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Interactive flow-editor

Hi all,
I have used a couple of home automation controllers (own a HC2, vera3, zipabox and Domoticz). Gona sell the vera3 and zipabox soon to buy the Homey :-)
They all lack a simple editor. They have editors, but they are either not simple or not powerful enough.

Sure, homey has some other selling point which make me drool :-) but for me the editor is really important.
A good powerful editor would make home automation for the common people and not only (with respect) for the geeks.

When I first saw Homey on kickstarter I wanted to back it but there was no mentioning of an editor. Later it came but I missed it.

My question is: how good will the editor be? Powerful, simple, fast? Can you explain a bit more about it? Tease us with some screenshots maybe :-) ?


PS. If you guys manage to pull this of and really deliver what you envisioned than this is going to be a great product! Keep it going guys!


  • EmileEmile Administrator, Athom
    We haven't started development of the editor just yet, but it's going to be powerful and simple at the same time.

    There are events, actions and logic elements. An event is when something occurs, e.g. you get home, or you get an e-mail. An action is something to do, like turn on the lights. In between those, you can add logic, like time is between 13:00 and 15:00. This will allow for many combinations!
  • Ok, thanks. But you have given it some thought :-)

    There is going to be some "if this then that" and "elseif"?
    With the HC2 for example you don't have the "elseif", so you have to stackup the scenes, it becomes a mess.
    Will the editor be ready with the release of Homey?
  • EmileEmile Administrator, Athom
    We don't plan for an else-if, as you can still make a new flow. You can group them to keep it clean, e.g. 'Livingroom'.
  • hmmm, ok
    Why is that? Is it hard to do?
  • Emile,

    We at least need the flow editor to allow statuses, without these the complexity of rules is seriously restricted. I agree with Aaron, to compete with other systems like the Fibaro we really need a good editor, not a restricted one. For example, with Fibaro I can make rules that link to custom actions (Like my Fishtank's API / Webhook) Without such features Homey will not meet market demand. We're not looking for simple - we're looking for easy to use.
  • EmileEmile Administrator, Athom
    What I described is not restricted in any way. Else-if is the same as a new 'if'.

    As an App exposes actions & events, you can link everything together! There are no limitations with the current design we have :-)

    When we are beginning on the flow editor, we'll release progress as we make it, and we encourage you to give feedback on it at that time!
  • Can't wait :-)
  • Perfect, thanks for the clarification Emile.
  • Homey supports Android 4 running Tasker. Do you really need a dedicated flow editor? Or is tasker too complicated for that purpose?
  • EmileEmile Administrator, Athom
    @ThieuStultiens, we've never definitely confirmed that we would support Tasker :)
  • To my knowledge tasker is not supported on iphone. Besides that you want the homey to run by it self.
    When you only use tasker it means you need your phone to connect to your house to use any of the automation.

    When you are working late and your family is at home. Nothing of the automation works. Or when your phone's battery is empty, which is pretty realistic.

  • Have a look at
  • EmileEmile Administrator, Athom
    @MatjaLipu, thanks! :)
  • NodeRed is a great model to follow. Obviously it needs cleanup, but as an expandable platform its really got some interesting traits. Plus it is already setup to support sharing of "recipes"
  • EmileEmile Administrator, Athom
    I've just wrapped up the logic block. See a super useful example here ;)
  • That certainly looks very promising!
    As a feature request:
    Maybe you guys could make it so you can invert the statements so you can have :
    TrackChanged && !aStatement then doSomething
  • EmileEmile Administrator, Athom
    Yep that's actually possible already. The cards in the middle column can be inverted (added a ! In boolean logic terms). I'm just looking for a nice visual way to do this, like flipping the card or so.
  • Ah cool!
    It's nice to see that such a small startup does such a great job on listening to the community and trying to make their wishes come true!
  • edited January 2015
    This really seems very nice! Keep up the good work.
    And like the comments, please add this rule before shipment :).
  • So, how powerful is the editor exactly?
    How complex can you make stuff and how easy is it to make complex stuff?
    Can you use variables or states?

    Can it do:
    If then frontdoor_last_opened = now.
    If motion.detected and frontdoor_last_opened < now - 5_minutes then person_entered = true.
    If person_entered then

    Using variables would allow one to reuse the states and program homey with more complex behavior depending of different states rather then needing to duplicate a lot of triggers. I can imagine that I want different things to happen based on the time I come home, the day of the week, time of the year, amount of daylight and how many people are already in the house.
  • EmileEmile Administrator, Athom
    @JaapPelt, you can not save variables in this way using the Flow Editor. For these kind of scenarios I really suggest to program it in JavaScript. It's almost as easy and allows for unlimited flexibility.

    The flow editor works like this:

    when: { something happened }
    and: { this is true, this is true as well, this is not true, this is true }
    then: { do this, and do this, and do this }

    The 'when' exposes tags, so for example "When someone has entered the house", a tag 'Who' would contain the person who just entered. You can then use this tag in the 'and' and 'then' columns. For example:

    when: { Someone entered the house }(who: dave)
    and: { (who) equals 'dave' }
    then: { say: Hi, (who)! }

    Does that make sense? :)
  • Hi Emile,

    Very well chosen: Keeping the flow editor simple and intuitive while providing unlimited power though javascript.
    I'm going to have tons of fun with this!
  • AaronAaron Member
    edited January 2015
    I don't completely agree.
    Yes, keep it simple and intuitive . But that does not mean it should lack functionality.
    These days there are enough controllers with simple editors that lack so much functionality...homey could be better.

    If you want to have everybody as a potential customer (people are ready for home automation now) and not only the programmers then I think you should expand the possibilities of the editor.

    There are allot of people with great ideas about how they would like their house to react to certain things but are not programmers and don't have the time and intention to learn a programming language.

    I would like to sit on the couch with my iPad in my hand and change a scene in 2 minutes. I would like not to worry about flawed code. I understand that you can do allot with tags and variables, but I would like to have some things in one go.

    So please, think out of the box. Don't be like the others.
    Others have voice control, a visual editor, an app, a nice unit, multiple radio's, are easy to setup, an appstore....homey has all of that in one package, the others are different units (HC2, Zipato, Vera, Homeseer, domoticz, smarthings, revolv).
    But Homey needs to stay on top of it to be the best and I think that a good visual editor is very important (thinking about the WAF to ;-))

    My opinion again :-)

    PS. Not saying that you guys are not thinking out of the box, maybe I am not....but keep that in mind when you develop something like Homey and in this case the editor. There are already enough who are not thinking outside of the box.
  • @Aaron, I do agree with your reasoning/comments. I would just like to mention scratch, which allows even kids to make a program( Maybe something to take a peek at. (And yes, the WAF is definitely an important one...)
  • EmileEmile Administrator, Athom
    @Aaron, please share your thoughts on where the current editor is too limited for you.
  • Will there a;os be a notification system in one of the options? E.g. Boxcar or Boxcar2?
    When a door is opened then send a notification to system between certain times?
    Greetings, Frank
  • Hi Emile,
    I don't know for sure because I have not seen it completely and I think you guys are not finished yet. And maybe I am wrong and will it work super easy and do all I want.

    The one thing I think I am missing is a rule like this:

    when I say something
    if I am in the living room
    Do this
    if I am in the kitchen do that
    if i am in the bedroom
    do something else

    I guess I just wan't to be able to define multiple conditions (basically have as little limitations as possible)

    The people who are saying that you can do all that "easy" with javascript (or any other language) are by no doubt programmers (and enjoying it) and find it hard to understand that the majority of the people are not programmers and need something visual and even easier :-)

    I also understand that the difficult part of this is finding a balance between usability and functionality.
  • +1 on the multiple conditions :)
    although this maybe isn't the best example? How can Homey know in what room you are? :)
  • "Hey Homey, Kitchen lights on please!"
  • EmileEmile Administrator, Athom


    Obviously it's not as fancy yet, but I hope you see that what you want is definitely possible :)

    As to how Homey knows where you are: this is extremely difficult. We try to do an educated guess by tracking your smartphone's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signal, but it won't always be accurate. Using additional sensors, this might get easier in the future.
This discussion has been closed.