Homey Community Forum

Open Source


#1

I am one of the first users of the Homey. The pitch of Athom showing the potential of Homey and their ideas were great.
Being one of the first and them telling that it contained bugs still, didn’t throw me off and I accepted it. But after running into a lot of issues together with the poor communications (only status updates and promisses that weren’t kept) and the fact that they said that they would disable the desktop app, I unplugged the device and bought myself a Rasbarry Pi.

Now, a long time later, I thought I would give it a try again. Paid 300 Euros for it, I thought that after this many time, the product would be stable and a real mass consumer product. A product for everyone and not only the geeks/nerds.

Everything up and running again (moved the devices from Dom…cz to Homey again) and back on the commuity forum. It is like I have never left. Everything is still the same (looking at the V2 discussion as an example).

To me it is obvious. Look, it is not my company and for sure it is up to them what their strategy should be. I also don’t know their financial status, the sales, costs etc. So I am not hold back by any knowledge (company ins and outs). But this would be my suggestion: Make Homey software Open Source.

Athom sells hardware. That is their revenue. The software is needed to sell the product, right?
Why not make the software Open Source? I think I can say safely that the software is a painfull process at Athom.

Look at the .NET Core open source project. Due to the fact that they made it open source, the project is sky rocketing. A company maintains the main repository and a huge amount of people are helping (pull requests etc.)
The quality and speed of innovation is high.

I don’t expect any response of Athom to reply. Would be nice to hear their motivation to keep it propriaty in stead of open source. Are they afraid of clones?
Maybe they should fear other competitors more (like Google and Amazon).


#2

I would love if they participated in the forum. Feels like they are sitting in an ivory tower. I have reported plenty bugs, I get a response that it was that it was forwarded to the right dev and thats where it stops.


#3

My guess would be: yes, exactly this. I think that this is also the reason why they close-sourced a lot of their own apps, because “others” had “stolen” their ideas. So even though community developers need to make their apps open source, Athom is actively close-sourcing theirs.

An added consequence of that is that it becomes harder for me to help people out (either here or on Slack) if they have an issue with an Athom app, because I can’t take a look at the source to see if it’s an actual bug or not (and it’s not that Athom themselves are very active here or on Slack so that they can help out).


#4

I think the best and only way to beat clones is to have a quality they can’t reach.

Which in this case would be a revamped forum which is completely English and not a mix of different languages as tips and tricks get lost.
Athom actively participates in the Forum.
Transparency to the development of apps
Transparency of bugfixing
New Appstore that doesn’t leave users stranded with their devices that can’t be used anymore due to a FW upgrade.

Seems like it is kinda the same problem some of their competition is having.

This is not to badmouth Athom, I want them to succeed. Also to prevent me from going insane because switching systems and having to include a well equipped house full of Z-Wave devices is anything but fun.


#5

Nah. I don’t see any examples of companies with a single product, the software made by themself and then opensourced and the only revenue is through selling that hardware. That doesn’t add up. You quickly will have a lot of competitors competing with you on your hardware, your only source of income.

Even if they wanted it to opensource it, then they (our you) have to buy it form the investors to set it free.
Good luck with that.

But the current setup would’nt surely be there endgame. It will be something like: first gain marketshare and then go to extras on a subscription like basis, additional accessories like displays and the like. And so gain other sources of income.
But I can think of some other scenarios as well.


#6

? Most of the forum is English. There’s a non-English part but that’s separated from the rest.

GH was set to readonly, probably because it’s not userfriendly for non-tech people. Also some apps were pulled from GH, I assume because manufacturers asked them to.

This was the case now because everyone is jumping on the experimental-train :slight_smile: But if you read the reports of people who did this last week, you’ll see it’s completely or almost without problems…


#7

Yes most. I am sure the dutch part has many very experienced users. It would be a shame if that experience isn’t accessible for everyone due to a language barrier. I understand why one likes to post in their mother language but I guess it works a little bit against being one community sharing a common goal.

What about apps where the dev hasn’t been actively involved anymore? Best example would be z-wave.me app where I am not sure if the dev will continue working on it and new appstore procedures won’t allow me to install it neither.


#8

I would hazard a guess and say that practically all the very experienced users are (mostly) active on the English part of the forum. Besides, I don’t see how making the forum English-only would suddenly cause any language barriers to magically disappear :slight_smile:


#9

Don’t take me wrong, people should post in whatever language they seem appropriate on the forum here but it was just more a general thing I have seen on other multi lingual forums where it created different language communities and their respective knowledge and experience stayed within.
Especially in smaller communities like this one it is nice when everyone has the access to the same knowledge and we can all pull on the same string :slight_smile:


#10

Regardless of demographic, Are consumers looking to buy homeys ‘hardware’ if they software can be placed upon any hardware they like, or are they buying the ‘hardware’ because of the massive amount of supported devices, integrations, core application, insights, easy to use flows etc?

Open source software has some amazing positive aspects, but so does proprietary software, many more then most people release.


#11

But they have to be careful with this because those supported devices and integrations are mainly based on the goodwill of developers providing their spare time to create those apps.


#12

Which funnily enough is a side effect of an open development community.

Suggested “open source app” would have the exact same restriction upon it.


#13

Interesting point. I think it is a combination of both.
Personally I am not a geek/hardware guy/linux boy etc. I am interested in home automation.

For me the concept of Homey was very appealing. Simple box that contains all kind of communication possibilities like Z-wave, wifi. Easy installation and use.
The concept is great and that is why I bought Homey.

Due to the bad execution of the idea (mostly software trouble), I decided to try it with the other option: dom…cz. A raspberry Pi, with Z-wave plus stick gen 5 with linux dom…cz.
Personally, I don’t really like that solution, because I am a consumer, not a hobbiest. It does certainly work, but as many linux software, it is designed for geeks and not consumers. Again, the stability was excelent!

Still, I like the concept of Homey and if it was executed as advertised, I would advice other people too to get Homey as home automation. Now I don’t.

So, yes, maybe people would port Homey to let it run on a Raspberry PI (I guess Homey is based on it). But would the amount of people going for Homey not far more in numbers? I think so. And yes, maybe you get Homey clones (Raspberry Pi with all devices in 1 box). This happened too with Dreambox (open source decoder)

But what is the alternative? Right now I don’t think Homey is a success eiher. This is mainly due to the disappointing software