Scenes added to the server

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Scenes added to the server image

There has been a lot of silence lately on the blog posts, but this does not mean we are at a stand still. The opposite is true! We are working hard to a lot of things and one of the biggest things that has happened is that we have split up our project in a large amount of smaller projects which makes it easier for us to build dependencies on and distinguish purposes. We are also adding more stability and even geo-fencing and are working hard on a new phone client.

But this is not what this post is about. We got a lot of requests to be able to add scenes to the server, and with any respectable piece of home automation software, scenes are a integrated part of it. It was already on our to-do list, but the amount of requests had it put it higher on the list. And now here it is:

What are scenes

Scenes are little small programs running on the server. With these scenes you can set a bunch of lights in a specific color, turn stuff on or off almost all the same things as with macro’s. But, with a little twist.

The twist

The reason why we call it little programs is not because you only set a scene where devices are being put in a specific state, or light color, etc.. No this little programs lock your devices. This means that any background service running (for example the automation rules) are not able to change their states. This means that when you set a scene, it really becomes a scene as long as you want the scene to be active. But, you can always manually override them.

When you de-activate the scene your device will be put back in the state that it was, or it should have been if the scene was not active. Yes, on the background it tracks the states of actuators what they have should have been if a scene was not active. This means disabling a scene will ALWAYS (if possible) put your actuators in their supposed to be states.

Example:
You and your friends are sitting on the porch and normally the porch light is turned of at 23:00. I do not know why, but it does. Without having a scene called “Hanging out on the porch” which locks the lights to ON when active you and your friends will be sitting in the dark at 23:00. So this scene is enabled, the lights stay on and at 23:45 you guys decide to call it a day. You turn of the scene “Hanging out on the porch” when you guys are inside, and the lights will be turned off because they where supposed to at 23:00. But because this scene has the devices locked, it won’t happen until the scene is turned off.
Or, when you decide that when the porch lights are on, but you want one light off when you say so, just turn off the light, all actuators are still controllable while in a scene by human intention.

Location based

Scenes are location based, even when you use only one device in that room/location. When you create a scene you only have a choice of actuators, if you have configured your actuators wisely the correct scene locations will be handled. Because scenes are location based, every location can only have one scene active at a time.

Let me give you an example:
If you have a scene called “Diner” which includes devices in the living and dining room, these both locations are active with the scene “Diner”. Activating a scene with the name “Watch movie” which only influences the living room while “Diner” is active, will deactivate the scene “Diner” for both locations. The Dining room devices will be set to their original/new states and the living room to the “Watch movie” scene state.

What will happen to the macro’s?

That is a good question. We are thinking of phasing them out as the macro’s and scenes will be handling the same code base. This will result in two scene types, an “One shot scene” and a “Programmed scene”. But we can also stay on having macro’s, one shot scenes and programmed scenes. A macro is not automatically a scene, and not everyone always wants a programmed scene. So we are still thinking of this.

I have some questions

And we have a forum: http://forum.pidome.org/viewtopic.php?pid=960

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