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Author Topic: UI7 - "Dear MiOS Development Partner" email  (Read 84342 times)

guest142329

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Re: UI7 - "Dear MiOS Development Partner" email
« Reply #150 on: January 26, 2015, 08:21:22 pm »
I consider myself a power user, I work as a developer in a 60.000+ employe Company and I have been using Vera for few years now.
Installed UI6/UI7 in the past, but went immediately back to UI5. I have 2 vera, one in my main home and one in my vacation home.

I use Virtual Switch, Variable Container plugins all the time. Actually I really do not understand why these plugins are not native in Vera.
For example in Fibaro you can easily create variables via UI, compare them, exchange data between scenes.

How hard it is to implement it natively? Vera has people that implement for free what they are supposed to have natively.
I have created a very complicate lua code that handle the A/C on off and temperature in summer, by doing averages, offsets with the external temperature, internal temp and so on. I could not have done it so easily without Variable Container.

I am able to run scenes that talk to each other, set flags, clear flags, all thanks to Variable Container.

I have a ras PI that detect my keychain ibeacon and set a Virtual Switch when I am home and clear it when I am away. How hard is to have it natively?

Vera without plugins is really a toy, nothing more. A RaZberry would do much more!

Offline Aaron

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Re: UI7 - "Dear MiOS Development Partner" email
« Reply #151 on: January 27, 2015, 12:48:17 am »
I consider myself a power user, I work as a developer in a 60.000+ employe Company and I have been using Vera for few years now.
Installed UI6/UI7 in the past, but went immediately back to UI5. I have 2 vera, one in my main home and one in my vacation home.

I use Virtual Switch, Variable Container plugins all the time. Actually I really do not understand why these plugins are not native in Vera.
For example in Fibaro you can easily create variables via UI, compare them, exchange data between scenes.

How hard it is to implement it natively? Vera has people that implement for free what they are supposed to have natively.
I have created a very complicate lua code that handle the A/C on off and temperature in summer, by doing averages, offsets with the external temperature, internal temp and so on. I could not have done it so easily without Variable Container.

I am able to run scenes that talk to each other, set flags, clear flags, all thanks to Variable Container.

I have a ras PI that detect my keychain ibeacon and set a Virtual Switch when I am home and clear it when I am away. How hard is to have it natively?

Vera without plugins is really a toy, nothing more. A RaZberry would do much more!

Anything you think should be normal or native in Vera is not.  The only thing native to Vera is ... well, just read a few posts on any of the forum sections and you'll get the picture. Though, seems you already understand :)

UI5 = v1 beta
UI7 = far worse

If they think giving out VeraEdge ('Edge' stands for the straight razor you'll want to use on your wrists after using UI7) to developers will solve the problem, it is simply another clear indication Vera does not understand the severity and diversity of their problems

It won't matter soon... all the community coders will be gone and then... there will be no more complaining ;-)

Offline chixxi

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Re: UI7 - "Dear MiOS Development Partner" email
« Reply #152 on: January 27, 2015, 01:25:02 am »
I can not invest more time into theses plugins, as you have read above. But I still like this community a lot and I definitely want to get the plugins back up and running as soon as possible. I am negotiating with Vera Ltd.
@chixxi: why not just post your source? or has that been done? someone else could run with it

People that leave or no longer want to support or keep with with a plugin hand it over all the time, but in this case it seems to be different.

He says "I can not invest more time into it", but then it says hes "negotiating with VERA".......

This is all about making Vera Ltd. finally get a hang of the actual value of the plugins and the importance of this community with the developers. They said before that they understood, but it seems like they never did. It is not a time issue on my side, it is a motivation issue. Vera without plugins is a remote control with a webinterface but has nothing to do with home automation.

I decided to republish the virtual switch, even though I made it a lot better and maintained it, it basically is a community plugin (Just think about it: Vera Ltd. ist even to stupid/lazy to release such simple and basic plugins right from the beginning). About my other plugins, I am negoating with Vera Ltd. how our future cooperation could look like, but I am so fed up with them I want just make them a gift. And believe me, I will not work for another 3-4 years for a $150 device which isn't ready for public.

Thank you all for showing the importance of plugins, even if they are really simple and basic ones.
Developer of Plugins: Virtual Switch, Variable Container, Popcorn Hour Remote, Vacation Ghost. => PLUGINS HAVE BEEN UNPUBLISHED BY ME.

Offline JoeyD

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Re: UI7 - "Dear MiOS Development Partner" email
« Reply #153 on: January 27, 2015, 03:26:11 pm »
Vera without plugins is a remote control with a webinterface but has nothing to do with home automation.

Respectfully, I disagree.

I would say it is more accurate to say that Vera without plugins provides basic home automation.  You can automate tasks based on events triggered by:

1) Schedule
2) "Mode" (Home / Away / Night / Vacation)
3) Events that devices make available
4) Geofencing (recently made available by Vera)

Once an event is triggered, there is one additional conditional supported to control execution of a scene..."what mode(s) is this scene valid for?"

I don't think it's fair to just dismiss these out of hand.  They do in fact serve to support basic automation needs.

For certain, once you get past "basic" automation, you need what I'll call "automation enhancement" plug-ins.  Specifically, being able to handle more complex triggers and conditionals (taking into account the states of multiple devices, variables, and complex conditionals).   This is where items like the variable containter, PLEG, virtual switches, etc all are invaluable.  And yes, it would be great to see that type of functionality in some form rolled into Vera as standard functionality, and I hope Vera moves in that direction.  But that doesn't mean the current implementation serves no home automation needs.

Let me ramble from my own personal experience.  I first bought my Vera solely as the "remote control" of the new z-wave locks I bought.  I was already "remotely controlling" my Garage doors, and my wife wanted similar control on our locks as well.  Wasn't even really thinking about "automation" per se.  Then I found that I could indeed automate some of that control with vera.  (I could automatically enable the lock pin codes only for ceratain days and times for the house cleaning crew, send me alerts if someone enters a wrong code, let me know when my kids get home and unlock the door, etc.)  I think my "intro" to the world of automation is fairly typical. 

Then I found the app store and device enabling plug-ins.  I was able to add my non z-wave garage door opener (MyQ) and Sonos.  I can make them all react to one another.  Cool. 

So then I got the itch to tie in other devices...I was starting to "get" home automation beyond "remote control" and that first and foremost requires that vera be able to interact with my devices.  But the device plug-ins that I needed  (Honeywell WiFi and Legrand Lighting) were not there....so I made a few and I help to enhance another for the devices I own.

And as of right now...my Vera Lite as it is with only using the "device enabling" plug-ins mostly meets my needs from a home automation standpoint.   If you talk to friends and family, they'll tell you I'm a "home-automation zen-master guru geek-nerd" based on what my house "can do."  I of course know the reality though...I am barely scratching the surface of what true home automation is all about.  But the point is, for "the masses", Vera does in fact provide a basic, core level of automation control. 

In the end both "device enabling" plug-ins, and "automation enhancement" plugins are both invaluable assets to the platform.  We all agree that it is in Vera's best interest to support developers of these plug-ins.  I just think it's important to keep in perspective who the majority of consumers are, and what they value in a product may or may not be exactly what "power users" value.

The rub of course, is that if power users / developers don't value the product...the loss of plug-ins and active development in turn lessens the value to the mass market consumer.  So this puts Vera in a position to have to support both user bases.  They may now be formulating a good plan to do this...they may not.  They may be able to execute on that plan...they may not.

Based on the recent developments here and my personal interaction with Vera, I am going to stick around and keep supporting my plug-ins for the foreseeable future, while I keep voicing my opinion on enhancements and needs that I feel would be a benefit to the platform.



Offline mht

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Re: UI7 - "Dear MiOS Development Partner" email
« Reply #154 on: January 27, 2015, 05:42:22 pm »
Not a customer case??!

I'm a developer since many years running my own IT-company. My field of work has been other than Vera and home automation. I couple of months ago I decided to move into home automation and chose Vera as controller. I went for Vera because of the large number of plugins and the large and active community. Now six week after receiving my Vera Edge I'm beginning to think I chose the wrong home automation product.

First of all, a serious bug like the usb/serial hasn't been fixed yet (It has at least gone six weeks because that is how long I have had my Vera Edge).

Secondly, I received an email from support saying that one of my other issues isn't a customer case. My issue is that I can't get pan/tilt to work with my D-link DCS-5020L camera. I have picture from the camera but can't make it do anything else. After emailing back and forth to Vera Support with no solution, I decided to do some serious investigation myself. I ended up using wireshark to monitor what Vera sends to my camera. What I found was that Vera performs basic authentication when getting snapshots from the camera. But when sending pan/tilt commands Vera performs no authentication. The impl file is using luup.inet.wget with the correct username and password as parameters. In the wiki for Luup Lua Extension it states that the luup.inet.wget command will do a authentication: "If Username and Password are specified, they will be used for HTTP Basic Authentication."

I sent an email back to Vera support with my findings and attached the log files from wireshark (including log files in xml-format). I got a reply from Vera Support saying I would greatly suggest to post this info in the appropriate D-link 5020 topic on the forums...I cannot assist you further... it's considered a third party camera... I hope you won't be mad but we need to prioritize customer cases.

If a fault is found in a products function isn't a customer case, what is?

I will give this product a couple of weeks more hoping for a new firmware to take care of the major problems with Vera Edge and UI7. In my opinion the Vera Edge and UI7 still is a Beta product and shouldn't have been released in its current state. I'm also hoping that my experience with Vera Support isn't representative for Vera Supports general customer attitude.

Update January 30:
Today I recieved an email from Vera support: My colleagues from the development have acknowledged that there is indeed a bug in the current firmware. Since the January release is already to be released on Monday, they cannot include the fix in this build, however, it will be included in the February release.

Since my issue and findings in the end was addressed by Vera Support I now think better of Vera Support.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2015, 03:04:30 pm by mht »

Marc Shenker

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Re: UI7 - "Dear MiOS Development Partner" email
« Reply #155 on: January 27, 2015, 06:05:29 pm »
@mht I'm sorry for that experience with Technical Support. On one side of the coin it is a 3rd party camera on the other side  you are our customer and we would like you to remain one and be happy and speak kindly of us. I have been tasked as a kind of ombudsman in the forum. Let me talk to some people of the next few days, week and see what we can do. This is a Development Team issue and Technical Support didn't handle it well. We have put processes in place to help us identify issues like this so we can get them resolved for your users.

Offline ServiceXp

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Re: UI7 - "Dear MiOS Development Partner" email
« Reply #156 on: January 27, 2015, 06:11:32 pm »
@mht I'm sorry for that experience with Technical Support. On one side of the coin it is a 3rd party camera on the other side  you are our customer and we would like you to remain one and be happy and speak kindly of us. I have been tasked as a kind of ombudsman in the forum. Let me talk to some people of the next few days, week and see what we can do. This is a Development Team issue and Technical Support didn't handle it well. We have put processes in place to help us identify issues like this so we can get them resolved for your users.

So which is it?  Is the statement ("If Username and Password are specified, they will be used for HTTP Basic Authentication.") incorrect or is there a Vera firmware failure? 

I don't understand how this could be a 3rd party issue if the statement above is true.

U.S.A Vera 3

Offline airedale

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Re: UI7 - "Dear MiOS Development Partner" email
« Reply #157 on: January 27, 2015, 06:14:55 pm »
@mht I'm sorry for that experience with Technical Support. On one side of the coin it is a 3rd party camera on the other side  you are our customer and we would like you to remain one and be happy and speak kindly of us. I have been tasked as a kind of ombudsman in the forum. Let me talk to some people of the next few days, week and see what we can do. This is a Development Team issue and Technical Support didn't handle it well. We have put processes in place to help us identify issues like this so we can get them resolved for your users.

Marc - if he is using a native function of Vera to add a camera and the pan and tilt doesn't work (and the expectation in the UI is that it should), this sounds specifically like a Vera problem no matter what. If this was utilizing a third party plugin, then I think the response from support is somewhat fitting, but still may have been handled better. The fact that camera plugins auto install seems like a grey area to me in terms of where support falls.

Offline rstrouse

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Re: UI7 - "Dear MiOS Development Partner" email
« Reply #158 on: January 27, 2015, 06:27:25 pm »
I'll tell you this.  I use luup.inet.wget in UI7 all over my plugin and it works as advertised.  If I supply an invalid username/password I get a 401.  If I supply a valid username/password I get success.  Is it possible that the camera is actually expecting to respond to soap wss?  If you are sure the camera responds to a simple wget with basic auth then perhaps, write the values that are actually being passed to this function to the log to make sure they are not nil, empty string, or obfuscated.

luup.log(<username> .. "/" .. <password>)
1xVera3 1.7.619, 4xLinear WT00Z, 3xLinear WS15Z, 1xLeviton VRCZ4, 10xCooper RF9540, 1xLeviton VRFI10, 1xLeviton VP00R, 2xLinear GD00Z-4, 1xGE/Jasco 45612, 1xGE/Jasco 45610,  4xGE/Jasco 45605, 2xYale YRD220-ZW-619, 1xCaddx NX584, Autelis Intellitouch Pool Control, OpenSprinkler

Offline garrettwp

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Re: UI7 - "Dear MiOS Development Partner" email
« Reply #159 on: January 27, 2015, 11:12:41 pm »
Cameras support is a grey area. Vera does not support ptz and other functions unless there is an appropriate I_xxx.xml file for that camera or a plugin is tailored for it. You should only expect support for getting an image for it. The problem lies in that every make / model uses a different api to retrieve the image and controls. To support every camera would be a pain! Do not expect out of the box support on full control besides an image with vera without some hacking / fiddling.

Adding a camera as a generic camera will only get you support for retrieving the image.

- Garrett
« Last Edit: January 27, 2015, 11:16:08 pm by garrettwp »

Offline garrettwp

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Re: UI7 - &quot;Dear MiOS Development Partner&quot; email
« Reply #160 on: January 27, 2015, 11:28:23 pm »
I held off long enough to post my 2 cents and I may get some flack for it. 

What I don't get is that you post your plugin for free in the app store and on the forum with the intention of providing to the community and then later on pretty much expect compensation from MCV for your work?! That does not make sense or is fair. If you want to be compensated for your work, do as what Richard is doing and charge for your plugin.

Now this has nothing to do with the lack of response or support for providing us better means of development, that's a different issue which is being discussed here.

- Garrett


Offline chixxi

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Re: UI7 - &quot;Dear MiOS Development Partner&quot; email
« Reply #161 on: January 28, 2015, 02:16:40 am »
I held off long enough to post my 2 cents and I may get some flack for it. 

What I don't get is that you post your plugin for free in the app store and on the forum with the intention of providing to the community and then later on pretty much expect compensation from MCV for your work?! That does not make sense or is fair. If you want to be compensated for your work, do as what Richard is doing and charge for your plugin.

Now this has nothing to do with the lack of response or support for providing us better means of development, that's a different issue which is being discussed here.

First, it is about finally making Vera Ltd. understand the importance and value of these plugins and the community arround it. And it is not enough to hear from a single employee in the forum "Yes, Yes, we understood, everything will be fine in time.", I have heard that many times before. I want to get the management to talk about this problem, money is the way to get managers seeing a problem ;). But I have said this before. I think it would very well be in the interesst of Vera Ltd. to take over my plugins and keep them online for free without having to charge the users. But this is a management decision.

It is my decission what is fair to do with my plugins, nobody elses. It is my right to take the plugins offline whenever I feel like it, even if the community thinks it is unfair (and of course the community does, I am taking away free stuff).

For your camera issues, this might help. I once uploaded a file which allows you to configure the commands for ptz manually as a variable: http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,16868.msg133554.html#msg133554
Developer of Plugins: Virtual Switch, Variable Container, Popcorn Hour Remote, Vacation Ghost. => PLUGINS HAVE BEEN UNPUBLISHED BY ME.

macrho

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Re: UI7 - "Dear MiOS Development Partner" email
« Reply #162 on: January 28, 2015, 05:24:42 am »
@garrettwp is right on. Unfortunately, this sticks it more to the users than Vera, but it is your plugin to do as you wish. All this does is give users second thoughts on whether or not to install it. But I didn't pay for it and it's your time to do as you wish.

Offline ServiceXp

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Re: UI7 - "Dear MiOS Development Partner" email
« Reply #163 on: January 28, 2015, 07:19:38 am »
@garrettwp is right on. Unfortunately, this sticks it more to the users than Vera, but it is your plugin to do as you wish. All this does is give users second thoughts on whether or not to install it. But I didn't pay for it and it's your time to do as you wish.

I think it does a little more than that, well at least it will in the long run. If Vera Ltd. isn't able to get it's act together, I have no doubt that other devs will leave and perhaps if they also decide to pull their apps the prospective buyer will have less desire to move forward with a Vera. Couple this with other viable options that become available in the future.

Time will tell.
U.S.A Vera 3

macrho

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Re: UI7 - "Dear MiOS Development Partner" email
« Reply #164 on: January 28, 2015, 08:56:44 am »
I've been hoping for better hardware, have passed on the Edge.
and I continue to watch for what hardware is being developed that may allow me to switch off of Vera
The community is what keeps me here, heck as I documented above how the community was instrumental in solving my stability issues with Vera even though I had a ticket open with support that went nowhere for months and months.

With a couple of developers taking their toys and leaving or just leaving, it seems like a sinking ship. I'm going to start spending some time with OpenHAB, maybe look at Fibaro, I dunno yet. I hope these guys can get their act together. I've stopped actively singing the praises of Vera to others - talk is cheap, hopefully something concrete comes out of this thread.