Who will host this (and pay for hosting)?
  2. Who will collate all the necessary information re: apps & drivers?
  3. Who's going to moderate the "ratings" system?
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The hosting is minimal cost... 60-100 yr. I've 10-12 existing sites I could piggyback on intially while I flesh it out to see viability. SInce I'll dev in my office, truly initial work is done internally in a WAMP environment.
The collate - we're back to carts and horses I think - as always my bad. My intent was to just hijack the same public json that sits at dmans github. I'll just pull what he does. Nothing is going to be changed, tweaked etc. (Not true. I intend to extend the json pairs to include a few optionals so as to allow the dev control over some fields in the content build).
THERE IS NO RATINGS SYSTEM.

Just ask @dman2306 , he's great to work with. That's how my Package Explorer gets its data, with his permission.

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it will be my first act of contrition for opening this can, @bptworld !!!

I am not a developer of any type, I couldn't code my way out of a wet paper bag.

I am supportive, of Hubitat. This is an honorary title, and doesn't imply any official ties to Hubitat. I am simply a long time user that likes Hubitat, and have been seen as welcoming and helpful to others on these forums. I am more like a cheerleader than a football player in this role.

That being said, I have never stated I was against your project, you are reading something that isn't there. I was simply trying to lay out my concerns and observations of this project, and trying to have a conversation about it with you and others.

Probably not. I had to learn how to manually install app and driver code (cut-n-paste) before HPM existed. And it isn't like copying a URL is all that hard once you have done it a couple times and know what/where to find everything. I know how to search the forums for things I am interested in automating, and I read the forums regularly so I see interesting things pop up without going to yet another site. Furthermore, HPM works terrific, and I don't have issues finding, installing code, or updating everything using HPM.

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The problem here is that not all drivers and apps are included in that.

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Go for it. No permission needed. The license allows use for practically any purpose hubitat-packagerepositories/LICENSE at master · dcmeglio/hubitat-packagerepositories · GitHub

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Create a consolidated frontend to the drivers and apps, and I‘ll certainly use it. Maybe it’s simply a pinned thread on this forum maintained by a forum god. The thread would only list the driver/app (no responses) and its functionality, and include a link to a thread initiated (and possibly maintained) by the developer.

Thumbs down on ratings. This isn’t FB or YT. All I want to know is the functionality and why I would use the driver/app, aka, “I have a problem that needs to be solved and how the driver/app would solve the problem.”

Experienced teachers know that it takes three times of teaching a course until it begins to flow for all involved. As developers, you’re teachers.

I think it’s safe to state the Hubatit (and its community) is not what it was 2-3 years ago. What worked then, may or may not work now, and conversely, what didn’t work then may work now.

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That's pretty much HPM

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Here is the Community Drivers Wiki thread.

and here is the Community Apps Wiki thread

I am not saying these are being religiously kept up to date these days, but once upon a time they were extremely useful. Since they are Wiki posts, any community member can update and maintain them.

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Download the Hubitat app