The trigger is the thing that initiates the action. There has to be some event to set off the series of actions. Some of the confusion may be that you can duplicate the trigger in your actions. That said, there's nothing to cause the action to run. The IF statement isn't a trigger but sets up a series of conditions to test the triggering event against.
In your example, the trigger would be motion = "changed". From there you could write a set of actions that use both the active and inactive.
Motion = "changed"
IF door closed AND 4 PM
THEN turn on a light.
I'm sorry I'm not able explain things better. Hopefully others will chime in and guide this along. This isn't Homeseer and operates differently. In HE, Trigger can't be substituted for IF or a set of conditions.
There's no reason it has to work this way, but it does work this way because Rule Machine differentiates between conditions and triggers. A trigger is a way for you to specify when you actually want the rule actions to execute. You can test for things in the rule actions (using conditionals) that you don't actually want to trigger the rule--for example, say you want to turn a light to 100% with motion and down to 10% after it stops, but only at night. You don't need time of day as a trigger, but you'll need it as a condition. (I confess: that example isn't very imaginative, but there are times when this distinction is much more useful and powerful than I just made it sound like.)
What you're asking for is not impossible--webCoRE does this and does a fine job if you build the piston correctly--but it's just a slightly different paradigm. In webCoRE, you can build if statements with triggers, often the first thing you do in a piston. If you don't have any triggers, it will guess what your "triggers" should be from plain conditionals (triggers would be things like "motion becomes active," whereas conditionals are things like "temperature is 50 °F"). This is a distinction RM instead makes by separating out these sections. It could certainly do the same, but it's just, again, a paradigm difference.
Oh, and Rules don't need triggers or conditionals in the actions at all. You can use a trigger with actions (and no conditionals--so it's really necessary to specify the trigger) to just run something every time the trigger fires. You can also have no trigger and run the actions via another mechanism, e.g., a different rule.
If it helps, there's no reason that you can't start by setting up the actions for your rule -- the "what" you want to have happen: If there's motion AND the door is closed AND it's 4 PM, etc.
Once you have your rule set up, then think about "when" you want this rule to run: Every day at 3 AM, or every time the door is opened, or if it's Christmas, or if motion starts or stops, etc.
The "when" becomes the trigger.
The trigger does not have to be a part of the actions in the rule. It can be, but that's not required. So, for example, you can have a trigger of 4 PM, and then a list of actions that you want to have happen every day at that time. Some of those actions can be conditional, but they don't have to be, and time never needs to be reflected in an action at all. For example:
Time is 4 PM
Turn on the kitchen lights
Turn off the bedroom lights
Turn on the bathroom fan
Turn on the air conditioner
If the outside temperature is > 90 F
Set the a/c temp to 80 F
set the a/c temp to 72 F
Personally, I think that having the trigger separated from the actions, and being able to have actions that don't require a condition, make RM 4 very powerful.
You can create RM 4 rules with no trigger. I use no trigger rules but trigger that rule from several different other rules. If you have the same needs within other rules it makes them far simpler by just adding the untriggered rule as a step.
I use a rule to only lock the garage entry door if the door is closed and tell me if the door is open. I call this from multiple rules.
IF (garage_entry_sensor open(T) [TRUE]) THEN
Speak on Echo - downstairs_dot, upstairs_dot: 'The garage entry door is open and cannot be locked'
Speak on Echo - downstairs_dot, upstairs_dot: 'All is well.'
I discovered this by accident. I had the logic worked out in my head and started creating the actions. When I was done with the actions, I hit done one too many times. Since it was created, I just tried triggering from another rule. I really hope this wasn't a mistake that gets corrected in a future update. The reusability aspect is worthwhile.
True, but the rule will never be executed unless it's triggered in some way; either via its own trigger, or by being called from another rule. Rather say that it's not required to enter a trigger when creating a rule. But without a trigger/call of some kind, your actions will just sit there doing nothing.
IF door is open
do some stuff
ELSE IF door is closed
do some other stuff
You can open and close the door all you want, and the stuff will never happen.
I am beginning to see what terminology is being used. So, (IF time is 4 PM) is a trigger then a rule will run, but (IF time is 4 PM) is a condition only then the rule will not run.
So you have 2 identical things but only one of them will work. Now I see the confusion everyone is having.