Author Topic: UI6, adventures in the 8th dimension  (Read 2200 times)

Offline jkensai

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UI6, adventures in the 8th dimension
« on: March 04, 2014, 04:08:14 pm »
Ok, so like several others in the community I unknowingly upgraded my brand new vera3 to beta firmware beginning what can only be described as a comical set of events that could easily have been avoided with a small amount of information.  But more on that later. 

First, I'd like to say that I'm really impressed with what the company is trying to do and has achieved so far in this space so I think it is first worth acknowledging the accomplishments of MCV/Vera -- and the healthy market and underlying strong community that is emerging as a result.  I won't belabor the point that's been made already about basic software quality assurance other than to say that if you are not going to keep your documentation current (understandably for a nonproduction product -- who has the time?!) then at least please *label* things correctly.  Something as simple as a banner page that says the word BETA somewhere on it would do the trick.  If that's too difficult for whatever reason (not judging here, just saying), then at least put it in the name of the firmware file (1.6.633b or whatever).  In the end, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure as they say.  Mistakes happen despite the best of prep of course -- and it appears that this is the case with the premature and inappropriately broad and uncontrolled release of this firmware.  In that case, just a simple "sorry, don't return the unit, here's the step-by-step procedure to revert the unit to production firmware" would be super helpful.

Anyway, I won't bore anyone with the comedy of errors I ran into trying to figure out which login to use and when and why something wasn't working when it should've been.  You've all been there.  The answer seems to be that HA is a bit of an art anyway (I remember this from the prehistoric era of X10) but many things just seem to be broken in the beta -- I can't tell at the moment which broken thing is due to which cause since I'm new to both z-wave and vera *and* the firmware is unstable.  I'd like to stay with z-wave and would also like to avoid returning the unit if at all possible, so I will attempt to revert the unit to at least remove the one variable of firmware instability.  If I can figure out how to revert the unit to a functional level that is...

Now, on to UI6 itself. It might be unpopular to say it but I like it.  I gather that the simplified UI (the initial one) is the main improvement.  It's kind of neat.  I do prefer the advanced UI though which I gather is similar to UI5? I would stick with UI6 but absent any documentation it is impossible to figure out what's happening due to instability in the firmware or what.  In other words, if there's nothing that tells me how it's supposed to work, it's really difficult to determine a bug vs a misconfiguration. To add insult to injury, some apps seem to work, some not -- the reasons might be clear to everyone else but again I'd rather not try and figure out why some widget isn't working that is supposed to...  I suspect that UI5 and UI6 use different infrastructure for some reason.  If true, the firmware is a breaking change to these apps but who knows?  Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticizing UI6 when I point out the instability -- if it were production, you would have released it broadly.  The fact that it was released broadly before it was ready is the whole problem. Let's fix that problem.

Here's a possibly trivial example of the kind of problem I'm running into...  when I log in to vera3 using my getvera credentials everything seems to work ok, devices show up, etc. (that is, after a comically long wrestling match regarding including z-wave gadgets and configuring an insteon interface which involved many bad words).  However, annoyingly if I click on the user profile tab in either the simple or advanced UI, I get the equivalent of "user configuration can't be retrieved" and the My Profile section of the tab is completely blank.  And worse any functions to update the profile produce the same result.  Of course, I tried this with IE, Chrome, Firefox to the same result.  I suppose this is supposed to work and it is a bug that it doesn't but I don't know if it's a misconfig instead or possibly a missing feature at this rev level of the firmware.  Does it matter that I don't have this info in the box??  Who knows.  I'd like to know.  Is that why some apps don't work?  I have no idea.  But then I noticed from a thread somewhere that there is *another* login site for the box at mios.com.  I'm guessing this is for the UI5 release so I thought maybe I need to update my profile info that way.  So I created a login, etc. and updated my profile there.  To my amazement it found my box but alas it couldn't attach it to my account.  I believe the failure is because it had an old ip address for the box somehow (my network uses dhcp -- I may try to change to this address statically, if UI6 let's me just to see if this will populate my profile) .. and now UI6 no longer points to this infra (I'm guessing) so the mios.com infra is out of date.  I have no idea if this is true or not -- how could I?  Some documentation or info or something would be awesome.  And, yes, I have filed a support ticket with lots of debugging info included.

And this level of debugging is just for the ***profile information***, which I'm not sure is even important to configure.  Is it?  You can imagine the cajoling, clicking, and cursing I had to do to get the 4in1 sensor included and then configured.  So with all of this context in place, it seems to me that folks that find themselves in the UI6 dimension can choose one of these things:

1. to go it alone given that the company is not really prepared to support a broad beta (understandably)
2. revert to UI5 and leverage the support of a production environment (how is this done please?)
3. become part of some beta program that has the support of this (I list this for completeness because I'm guessing that there isn't one yet since the beta wasn't meant to go out).
4. something else?

thanks!

Offline tomsharp

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Re: UI6, adventures in the 8th dimension
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2014, 01:31:15 pm »
But then I noticed from a thread somewhere that there is *another* login site for the box at mios.com.  I'm guessing this is for the UI5 release so I thought maybe I need to update my profile info that way.  So I created a login, etc. and updated my profile there.  To my amazement it found my box . . .

I am in the same situation and have been testing the CHAOS Home Notifier, which seems to rely on the result from the following URL to determine whether I have a Vera on my network:

https://sta1.mios.com/locator_json.php

In my case, the JSON returned is: {"units":[]}

I don't see a means to register on mios.com (only a "Login" that fails for my Vera ID). Is there a back door that someone can tell me about?

11 March 2014: Alternatively:
Is there a corresponding service at getvera.com, where my dashboard clearly identifies my Vera3?
I have opened a bug for this at http://bugs.micasaverde.com/view.php?id=4026
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 08:14:25 pm by tomsharp »

Online Brientim

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Offline jkensai

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Re: UI6, adventures in the 8th dimension
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2014, 10:38:52 pm »
I can confirm that downgrade has gone smoothly.  Will I miss UI6, I draw comfort in the fact that one day it will be in production (or at least a late beta).  For the moment, I'm enjoying automating everything with my now reasonably stable vera3 -- and I've bought another one (and probably too many gadgets to add to them but hey, that's why we're here!)

Online Brientim

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Re: UI6, adventures in the 8th dimension
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2014, 10:45:15 pm »
Very good. UI6 is a transient release. Hopefully the next release will deliver a more productive and stable solution. Well done

Online Brientim

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UI6, adventures in the 8th dimension
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2014, 07:00:43 pm »
Just as one last point. As you are now connected to one of the Vera LAN ports you should be able to use local.mios.com instead of worrying about the IP address.

Edit: correction not replaced with now..
« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 02:24:25 am by Brientim »

Offline jkensai

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Re: UI6, adventures in the 8th dimension
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2014, 01:13:39 am »
ah, interesting...  but that doesn't work for me.  local.mios.com doesn't resolve...  my vera is indeed connected to my network via it's wan port which I understand to be the correct way to connect it if I'm not using the ap, etc.?

Online Brientim

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Re: UI6, adventures in the 8th dimension
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2014, 02:25:18 am »

ah, interesting...  but that doesn't work for me.  local.mios.com doesn't resolve...  my vera is indeed connected to my network via it's wan port which I understand to be the correct way to connect it if I'm not using the ap, etc.?

That is correct: Vera wan to network.