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webserver designer

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    webserver designer

    I spent the last few days reviewing Homeseer from the perspective of using it as a HA webserver - likely purchasing a dedicated box like the HomeTroller - and operating it from web capable devices. I have disabled clients who use UMPCs, Macs, XP notebooks and other devices like the N800 through special access methods - so I was attracted to the idea of using a common webserver to make HA things platform independent. Homeseer as a controller base seems to integrate all the common HA devices and protocol very well - but the webserver component needs work. I wanted to make some easy common onscreen keypad designs for rooms, IR device control keypads, and appliance/lighting keypads suitable for touchscreen devices. I found and tried jon00 control designer but it only seems to do x10 events and I wasn't clear whether it could be setup for IR events.

    What I found most tedious was it came down to editing an ini text file with constant referencing to cryptic event names and syntax to communicate back to the HS controllers. Not good for the uninitiated....

    Tried netremote with NetTouchPad.ccf and couldn't even get it to comm back the the HS hsgirder server ports - although the HS webserver worked fine through Firefox....

    Is there no editor out there that provides a simple visual style layout tool to create buttons and interlinked webpages for the HS webserver with easy assignment of x10 and ir, webcam, etc control events to those virtual buttons (ideally through a dropdown list of available events)? Is MainLobby any better at this?

    The idea is to keep all changes on the HS webserver and not be transferring and updating files (like ccfs) on the portable control platform. The ability to make changes remotely would be great too.. Also the object and graphics on the webpage need to have properties that make them identifiable to other software such as NaturallySpeaking.


    The only interfaces I know that are web based to control Homeseer is the standard Homeseer web pages which include the built-in Touchpad interface and my offering.

    There are several other interfaces that work with Homeseer including Mainlobby, Maestro, NetRemote, XLobby and the soon to be released HSTouch. Each have their strengths and weaknesses including the platforms/devices that they work on, programming language, interfaces, ease of use, design interface, flexibility, cost etc.

    If you are looking for a flexible intuitive designer interface, you should probably look at MainLobby or wait until HSTouch is released (June-August 2008), however it really depends on your control hardware that you wish to use. I do not think you will find an interface that meets all your current requirements.

    For the record, my touchscreen interface will control any Homeseer event, IR, X10, Z-Wave, Insteon, scripts etc and can embed any web page/camera interface/images etc within a page. The use of ini files is a bit clunky but in the end I only offer this as donationware rather than a commercial product. You will need to pay around $200 for something like Mainlobby but you are getting a far slicker package for your money.

    Your final choice would be to roll your own by learning ASP/ASPX language and writing your own pages. I appreciate that this may not be an option.


      After more looking I do think the jon00 controls interface is the nicest for building a nice graphic interface layout. I will need to explore it more since you say it can be made to do the control aspects I need, infrared and webcams, z-wave, etc

      I also looked at Rover and the iphone varient and they are quite nice although they are not written to handle infrared controls as keypads. I did like the way rover parses the list of locations and devices from information provided by the homeseer server to build a list of available controls.

      This led me back to the Touchpad plugin and I noticed that it does the same in providing information - location and device and status as provided from the homeseer webserver. It also provides Infrared keys in the row/column specified in the homeseer setup pages. looking further at the skins directories I noticed that there are graphics items already available for building more sohisticated keypads and layout, but none of the skins use them.....are there any more Touchpad skins available? Is there instruction for writing my own?