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Items, Locations and core types [message #1755189] Tue, 28 February 2017 20:41 Go to next message
David Bennett is currently offline David BennettFriend
Messages: 5
Registered: February 2017
Junior Member
Morning,

I am looking at openhab and wondering why the concept of items exists at all in openhab? It seems like it is just an extra layer between the channels and using the data in the rules that makes things more complicated. Is it mainly to deal with the 1.0 openhab plugins that still exist? Could you just put them inside a 'openhab 1.0 thing' and make all those items channels on that object?

Also wondering why locations are only a string and not something with a bit more detail associated with them. A structure/location setup would allow for things like handling occupancy at the room level as well as at the structure level and give more semantic control over how things are organized inside the house. Right now it would be hard to write a routine that looks at all the motion sensors int he house and automatically sets the occupancy for the rooms they are in based on the motion, for example.

Wondering also why there is no archetype for things? ie: a dimmer thingy has to have a channel called 'Dimmer' that is a percent type (for example). Same with a thermostat, or a switch. It makes it hard to make a generic routine that would do something like paying attension to occupancy and automatically turning on the lights in the room if the room is occupied. Because you need to know how every binding implements a dimmer to be able to handle this.

This follows into the following point Smile There should be a user settable 'type' for a thing, that is distinct from the type of thing it is, a switch (for example) controls not just lights but could also control fans, or dart boards, or machines, or who knows what else. With this you could set things in the room as 'lights' be they a switch or a dimmer and then handle things more automatically based on occupancy and other things. It not really possible to bundle up generic routines or sets of rules right now, since all of this is very specific to how everyone sets up their systems.

Perhaps I should split this into multiple threads too.

Thanks!
David.
Re: Items, Locations and core types [message #1759273 is a reply to message #1755189] Sun, 09 April 2017 18:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Charles Brouwers is currently offline Charles BrouwersFriend
Messages: 7
Registered: April 2017
Junior Member
On why items and channels both exist. Channels pertain to the real world , items pertain to the user interface or rule engine, just like the On/Off function a TV is different from the ON/Off button on your remote. There is not necessarily a one to one relationship between the two. For example you can link one switch item to several switch channels (just like you can turn off your TV from both you remote and the TV front panel button) or one switch channel to several switch items (like your on/off remote button turning on the TV and the cable box) . Or even more simply you came leave a channel of a thing a unused. It will still exist but since it is not linked to an item, it won't exist in the user interface. Finally, there are also times when you will need replace a physical device, let's say a new TV, your will then need to install a new device. You won't need to change the user interface, you will just re-link your items to the correct channels on the new device (just reprogramming a remote for a new TV)
Re: Items, Locations and core types [message #1759323 is a reply to message #1759273] Mon, 10 April 2017 14:32 Go to previous message
Simon Kaufmann is currently offline Simon KaufmannFriend
Messages: 51
Registered: January 2011
Member
On the "locations of things": We had a discussion about the content of the "location" field here. It is not so easy to find a consensus between all users and commercial/open source solutions in what to put in there. Should it be a hierarchical structure of the house with floors/rooms, should it be geo-coordinates of the devices? Therefore the strings for now gave us the highest flexibility. You may use them in the way it fits your needs best. They could even contain references to items, which in turn contain geo-coordinates or represent rooms.

On the "archtetype" or "types" of things: Agreed, this would be good to have. There is a dev issue here for "Semantic tagging", which if I understood you correctly goes into the same direction. Unfortunately it's not as trivial as it seems like on a first glance, so any input to drive this topic is very welcome.
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