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Just migrated from HS3 to HS4 and wish I hadn't.

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    Just migrated from HS3 to HS4 and wish I hadn't.

    Hi all,

    My previous HS3 installation ran our house well - I had 3000+devices, 100+ events, a load of scripts and plugins with many different integrations. Over time it started acting peculiarly and needed recovering from backups several times. After each recover, it'd run for a month or so and then the problem would be back. The problem I have now is that all my backups start failing when restored. A backup taken a day before HS3 fails causes HS3 to fail after a day when restored.

    As my HS3 system was many many years old, the easiest thing, I thought, was to start from scratch - I've learned a lot, things have changed and I'd probably end up with a more optimal system if I start from bare metal again.

    I bought the HS4 upgrade a long time ago, but never used it until yesterday when I took the plunge (prompted by yet another HS3 crash and burn).

    I know that every time something changes, one's mind needs adjustment and there is often frustration when things are done differently. After around 16 hours working on it, I think I've given HS4 a fair crack of the whip and as far as I'm concerned, it's a huge step backwards - to the point it is completely unusable for me. In no particular order, my problems with the latest version downloaded yesterday morning are:
    • Most of the time (but not all), devices don't update on screen in real time - the web page has to be refreshed to show the new device values.
    • The web page is completely unusable on a 1366x768 laptop when more than a few filters are applied because the top filter bar doesn't scroll up with the rest of the page.
    • Some menus are completely unusable when the browser window is too small - you have to scroll right to the top of the page before you can see all the menu options.
    • Each device takes up a ludicrously large amount of screen real estate when compared to HS3 - very approximately, the deviceutility page on my 3000+ device HS3 installation was about the same size as the 200 or so device HS4 installation I've set up so far. Having to scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll to find what I want is more than a little annoying.
    • Every device I create creates a completely unnecessary root device and there doesn't seem to be a way of adding a new device under an existing root device. This means that each device line is around three to four times the size of the same line in HS3's deviceutility.
    • It's not clear when edits/changes take effect - the method is completely inconsistent - sometimes you just press return, sometimes you have to save and sometimes you have to do nothing else.
    • Adding virtual devices needs two to three times the number of mouse clicks than it did on HS3 - it doesn't help that sometimes, but not all the time, you have to save the device on each tab because you can't move to the next tab without losing changes. Then, when you do save it, you go back to a screen you have to then click 'home' on to go back to the main device page, then you have to find the deivce in the huge list again, edit it again, change the second tap and then do all the same again for the third tab.
    • Just way more clicking and scrolling.
    • No date/time and sunrise/sunset times on the device page - this was incredibly useful when debugging. Now there's no easy way to see what time the HS4 system thinks it is (I'm running Win 10 under Proxmox and sometimes the times do get a bit out of sync due to the way Windows manages internet time).
    Don't think I'm saying HS3 was perfect - there were many many problems with it, but at least it was usable. For me (and I do appreciate that others may think differently), HS4 is unusable.

    Which gives me an interesting choice - do I go back to HS3 or do I continue with HS4 and then slowly migrate to HomeAssistant or something similar? Actually, looking at the HomeSeer website, it doesn't seem i can download HS3 any more, so I guess that's my decision made.

    Unless, that is, somebody can tell me I'm being a complete idiot (and please do, I'm quite happy to be wrong and learn something new - what's the point in having a mind if you can't change it!!) and that all of the above problems are easily circumventable.

    Nicholas.

    #2
    You do realize the majority of your issues are not seen from all others, right?
    Meaning it's gotta be something wrong on your end. Maybe a bad install? Did you try to uninstall and reinstall?
    Maybe the browser you use?
    Could be a lot of things and I just pointed out two but get in touch with HS and I bet they'll get it straightened out.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Demusman View Post
      Meaning it's gotta be something wrong on your end. Maybe a bad install? Did you try to uninstall and reinstall?
      Maybe the browser you use?
      Could be a lot of things and I just pointed out two but get in touch with HS and I bet they'll get it straightened out.
      There are two aspects to my comments - fundamental usability/design decisions, and buggy behaviour.
      Changing browser or re-installing won't sort out the former.
      Yes, of course I tried different browsers. The three items on the list which could be explained by an incompatible browser exist in Chrome, Firefox and Brave. I doubt a re-install will resolve these issues - and if an install can become corrupted in this very specific and limited way, then that's more reason to move on, isn't it?
      To be clear, with the exception of the first item in my list, I believe that every single item is a design decision, not a bug.

      Nicholas.

      Comment


        #4
        I've had to write a number of utilities for HS4 to reduce the impact of some of the limitations you list. Hopefully, they may be useful in your situation.

        Most of the time (but not all), devices don't update on screen in real time - the web page has to be refreshed to show the new device values.
        I see this often; depending on the number of devices shown.

        The web page is completely unusable on a 1366x768 laptop when more than a few filters are applied because the top filter bar doesn't scroll up with the rest of the page.

        Some menus are completely unusable when the browser window is too small - you have to scroll right to the top of the page before you can see all the menu options.
        Agreed. One option is to use your browsers zoom function and display at say 67%.

        Each device takes up a ludicrously large amount of screen real estate when compared to HS3 - very approximately, the deviceutility page on my 3000+ device HS3 installation was about the same size as the 200 or so device HS4 installation I've set up so far. Having to scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll to find what I want is more than a little annoying.
        HS4 still has the HS3 device utility page available but it is broken in parts. Use the URL:
        Code:
        <homeseer IP:port>/deviceutility
        Every device I create creates a completely unnecessary root device and there doesn't seem to be a way of adding a new device under an existing root device. This means that each device line is around three to four times the size of the same line in HS3's deviceutility.

        Adding virtual devices needs two to three times the number of mouse clicks than it did on HS3 - it doesn't help that sometimes, but not all the time, you have to save the device on each tab because you can't move to the next tab without losing changes. Then, when you do save it, you go back to a screen you have to then click 'home' on to go back to the main device page, then you have to find the deivce in the huge list again, edit it again, change the second tap and then do all the same again for the third tab.

        Just way more clicking and scrolling.
        I have a couple of utilities to assist with this:

        https://forums.homeseer.com/forum/3r...for-homeseer-4

        https://forums.homeseer.com/forum/3r...reator-for-hs4

        No date/time and sunrise/sunset times on the device page - this was incredibly useful when debugging. Now there's no easy way to see what time the HS4 system thinks it is (I'm running Win 10 under Proxmox and sometimes the times do get a bit out of sync due to the way Windows manages internet time).
        This functionality and easy access to all the available remaining HS3 legacy pages can be achieved via Jon00 Links:

        https://forums.homeseer.com/forum/3r...for-homeseer-4

        Unfortunately I cannot see HST making any changes to the current design format until HS5 arrives. They never did listen to their customers in the early design stages of HS4 which is why so many have already drifted away to other platforms
        Jon

        Comment


          #5
          I only have 1200 devices, but totally agree about the screen's real estate usage. jon00's utilities definitely help, but I have also found changing the style sheet is also a vast improvement.

          If it isn't already there, put the attached file in your HS4 HTML folder, then

          Under Setup->Labs press the Change Style Sheet button and pick: style_compact_skin

          Also, the time, sunrise, and sunset do show on my main screen. Not sure if it's part of the style sheet, or if I found it by accident, but they're there:
          Click image for larger version

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          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jgreenberg01 View Post

            Also, the time, sunrise, and sunset do show on my main screen. Not sure if it's part of the style sheet, or if I found it by accident, but they're there:
            That is Jon00’s links plug-in​​​​​​. A definite must have. Gives many options for populating the title bar and adding many drop-down menu choices.

            Click image for larger version

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            HS4 Pro, Windows 10 pro

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by jgreenberg01 View Post
              Also, the time, sunrise, and sunset do show on my main screen. Not sure if it's part of the style sheet, or if I found it by accident, but they're there:
              Click image for larger version

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              FYI, the areas you highlighted are added by Jon00 Links...

              Jon

              Comment


                #8
                I pretty much agree with the OP. Luckily my system isn't in development stages at this point otherwise I would be quite upset. There are workarounds with some available plug-ins but we shouldn't need workarounds. Luckily my screens have larger resolution so displays not being seen is not an issue. Someone at HS should try switching their res to 1024x768 and see how difficult things can be to see or scroll.

                NAB no backup at all before switching from HS3 to HS4???

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by racerfern View Post
                  NAB no backup at all before switching from HS3 to HS4???
                  Yes, backup, but as I mentioned, I appear to have been backing up a corrupt system. Also, the HS3 is years and years old and would need a load of crap cleaning out. I took a view that a fresh start would be best (that and I've moved a load of stuff over to Hue which can be managed outside of HomeSeer, so there's no great urgency in building/configuring it anyway).

                  Nicholas.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thank you everybody for the helpful comments. I'll be installing the jon00 bits and pieces and the style sheet too. Looks like that's everything that should have been included with HS4 in the first place.

                    Nicholas.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I'm still on HS3. It is working well for me but I really don't want to be locked into an older version. Wouldn't it be great if the upgrade from HS3 to HS4 would be to simply load the HS3 backup config into HS4? Not that simple apparently.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by logbuilder View Post
                        I'm still on HS3. It is working well for me but I really don't want to be locked into an older version. Wouldn't it be great if the upgrade from HS3 to HS4 would be to simply load the HS3 backup config into HS4? Not that simple apparently.
                        TBH, it's been a while since I moved to HS4. but I seem to recall it was about that easy. I shutdown HS3 and made a full .ZIP backup of the directory. I installed HS4 onto the same machine in it's own "HomeSeer HS4" directory and finally I unzipped the HS3 backup overtop of the new HS4 installation. The first time I started up I did have to re-register but that made sense since I was now running HS4. The list posted by the OP is not migration related but related to changes in the UI. The OP also admitted that his HS3 system was corrupt before he started the migration. Not a good place to start.

                        I don't disagree with the UI issues mentioned already but I've found Jon's utilities can clean most of those up. I also have a 35 inch ultrawide monitor so I don't see some of the screen formatting issues.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by logbuilder View Post
                          I'm still on HS3. It is working well for me but I really don't want to be locked into an older version. Wouldn't it be great if the upgrade from HS3 to HS4 would be to simply load the HS3 backup config into HS4? Not that simple apparently.
                          It is simple, as long as you explicitly follow the directions about uninstalling HS3 but retaining settings. I was a slow adopter of HS4, but I’ve been all in for about 2 years. During my testing for over a year I upgraded my HS3 system a couple dozen times without incident. All my Events, devices, scripts and HS3 plug-ins all worked perfectly.

                          I still am unhappy with certain elements of HS4, but there are others I really like. Jon’s plug-ins add versatility that eclipses HS3. The legacy pages are still very useful, but I find myself using them less and less. HS4 (and HS3) are totally reliable.

                          While the HS4 GUI leaves some functionality out, slowly it is improving. The legacy device manager is the only way to edit the root device if it has vestiges of HS3. The legacy event manager is the only way to filter on specific devices to easily edit specific Events when a Device is replaced. Rich indicated they might look at a device specific drop-down for the HS4 Event manager.

                          I miss being able to open more than 1 Event at a time in HS4, but a screenshot is a simple work around. The HS4 log adding the From field makes it a little more useful. Some of the HS4 plugins are improved over the HS3 counterparts.

                          I also have to say that I rarely need to get to the GUI except to modify the system, it is only a pain when doing mass changes. For the rare instances where I need to manually control a device or look at a device’s value, the HS4 interface is superior on a phone.

                          HST has been addressing shortcomings and it keeps getting better.
                          HS4 Pro, Windows 10 pro

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by randy View Post
                            I still am unhappy with certain elements of HS4, but there are others I really like. Jon’s plug-ins add versatility that eclipses HS3. The legacy pages are still very useful, but I find myself using them less and less. HS4 (and HS3) are totally reliable.

                            While the HS4 GUI leaves some functionality out, slowly it is improving. The legacy device manager is the only way to edit the root device if it has vestiges of HS3. The legacy event manager is the only way to filter on specific devices to easily edit specific Events when a Device is replaced. Rich indicated they might look at a device specific drop-down for the HS4 Event manager.
                            This was my experience too. I upgraded from HS3 -> 4 and it was pretty seemless. I remember not liking the new interface and using the old one for a bit. Now, I barely touch the UI, and when I do, I have adapted to the HS4 one.

                            I do occasionally see a device not update. I was using a virtual device from MQTT the other day and noticed it.

                            Most of my issues with HS revolve around the plugins. I noticed my event page load slowly, but if I shut off the Z-wave plugin it is fine. Google Homes has an issue casting some files to speaker groups. Small potatoes and nothing related to the HS core. I'd like the event triggers to be better but that is something they are discussing..
                            HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.435 (Windows Server 8.1 on ESXi box)

                            Plug-Ins Enabled:
                            Z-Wave:,RaspberryIO:,AirplaySpeak:,Ecobee:,
                            weatherXML:,JowiHue:,APCUPSD:,PHLocation:,Chromecast:,EasyTr igger:

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Well thanks. I've been having issues with event performance and if I disable the zwave plug-in -- no problems. It is a REAL DOG. Functionality has been replaced with a cool UI. Bad trade off.

                              Comment

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