options!?!?

Have a great idea about how to expand ML - post it here
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options!?!?

Postby donburkard » Sun May 16, 2010 6:44 pm

OK so if any of you follow the touchscreen thread you have no doubt seen me ask "what about this thing" or "will this work" about a hundred and eighty times. Sorry, but you know what, If a third of the units where usable, i think mainlobby would expand into a bigger market. Even if it stayed the size and growth rate its at now, WE would have more options.

Obviously the ipod touch, iphone and now the ipad are not going away anytime soon. And because of them we now have the about a thousand other devices and a half dozen or more markets for apps.
ML seems to be lagging on this front, although due to the size comparison between ml and other ha companies i dont blame em at all. that said, i think its time to start to push towards it, dedicated ml apps that is. (if you havent already)

Apple may be a tough nut to crack but it seems as though the andriod, chumby, dash(which ill come back to), cydia and other markets are easier to move forward in? Am i off base with this? Does any one else feel this way?

Dave and Mario, Thoughts?

As for the Sony Dash thing, has anyone picked one of these things up yet? They look like they could be AMAZING little additions to ml if done correctly. 200 bucks! clean looking, and did i say 200 bucks!!!
i think im gonna order one this week unless someone gives me a reason not to.

Dave, Mario, as always Great work, and thanks
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Re: options!?!?

Postby sonypoolplr » Mon May 17, 2010 6:52 am

I too have thought about the Dash, but I haven't done too much research into it yet to see what it can and cannot do. It says that you can browse the web, so I am assuming that web pages to control ML would be available (?). Also, I don't know how many app designers are jumping on this unit, or if even a Mainlobby app would even work on it.

I am interested in seeing where this all leads is to.

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Re: options!?!?

Postby donburkard » Mon May 17, 2010 9:25 am

From what I have read the apps are chumby apps so I'm assuming if there was an app for one it would work on both
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Re: options!?!?

Postby DavidL » Mon May 17, 2010 10:04 am

Other than a web interface, I wouldn't get your hopes up on a Dash or a Chumby MainLobby UI app.

The easiest way is to post a forum survey asking how many people currently own either. Note, this isn't how many would buy one, but OWN one. When you get three responses that say they do (and own MainLobby) divide up a a 5 digit development fee by those three. If the three walk away, that's why you won't see a Chumby MainLobby interface.

Even more popular solutions like the iPhone or Android currently have same issue. There is just a small intersection of those customers and own MainLobby and want the integration. Each of these platforms is significantly different from a development perspective and UI code development is not trivial and more signficant than a plugin device driver for a piece of automation hardware.

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Re: options!?!?

Postby bigDvette » Mon May 17, 2010 1:18 pm

DavidL,

Everything you say may be right, but the questions isn't can someone find 3 people to divide up a 5 digit development fee, but how long with ML last in this ever expanding HA space that is finding something like 75% of HA solutions target devices like the iphone, ipad ...

It shouldn't be that hard to develop a out of the box set of intefaces for any number of highly penetrated platforms like iPhone /iPad, Android and flash. The issue as I see it (again only as I see it) is that the ML framework is "too" open. What I mean by that is there is no real data framework that all these plugins subscribe to. Example, there isn't really a concept of zones across security, lighting, audio ... The object model for how all these "plugins" interface with the UI component is very loose. ...

All of this makes it so that all the magic around putting things together happens in the UI itself or in the macros.

So if there was a standard base object model/schema that laid out the properties of all these devices, all plugins were written to populate this baisc schema and then maybe populate additonal variables as well and there was a more "standard" interface for accessing that data (maybe a subscribable push webservice like the ISY uses), the UI would be trivial to build across platforms and would not need to be "highly customizable" like the existing Mainlobby Client is.

So, my real point is that until all that exists, it will be expensive for someone to ask for a custom UI to be built. It is expensive in many ways because those things don't already exist today and why should the community pay for those things. I like Mainlobby, but don't think it will last if it doesn't find a way to either allow people to create their own UIs more easily by chopping of the flash UI or find a way to develop more "standard" UIs across a greater number of devices other than via webbrowser.

My .02.

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Re: options!?!?

Postby CinemarDave » Mon May 17, 2010 6:51 pm

I just don't think the Dash or the Chumby have the horse power it takes to run a MainLobby client. Since these are not Windows based devices we'd have to make a special version of the Flash client that would be targeted to these devices. We just do not see enough need to justify the development time.

However, there is more than sufficient need to justify iPhone, iPad and Android development. What you will see is that the MainLobby tools for these devices will be geared more towards turn-key applications that do specific tasks and do them well. We will not allow a lot of end user UI customization on these devices. The UI will simply conform to your automation environment. You'll start to see this support in upcoming releases for the 3.9x products and while it is too early to talk about the V4 generation of products you will see a lot of standardization across "families" of products. MainLobby will last. We are in a evolutionary time and MainLobby is evolving.

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Re: options!?!?

Postby donburkard » Mon May 17, 2010 7:41 pm

ok.... thats a good answer. :D thanks Dave
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Re: options!?!?

Postby bigDvette » Mon May 17, 2010 10:30 pm

=D>

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Re: options!?!?

Postby DaveB » Tue May 18, 2010 8:26 pm

Finally, just a hint of insight. If anything, you guys need to post some candy like this every 6 weeks or so. It reminds us all that you have a plan and are looking ahead. It will help keep customers here and interested. :lol: Just some friendly advice.
Thanks!

Dave Bruner
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