What is the best way to know what Hubitat can and can't do

Ron,

Have you reviewed the tutorial videos we have on our website?

Is the something specific you feel you are missing?

As new customers come on board, especially from other systems, we want to understand what you might need to make the transition as easy as possible.

Since these systems are very diverse, its more about what you want to do and each person's needs are different.

Any help I can provide, please don't hesitate to ask.

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@patrick, if you're taking suggestions I wouldn't mind seeing some more videos or tutorials dedicated to more complex rule development and the creation of custom commands. As someone coming from Wink, and only using ST a short while before seeing the light, I have limited experience with using RM to its fullest potential.

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We are always taking suggestions. :slight_smile:

One thought that came to mind is we can write up text tutorials of our videos as well. Some may not want to watch a video.

Is there anything specific on advanced rule machine you are looking for? Like customs commands or linking rules?

Rule Machine is an amazingly powerful rules engine. We also included the other apps to help with typical automation needs where it might be easier.

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I am always looking for ways to improve my rules to better truly automate my home. I currently use multiple conditions in my rules and have some rules that are triggered by other rules but I know RM is capable of so much more. In some cases I am using virtual switches as global variables in conjunction with RM, I am sure that RM is capable of doing this without the need for virtual devices (IE. Producing a single flash of a light to acknowledge a mode change when done from a pico). Custom commands, looping, and maybe even some examples of more complex rules. I am sure there are ideas for useful rules that I couldn't even imagine.

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@Ron and @ray, you are both running into a familiar problem that plagued me when I started on the SmartThings platform. Many new users and also lots of information, but a search engine that just wasn't delivering results that were as relevant to my search term as I expected. It's clear that Hubitat and SmartThings are using the same base platform for the forum. I don't know what it is, but you can tell it's the same. Obviously that was intentional, since most of the early adopters, and the founders came from that community. It makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, it brings that search limitation along with it.

You may not feel it at the moment, but you are fortunate that you're joining the Hubitat community at this point in time. We're still at the point where the most skilled users and developers are still fairly active on the forum, and have the time and inclination to reply fairly quickly, and with very good answers. Once the pool becomes more diluted with new users, and the staff have a massive base to respond to, it may become more difficult to get information. I mean no disrespect to anyone with that comment. It's just an observation from my experience with SmartThings when they grew so exponentially.

So, back to your question of where to find info. You are doing the first best thing you can do. Ask and suggest ways to improve. Building takes time and requires feedback. The forum, the documentation, operations, marketing, and the platform itself are all unfinished and in a state of constant development. That point was disclosed, so please do keep offering suggestions to improve. This is a great team and they DO listen to our suggestions, even if they ultimately make a different decision than what it suggested.

If you have not done so already, you can find out about compatible devices and even contribute to the wiki, get info about the dashboard, FAQs, App and driver porting, community apps and more from this link

@Ron and @ray, I have suggestions/info that may be useful to both of you, but I don't want move this thread off the topic, so I'll send you both PMs.

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I didn't watch all of them but I did review what was there and watched the ones I found interesting.

  • Maintained list of built in DH ( for example I am told after asking that Linear GD00Z-4 works without need for custom DH ) This list is best maintained by Staff since you know what you are adding. But I can see that perhaps a Standard DH may work for a new device. It would be good to be able to document that as well.
  • If we document custom DH better perhaps we can avoid what happens on ST community were there are many versions of the same DH floating around. I have my DH open source and am more than willing to work with pull requests from others if the changes make sense. I think they may still diverge but if the different versions are documented that would be nice.
  • I haven't started coding or converting my DH yet but SmartThings has a LOT of developer documentation which includes what code works on their system, they document what versions of the ZWAVE methods they support etc. I don't know how that all works in your system yet so not sure what I will find. Perhaps all groovy code works and all zwave methods work (not sure where they are best documented outside of SmartThings site).

Thanks, I will do so. Do you prefer PM or open forum communication. I promise not to be a pest.

This all said I am a newbie on your platform so perhaps I will find this all a lot easier than I am initially thinking. I just know SmartThings started out a lot like HE now feels with documentation lacking etc and they reached a point where things were well documented but they didn't really focus on getting Custom developers efforts into the production system. I think this lead to some of their current problems. As they try to change the internals they break a LOT of custom code. I have about 80% of my ST system on custom DH and Apps so I can't ask them for support they always reply (we don't support custom handlers) I find this unfair because they encouraged custom and they resisted our efforts to get custom code into their official system. So they should either support it or do a better job making it native.

I have no idea how HE stands on this. Again I am new and just figuring it all out. I see this system as a strong potential to prevent the mistakes of ST and take over the field. I would like to help make this happen if I can.

I like this idea, at least a test summary would good also. Just a better way to know what I will learn. It can be time consuming to watch a video and learn very little from it.

I agree, I enjoyed Rule Machine when it was on ST and I managed to keep it running for the rules I created before it was removed. I stopped using it because I assumed it would be breaking some day due to ST lack of support. I just started writing my own custom apps for things but that was more time consuming.

I am also curious about CoRE and webCoRE. I avoided them on ST and I hated that almost ever post I made on ST about how to solve a problem would result in people telling me to us webCoRE. I see that here already also but my understanding is the developer of webCoRE has stated that although it works on HE he is NOT supporting HE so if things break on HE but not on ST he will not be addressing.

I know from this thread that a patched version exists. But I would like to know the "offical" position on webCoRE. Will it be maintained as a part of HE or is it best to use Rule Machine and ask for improvements when it doesn't fit the need?

My plan is to use Rule Machine and ask when I think it needs improvement because so far I have not needed webCoRE anyway on ST. But it is possible I am making my life more difficult for no reason :slight_smile:

This is a very common community system. I have several other products using the same code. I too don't know the name of the base system. I think I did at one time but I don't remember.

I agree, I joined SmartThings when the developer were still holding weekly video conference calls for devs. It was fun but eventually they stopped listening to us. I used to get good answers from ST the only answers I get now are "We don't support custom code"

by the wiki do you mean the community topic "wiki" or is there a real wiki page?

or start another thread and invite us to it :slight_smile:

Just thought of one other thing not in video tutorials and threads have me somewhat confused.

Mobile app or better perhaps "Remote access".
I think a good page on best practices here might be helpful. Folks coming from ST most other devices are going to be used to having control of their devices from their phone. I have not figured out yet how I will replace my use cases where I want remote access and/or notifications.

You can do remote control of devices with the Hubitat Dashboard, a built-in app. It works with iOS and Android phones, and remote browsers.

OK cool, I thought dashboard was just for home/browser use. I will research what I can find. Is that in any of the tutorial videos ? It doesn't look like it from the topic names unless it is in Advanced Options etc. A summary of each video would be helpful as Patrick mentioned earlier.

I don't think we've done a video yet. The funny thing is that Patrick wrote it and didn't mention it to you before. It's fairly self-explanatory when you install the app.

Pick your devices, pick a layout. Grab either of the urls, most likely the cloud one. You will need to paste that onto your mobile device and then save the page as to your home screen as a web app. You can configure it to your liking using your PC and one of the url links -- it will automatically catch up the one you put on your phone. You can choose devices, templates, their position, various colors, etc.

Here is an example, showing my garage doors.

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Also, you can "Save to Home" via iOS or Android and use it as an "App" in full screen on mobile devices.

Upcoming feature will allow you to enabled or disable cloud and/or lan access and add pin support for each dashboard to add an additional layer of security.

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I have no idea what this means yet :slight_smile: Either URL? I didn't realize there was more than http://{hub_ip}
I am not expecting you to hand hold me and explain just letting you know in case you assumed I would just understand it.
I will read the community pages on Dashboards once I get things started. I still have a lot to learn before I start switching my devices over.

On the topic of URLs....
BTW, how difficult is if for you to support bonjour or avahi so http://hubitat.local (or better yet http://{configured_name.local} works as a url?

Why am I just not understanding what this means? I am guessing my issue is not understanding the "two urls" comment from bravenel so no worries. I will read more. If you mean from the browser on iOS copy a url then won't that only work at home unless I port forward my device which is dangerous due to lack of password (sort of dangerous even with password but less so). Again I need to read up more but this is why I am suggesting a video or page explaining it.

I started reading the page on remote access but found most of the posts said ....coming soon and I wasn't sure if it was ready for prime time yet. So I stopped until I received my device and could start playing. But I find it difficult to read threads to determine if something works when it start of with pages of explanation on why it may be done some day but low priority, then there are pages of tangent hacks to work around and occasional posts of proto types...then perhaps a post that it works. You get my point :slight_smile:

I like this, I did something similar for my VPN. I made my OpenVPN server safer by putting it on a Zwave smart switch plug. When I wanted to VPN home I would first turn on the power for my Pi3 and wait for it to boot, then openVPN and I am in. Paranoid but what the heck :slight_smile:

This will be evident in the Hubitat Dashboard app when you set it up. It will give you a local LAN url and a cloud url you can use for the dashboard.

It doesn't support either. However, it's local hostname is hubitat, and with most routers you can use http://hubitat/.... instead of http://<ip-address>/...

As per above, the app will give you two urls for accessing the dashboard, one for local lan access, and one for cloud access. I always use the latter, even for accessing the dashboard while at home. There is no port forwarding needed, and the access is not dangerous. "Save to Home" means that you can save the url on your phone in such a way that it becomes a little web app with it's own icon, rather than a bookmark in a browser, like this:

10%20PM

A tutorial on linking rules would be awesome. Or use of private Boolean.

@Ron this post should help explain how to use the dashboard (including use of local and cloud links)

Hubitat™ Dashboard Documentation

This is a brief introduction to these two topics.

Rules come in four flavors: Rule, Trigger, Triggered Rule and Action.

A Rule has conditions, a rule, and actions.
A Trigger has trigger events, and actions.
A Triggered Rule has trigger events, conditions, a rule, and actions.
Actions are just actions, and can only be used when another type of rule uses them as part of its actions.

Conditions are tested under a logical rule. One special capability for a condition is Rule Truth. This means the current Rule Truth for another Rule, or for more than one. The tested condition is for true or false. If more than one Rule is specified, the condition can be for any of them being true (or false) or all of them being true (or false). This mechanism allows a Rule to reference the state of another Rule as part of its logic. Another possible condition is Private Boolean (see below).

Trigger events are not tested, they just happen. For example, a contact opens, bang --> do the action. Two special capabilities for a trigger event is Other Triggers and Rule Truth. Other Triggers simply means if some other named Trigger fires, that event fires this Trigger. Rule Truth fires this Trigger is some other Rule(s) becomes true or false. These allow you to chain multiple sets of actions off one Rule or Trigger, without having to redefine the trigger events or condition/rule logic. Another possible trigger event is Private Boolean (see below).

Actions are the things that a Rule, Trigger, or Triggered Rule do when they fire. These can be defined as stand-alone Actions, for use in multiple other Rules, Triggers or Triggered Rules. Sometimes this is desirable in order to introduce various delays in actions. One set of actions could be delayed one minute, and another set delayed 3 minutes. Both could be fired by one Rule or Trigger.

Other actions involving rules are the ability to cause a Rule to be evaluated, that is, its conditions to be tested without having had to have changed state; or, to cause the actions of another rule or trigger to be run. Another available action is to set the Private Boolean.

These mechanisms are used as building blocks to stitch the logic of rules, the events of triggers, and actions together into arbitrarily complex logic structures. You can do crazy things (don't) like infinite loops, or cascading actions. But the flexibility allows you to solve arbitrarily complex automation problems. These take thought, and careful reasoning out of what will happen.

Private Boolean is a flag that each rule possesses. It starts out as true, and can be set to true or false by the rule (or trigger) in its actions, or by other rules. It is possible to set the Private Boolean of another rule in the actions of any rule. Finally, it is possible to disable a rule with its Private Boolean being set to false. This means that one rule can control another rule, whether it runs or not.

Here's an example. Suppose you have a rule that you only want to run immediately after a very specific event (such as leaving home). But the way the rule wants to be setup involves conditions that might become true or false at any time, not just then. What you do is make it so that the rule is disabled by its Private Boolean, and both the true and false actions of the rule will set its own Private Boolean to false. So, generally, this rule is going to be disabled, and it will become disabled once it runs once. Now, some other rule, one that detects that you've left home in this example, sets the Private Boolean to true, allowing its conditions to be tested, but to be tested only once, right then. I use a pair like this to alert me if we leave home and leave a garage door open. One rule tests the condition of any garage door being open, but is ordinarily disabled by its Private Boolean. Another rule runs upon everyone leaving, and delays it's actions by one minute. It's actions set the Private Boolean of the garage door checking rule to true, and then cause that rule to be evaluated (setting Private Boolean will always come before evaluating the rule). Presto, if one of the doors is open, I get an alert. But all of the other times that garage door rule would be true (any garage door open), it doesn't run.

That's it for this mini-tutorial. I'll be happy to answer questions as they arise.

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Yes, I prefer text/written document to video as I save them as PDF files into a Hubitat specific directory on my hard drive. When I need some specific information, I look into that local directory first then I search either the community or simply the Internet.

Yes, everything... :thinking:

As suggested, could you please create an area, either in this community or in a Wiki specific software, where users cannot leave comments and/or reply, where only the information is 'cleanly' provided so as not to confuse new users ... please. :unamused:

Again, you and Patrick are 'assuming' that all users speak the same language that you do (and I do not mean the english language), or, I should rephrase that, you are 'assuming' that all users have the same technical knowledge that you have!

I have never used the Samsung SmartThing hub or any of the more modern hubs - the only hub I have been using for the 5+ years is the Universal Devices ISY-994i. So, when one of the Hubitat staff reply to messages, unfortunately in almost all cases, it is assumed that the user to whom the staff is replying has already a good knowledge of Elevation and/or SmartThing - very scary for any new users...

Again, that information should be posted into an area or Wiki where it will be easy to find otherwise that information becomes useless as the search engine will never find it...

Sorry, not meaning to leave you without better guidance.

Could you tell me which part you need more help with?

Here is a screenshot of the app as it looks when you install it. This is the same one that created the dashboard I posted above in this thread. Notice near the bottom of the screen the two hyperlinks to access the dashboard. The steps I took to create this were the following:

  1. Install the app from the Apps page, Load New App.
  2. Choose the devices. When you click on that it brings up a list of your devices.
  3. Layout options. I chose a 4 row 3 column grid for an iPhone.
  4. Cloud Link. I clicked on this on my computer, and it opened a tab to the dashboard. There I was able to setup the tiles shown above, arrange them the way I wanted, and set the colors the way I wanted. I also copied the url from my browser, and put it in iCloud Notes to make it easy for me to get it on my iPhone. On my iPhone I clicked on that link, then the Share icon, then "Add to Home Screen". That created the little Hubitat Icon with the dashboard name.

@ray, I suggest you try things and then ask specific questions about where you get stuck. I am very technical (developer 30 years) and I do come from SmartThings so bravenel might know that when he replied to my post. Have you installing the app? If not I suggest you do and see how far you can get.
If that's the problem, you don't know where to find it or you don't know how to install it then you should explain that. I haven't tried it yet so you might find it actually is intuitive as bravenel suggests. If not you can ask better questions if you get are far as you can. That's how I got started with SmartThings, I didn't know what zwave and zigbee were when I started and even now I asked about how mesh networks talk to each other if at all on a separate thread so I am still learning as I encounter issues. I know many of the folks on this community from SmartThings and they are all great folks that are more than willing to help and will bring it down to any level you need once they realize your level. So don't get frustrated. Play with the system and learn what you can figure out and were you get stuck. If you wanted this to work out of the box like the others you have used so far you are probably not on the right platform but that is likely what their goal is. So stick with it, have fun, ask questions.

I use eero WiFi and it doesn't take hostnames and let them be accessed as http://{hostname}
That is why I asked if you could support the protocols that generate the hostname.local address.
No big deal I can just add it to my /etc/hosts but it would be nice for less technical folks to have this. Future request for your list.

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