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  • Abandoned 3P Plugins... OpenSource them :)

    Interested in everyone thoughts. I'm new here so maybe this has been done in the past?

    While many of the paid plugins are being properly supported it looks like some have been abandoned. Most HS plugins are expensive (as % of the overall software cost and compared to most other HA systems). If the plugin is supported that is one thing... but selling an abandoned plugin is doing the community a disservice IMO.

    I think its appropriate for HS to OpenSource a plugin after a period of time if the author does not support it.

    For instance...
    SceneMaster looks good and could be great if development had not stopped over a year ago. The author has not even logged in since Apr 2016.
    https://forums.homeseer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1294

    This Plugin fills a Huge gap in HS core code. Modern HA systems typically have this built-in for free anyway. Manually creating/organizing Scenes in Homeseer is tedious and a plugin is sorely needed but asking users to pay for an abandoned plugin is not the right thing to do.

  • #2
    I have licensed some plugins that don't get a lot of activity in their respective sub-forums. That's fine since some of them run just fine and I'm pleased with the value they have provided.

    I do understand your point though. A plugin in which the author just seems to go silent. It can hurt but if the thing you want is new, maybe they don't want to invest time. Their choice. I look at a plugin purchase as a point in time. Does it deliver more value than I have to pay? If so, buy it. Usually, if you don't change the inputs to the piece of code, it will continue to output what you expect.

    You suggest forcing the code to open source. No way in hell I could condone that. Logistically and legally impossible. In legal terms, that would be a 'taking'. You even suggesting that gets my hackles up.

    Are you a coder?

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    • #3
      Op, I completely agree.

      It's abandonware and imho, HS should have a clause that if suppliers can not or do not provide a specified level of support, they relinquish rights to the source.

      HA is close to an essential service in many houses and we rely on plugins that we pay for to work and continue to work...that's why we pay for them!

      Personally, as I have said before, the whole make "money from your plugin" model is completely backfired for HS...look at how few plugins there for this product vs. open source model HA products. Nice idea to help the community make some cash, but fatally flawed in reality and cripples the community green housing and collaboration that is the hallmark of opensource.


      Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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      • #4
        if you don't like to pay for plugins take the time to write your own. all the tools and information needed are available for free.
        If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

        Comment


        • #5
          Agreed. One particular plugin swung my decision to purchase HS3 Pro in the first place. As it happens that particular plugin is supplied on a "free" basis and the author could not be more helpful if he tried. He knows who he is and many thanks for all your assistance.

          I'm not a big fan of eye candy either. As long as software does what it claims to do that's all that interests me. The tighter the code design the more efficient the software operates. People tend to get hung up on the GUI at the expense of efficiency and this is very true when it comes to HA.

          The majority of paid plugins I find are just gimmicks and I've tried quite a few and dispensed with them. No point cluttering up your system for the sake of having the latest and greatest.

          Good luck to the 3P plugin developers but I really think the HS developers should be trying to integrate the product a little more and give HS a feeling of a finished product without having to purchase additional addons to increase productivity.

          Comment


          • #6
            Guys
            Trying to focus on what should be done with them when support is gone (end of life - developer no longer supporting)

            There is nothing wrong with making plugins and charging for them, but to have paid plugins that cost $30-60 become unsupported when they are vital part of people's system is not in any ones best interest IMO - not even Homeseer's

            Homeseer needs these plugins as Concordseer pointed out, without the plugins Homeseer has tons of gaps so most people would not be buying Homeseer without them.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by concordseer View Post
              Agreed. One particular plugin swung my decision to purchase HS3 Pro in the first place. As it happens that particular plugin is supplied on a "free" basis and the author could not be more helpful if he tried. He knows who he is and many thanks for all your assistance.

              I'm not a big fan of eye candy either. As long as software does what it claims to do that's all that interests me. The tighter the code design the more efficient the software operates. People tend to get hung up on the GUI at the expense of efficiency and this is very true when it comes to HA.

              The majority of paid plugins I find are just gimmicks and I've tried quite a few and dispensed with them. No point cluttering up your system for the sake of having the latest and greatest.

              Good luck to the 3P plugin developers but I really think the HS developers should be trying to integrate the product a little more and give HS a feeling of a finished product without having to purchase additional addons to increase productivity.
              I personally don't have an issue with developers charging for their plugins (I do for the 1 I developed and released so far, so perhaps I'm biased).Note that I've made exactly zero dollars off my plugin as well, so perhaps it is one of the more "gimmicky" ones and i'm OK with that. I wrote it to get more comfortable with c#.net and HS Plugins. I charge because I think it is is worth it. Maybe one day I will make it free, who knows.

              I will agree though that if a developer decides that they will not be supporting a plug-in anymore that they should release the code as open source or attempt to "sell it" to another developer to manage. At the very least they should be required to post messages, when possible, stating their discontinuation of support. This is why I ask in plug-in sub-forums if they are actively being supported or not before I buy.

              As for them being Gimmicky, I have plenty plug-ins which I pay for which I don't find Gimmicks. Is it gimmicky that I can control my While House Audio system and have finer control over where my announcements go via BLRussound and BLSpeak? I don't think so, I think it adds real value to my home automation system.

              However, many of the paid plugins I may write my own versions of. Not because I don't want to pay for them (many of them I already have), but because I want features which, understandably, the developers may not see the benefit of adding it to theirs. Many of those versions will likely never be released to anyone else unless I feel there is a need for it.



              As to the feeling of a finished product. If they removed 3P plugin support, then HS would never have anywhere near the functionality they have now. To me that would be like saying Apple and Google should remove their app stores and instead they should write their own apps to cover everything. Are there things that some plugins add that I think HS should have incorporated directly into HS? yes (EasyTrigger comes to mind), but at least we have the option to add that functionality ourselves via Plugins.

              @davros
              I think you will find it hard to HST to set up any kind of terms stating that if a developer hasn't supported a plugin for X amount of time, the source is released by HST. This would require developers to release their source code to HST and I don't think developers nor HST really care to have to manage that.
              Thanks,
              Frank

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              • #8
                I've been bitten buying a paid plugin where the author ghosted on me (weeks rather than months of it's release), left a bit of a sour taste. As such I will think twice about buying one in the future and I'll have to be satisfied that I think it will be supported for a reasonable time frame before I part with my hard earned money. Now I am in a position that none of my plugins are paid plugins albeit I know that I am in a fortunate position of being able to write one myself if I want to.

                I think there should be more assurances through the HS store though, if HS are selling something (a plugin) through them (and earn a %age of it) then IMHO it would be only reasonable to expect that that item be fit for purpose, of satisfactory quality and as described. As part of that I would expect the author support it for a reasonable time frame.
                My Plugins:

                Pushover 3P | DoorBird 3P | Current Cost 3P | Velleman K8055 3P | LAMetric 3P | Garadget 3P | Hive 3P |
                Yeelight 3P | Nanoleaf 3P

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                • #9
                  I have a document drafted for my wife for when I pass. It lists passwords, accounts, etc.
                  One portion is what to do with my paid plugins. I have the plugins in bitbucket (git) and instructions on who to send the password to.
                  No way I would open source mine...

                  Sent from my Galaxy S7 Edge using Tapatalk
                  HS3Pro Running on a Raspberry Pi3
                  64 Z-Wave Nodes, 168 Events, 280 Devices
                  UPB modules via OMNI plugin/panel
                  Plugins: Z-Wave, BLRF, OMNI, HSTouch, weatherXML, EasyTrigger
                  HSTouch Clients: 3 Android, 1 Joggler

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rmasonjr View Post
                    I have a document drafted for my wife for when I pass. It lists passwords, accounts, etc.
                    One portion is what to do with my paid plugins. I have the plugins in bitbucket (git) and instructions on who to send the password to.
                    No way I would open source mine...

                    Sent from my Galaxy S7 Edge using Tapatalk
                    I'm somewhat reminded of this - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letters_of_last_resort ! Let's hope it does not come to that for anyone here any time soon.

                    I agree, I'm reluctant to open source mine (I might decide to release the source for some of them), there is zero to stop plagiarism and the next person earning money from you.
                    My Plugins:

                    Pushover 3P | DoorBird 3P | Current Cost 3P | Velleman K8055 3P | LAMetric 3P | Garadget 3P | Hive 3P |
                    Yeelight 3P | Nanoleaf 3P

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sirmeili View Post
                      @davros
                      I think you will find it hard to HST to set up any kind of terms stating that if a developer hasn't supported a plugin for X amount of time, the source is released by HST. This would require developers to release their source code to HST and I don't think developers nor HST really care to have to manage that.
                      My thought is since HST is taking a cut of the plugin price, and making it available through their store, they should have this obligation. And if a plugin developer wants to make a large sum of money per license then they should agree to release source code if they stop supporting it.

                      Since this is a small ecosystem and HST is massively dependent on plugins for their existence, they should take a larger role in doing whats right for the community - as if their income depends on it, it does - I just dont think they get it and may not until its too late for them.

                      <thought bubble>

                      I remember what Homeseer was like in the v1.x days ... huge community giving to each other freely for the benefit of all.

                      Homeseer still has some of this but the I saw Rich's attitude change with v2 release.

                      While recently many moved to HS from Vera; it is ONLY because Vera is unstable but just as capable as HS otherwise - and alternates (OpenHAB, Home Assistant, Smarthings) aren't there yet without tinkering. But maybe even more Vera users moved to those. Those communities remind me of the old HS1 days.

                      Those others will reach a point soon (1-2 yrs), baring any revolutionary improvements in HS, they will all best HS. Those have fast development with many contributors, the openness attracts more users and devs frequently, device support is very good, and plugins are free.
                      ... it will be interesting to see what happens with HST.

                      I clearly see whats coming. Recently I've dug into Vera, Homeseer 3, Home Assistant, OpenHAB, and become internal tester for a commercial system that is not yet released.

                      Its going to be a fun 2 yrs in the HA biz...

                      </thought bubble>

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just because source code gets released doesn't mean someone will pickup where the previous developer left off. Take the windows media player plugin that Homeseer open sourced for instance. Mrhappy and I both looked at it and tried to figure out how it worked. It might as well have been written in ancient sandscript. God help the person that sees the source code for my monoprice amp plugin even I'm not sure how it works.
                        If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

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                        • #13
                          That might be true but it is not a reason to justify allowing plugins to die.
                          Many time I have taken code that was a mess and made it better and also added functionality.
                          A decade ago I made a large web/script set called HACT for Homeseer v1. 7... I have a been asked for it a hundred times since then. A few times even over 10 years after releasing it.

                          Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk

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                          • #14
                            I don't even think that HST has the source for most of the plugins.


                            Which plugins for HS3 are you seeing as abandoned? I find that all of the ones I use are updated from time to time.
                            Originally posted by rprade
                            There is no rhyme or reason to the anarchy a defective Z-Wave device can cause

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                            • #15
                              I've found a few, the two I'm personally interested in are Scene Master and BLDenon (and other Blade Plugins) I'm sure there are more, I'm just starting to explore plugins

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