Why do they keep changing rule machine?

No you don’t.

Your existing rules will work fine, and you can use Rule Machine Legacy to create new ones if you don’t need to take advantage of the improvements in Rule 5.1.


I remember feeling somewhat the same. In hind sight it was because I was still in my learning phase and every time there was a "change" it felt overwhelming. Trust that @bravenel and the rest of the team put a ton of consideration into any changes to ensure that they serve to only build on and improve what is already established.

Ask questions! I still do, several years later. Lean on the community and it will come into focus.

When getting to the level that I am at now, I made myself a whole suite of virtual devices to test and play with.


There were no changes in the last few release to how Rule Machine works, in fact since May of last year. There have been new features added, but you don't have to pay any attention to those, unless they would help you.


Oh, and they have helped, in so many ways!

I’ve been on hubitat for a while and one of my biggest gripes has always been rule machine. The interface is clumsy and at time hard to navigate. When you combine that with some of the major changes that have happened over the years, any minor change just ignites my frustration.

I’ve used webCoRE but it’s caused issues with stability on hubitat for me so I’ve been forced to use rule machine. Luckily my home is mostly complete for automation but that also exasperates my frustration when I do add a new device to only find that rule machine has changed.

I'm going to go even farther back than Bruce here and claim that the last big paradigm shift was Rule 4.0 in summer of 2019. :smiley: There have been additions and changes in Rule 4.1, 5.0, and 5.1, but none should require re-learning anything. (These have been quite helpful changes for many users, but, again, you can just totally ignore the features--like required expressions, sticky triggers, etc.--and continue as before if you want.)

If you have questions, have you looked at the documentation? Bruce is good about posting when changes happen. Here are some examples:

These are generally linked to in the release notes, which are a good idea to read before upgrading. The forum is generally better than the notification in the admin UI: Release Notes - Hubitat (HINT: use the bell icon and select "Watching" to get notifications of new posts here, and possibly emails, depending on your forum settings)

The Hubitat Documentation is also a good resource, or will be once it's updated (the newer 5.1 features haven't made their way there yet, hence my linking to the forum posts instead).


Agree to disagree I guess. One of the biggest flaws of rule machine is the interface. While its gotten moderately better over the years, it’s still clumsy at times. Early on many "features" of the original rule machine were removed and then added back under a different name. So changes were made to functionality but the interface has yet to be improved. So combine these feature name changes with a clumsy interface makes for a poor user experience.

I still love it.

I'm sorry you dislike it so much. I've done my best to provide a tool that can do just about any automation someone might need. Often the changes come about as a direct response to requests from users, in fact this is largely the case. It's difficult to use pull-down menus to construct things, only offering those choices that apply in a given context. This is especially true for creating logical expressions for IF, etc. If I knew of a better way to do it, I'd take it on.

Rule Machine began as a community app that I wrote over a weekend. A friend guided me to use pull-downs as the means to select things, that anything approaching a programming language approach would be too hard for most people. It attempts to strike a balance between a lot of functionality and still being usable by those who can't code. The result is arguably awkward, even difficult.

I apologize for changing a few names here and there. Those were done in an attempt to make it more understandable, not less.

Have you tried Basic Rules? It's much easier to use, and except for Conditionals and Repeats, covers most of the same capabilities.


Just keep doing what you do, Bruce.


I have yet to see a specific example of this statement in this thread. Please share one.

Complaints about the interface may be entirely valid, but that’s not what this topic is supposedly about.


I dove into home automation to try some fun little things and incorporate with my Google Home, never thinking about in depth automation. I have been able to create rules that I've never thought I'd ever have the ability to because of Rule Machine.
Clumsy? No.

Powerful tool, yes.


I'm fairly certain that I am not alone in saying this: webCoRE is vastly more cumbersome than RM. You have to understand what it has accomplished: totally removing all need to know proper syntax or coding yet retained full access to the benefits of those things.

Also, adding a device to Hubitat Elevation does by no means automatically require Rule Machine be used.

Can you please provide us some concrete examples of these troubles?

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Now we're just talking about preference on which tool we like best. Personally I find webcore Very logical and easier to understand and I am fairly certain I am not alone on this as well.

No one ever said it wasn't powerful. However I stand by my statement that it's a horrible and clumsy interface.

^^ this right here is one of the most annoying things for me. The IF expression interface, not the statement.

OK, consider that you can create arbitrarily nested logical expressions with parenthesized sub-expressions, NOT operators, AND, OR, etc. In a programming language this is a complex string that has to be parsed. I originally thought of this approach, as parsing such an expression is pretty well understood. But, that throws RM into the realm of those who can code, and makes in unavailable for those who cannot. Plus, using a text string for a logical expression introduces a whole new set of user errors that can be made and have to be fixed. For a non-coder, this would be daunting.

I don't see an easy way around this problem. Open to suggestions. Just saying it's annoying is easy, but coming up with a better way to do it is quite challenging.


I totally agree that it would be helpful if I give you suggestions on how to fix it, but unfortunately I haven't seen the rule machine code to be able to help. You've told me in the past that you're limited in what you can do with the interface. I just kind of hoped after all of these years that Hubitat would have found a way to address that. But once again I don't have a huge understanding of how the Firmware is structured and the limitation of the environment.

This kind of distracts from the original topic though as I was originally asking why their have been so many changes in the past. I will admit that I have found ways to work with the interface, but it does frustrate me every time I have to create a new rule. Now I am just venting.

I think the preference on using webCoRE or Rule Machine is dependent on the user's experience. If people have some experience programing code, webCoRE is probably the preferred rules engine. Those with little to no experience in coding probably would do better with Rule Machine. Both do almost the same. I remember when Rule came to SmartThings and how I struggled but eventually got pretty good using it. Then Rule went away and webCoRE replaced it. Having some skills from a long time ago found webCoRE better. When I came to Hubitat a few years ago I gave Rule Machine and honest go but just couldn't get use to it again. Debating on one rule engine over another is a matter of preference. If you don't like Rule Machine then there are plenty of pre-written apps that would cover 95% of what is needed, or use webCoRE, in over two years I have yet to see a performance hit using it over all the other apps.


Many of the pre-existing apps do work, but I have some more complex things I need to do.

Maybe I'll give WebCoRE another try as I haven't tried it on the newest hub. I can tell you that my C3 hub needs to be restarted nightly when I run WebCoRE

This had nothing to do with the hub hardware. WebCoRE used to be pretty flaky, but it's been cleaned up a great deal over the past year or two, thanks to @nh.schottfam.


Such as? Since the OP I’ve been asking if you can describe in more detail why rule machine updates have been so problematic for you.

I haven’t gotten any responses.


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