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

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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I have ZERO technical background and have been using Hubitat since February very good success . The amount of documentation has grown tremendously during that period and I expect it will continue to improve as the platform matures.

I read the community forums religiously. I've learned a lot through trial and error. I've completely botched the system a couple of times but with the patience of staff, they got me back working.

I'm sure I've asked questions and posted things that make the more technical folks privately roll their eyes. Despite that, my questions are answered courteously. The staff and community are great at jumping in and trying to help. I normally get a response from customer service within an hour of emailing them.

It's actually become a bit of a hobby. I'm just sharing my experience as a non technical person. The suggestions about documentation are valid.

However, Hubitat is accessible to non technical people as well. They may be pleasantly surprised how far they get just by playing around with the system, reading the forum and asking questions.

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I have not yet installed any of the Elevation apps - Bobby (Hibitat staff) and I are trying to solve a problem the Hubitat Elevation hub is having when trying to discover/integrate with my Philips Hue bridge - the Hubitat Elevation hub cannot/does not 'see' the Philips Hue bridge!

The point I was trying to make (and it appears that I was not concise/precise enough is that, unfortunately, all those answers, comments, replies the Hubitat staff is providing to the users are getting lost into the confusion of threads of the Community. For example, this particular message thread is 'What is the best way to know what Hubitat can and can’t do' whereas many of the questions/answers should have a very specific thread on their own. Better yet, many of the comments/answers provided throughout the many threads of this Community should be posted into a Wiki, not the one provided by this Community where further comments/answers are permitted, but a 'real' Wiki software (such as the free and open source PHP wiki software package MediaWiki) where clear (uncluttered) documentation, FAQ, hot-to, information, tutorial and videos would be provided into one centralized area.

Ray.

I totally agree, that is why I suggested a real wiki. Honestly I find they often are hard to search also but at least they tend to stay on topic.

Threads NEVER stay on topic.
Threads ALWAYS contain every possible answer and you never know which one is correct. Especially on a new system like this. Someone asks if something is supported, answer is no, thread continues for several pages with hacks to solve, some random post in the middle says hey its supported now, then it goes off topic for several pages. If you miss the supported post you are lost.

Even the WiKi page that says what is supported is lacking. I read it first to see if my Fibaro Motion sensor is supported. It was listed so I said great and moved my first device. Only to find that the built in support is extremely lacking, only one parameter is supported. Then decide to search the community for more info and find posts saying that Hubitat sucks the battery dry in a few days. The batteries for this device cost me $8 each, so now that worries me. But I have no way to know if the battery post is correct because it was one post with zero replies. The lack of parameters makes me believe it is possible. There are settings on this device that will kill your battery. I have no way to tell what the built in DH has set most of the parameters to because unlike SmartThings the default DH code is not public. That has me concerned. There is no REAL documentation about this devices support.

Indeed, there might be a lot of information available in the Community but the search functions of all those 'community/forum/message base' software has been and is still doing a poor job at finding specific subjects.

Since I have joined the Hubitat Community (a few weeks ago), I have saved dozen of messages as PDF files (onto my PC) in order to create an information data center where I do not have to continually have to search and re-read whole thread to find answers.

I have been using automation in my home for about 7+ years (ie: X10 and then Insteon devices), I have been using the Universal Devices ISY994i hub for the past 5+ years. Thanks to the Universal Devices Wiki, I have been able to learn and make good use of the hub.

Ray.

The problem with this is as the answers change you will never know.

@Ron : My impression is you're looking for someone to disagree with you :smiley: I think you'll have to search far afield to find someone who thinks the documentation is anything above gruesome. :smiley: For me, because I've been immersed for months, I'm hoping for a feature here, a feature there, a bug fix or 7, etc. to go along with some beautiful documentation.

I nominate Ray to "publish" his PDF collection... :smiley: :smiley:

Who is this addressed to?

And the WiKi is born....I like it...haha

You but it's meant to be humorous... and I've been known to fail at that :frowning:

No worries, I wasn't sure because I don't know that I am expecting here yet. I was asking how to deal with the documentation because I heard such good things about Hubitat that I thought I must be missing something. But so far my experience has been a struggle. Hopefully I will find my way.

I am concerned about the lack of comment from anyone other they the two of us however. It seems like a pretty important topic to me. Bad documentation can kill a platform quickly.

I think one of the difficulties with a wiki will be that things are changing at such a rapid rate. It would almost be a full time job just keeping it up to date and it seems like the staff are busy pumping out new features and developing the platform. I understand why one theory may be to wait till it matures some more and the progress slows, then developing and maintaining a wiki would be easier. That said, I would love to have access to that information now.

As a developer for about 30 years I know developers HATE documenting. But it never gets done if you don't make it a part of the development process. Documenting later is error prone because little details developers are doing are never included in the documentation. So you have dead code because nobody knows it exists, you get strange side effects because of a feature nobody knows about etc.

I document as I develop, as a manager I don't accept pull requests unless well documented. It pays off later. If I was starting a company I would dedicate someone to documentation right at the start.

My $.02 anyway...but I know it won't happen so we will cope....

Ron, I do most of my work by myself, that is how I learn. I like to read about things (and save such documents as PDF files on my PC for reference purposes) rather than having to ask for assistance and then wait for hours (and in some communities/forums/message bases, for days) to be eventually given a reply that does not solve the current situation (I have lived way too often with such situations in weather related forums).

That might be true but, then again, the reply might be useful at the time it is/was posted - what if at a future date I need an answer to a similar question you have asked - there is almost no way the search functions of this Community are going to find the answer as the search functions of all the community/forum/message base software have not been improved over the past decade (I have installed and tried almost all of those software on my computer).

Not yet - I am having a problem with the discovery and integration of the Philips Hue bridge with the Hubitat Elevation hub and, until that problem is solved, I have no intention of moving forward with the Habitat Elevation hub... :disappointed:

Ray.

Download the Hubitat app