meta-question about forums/plugins

Posted on
Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:31 am
dduff617 offline
Posts: 483
Joined: Jul 05, 2006

meta-question about forums/plugins

I'm looking to learn about the existing "Powerview" plugin.

This is a plugin that lets Indigo work with Hunter Douglas Powerview shades and control system. It lives in the plugin store. The "get help" and "check the online documentation" links point to GitHub. There is some info there, but docs are kind of thin.

The developer does not have a separate developer area in the forums. No-one matching his last name ("Hodel') produces any hits in search-by-author in the Indigo forums. A search for "PowerView" in forums finds few hits, and none of it related to this plugin, as far as I can tell. I suspect there are at least a handful of users of this plugin, based on some traffic on GitHub.

So the thrust of my meta-question is: how should it work in the Indigo ecosystem for someone like myself potentially interested in a plugin but who may not (yet) own the hardware required to fully install/use the plugin to test it out through first-hand use to hear from other users of the plugin, assess how well it works, and possibly ask questions about what features it support?

I would suggest that it would be useful for me and I would argue possibly for the Indigo user community as a whole if setting up plugins in the plugin store provided a bit of extra support for community interaction by automatically setting up a forum in Indigo forums for discussion and Q/A. A somewhat different topic, but it would also be great if we could see some demographics like # of times plugin has been downloaded, # of Indigo installations that have the plugin enabled, etc. Better still a "rating" system like the app store, where people can rate and leave comments.

My real (non-meta) question is essentially whether the plugin is able to track changes shades, including those that are happening due to something other than Indigo sending commands, for example due to a user pushing a button on a remote or using the Hunter Douglas app to control the shades. I try did try downloading the plugin. It comes with a ReadMe that talks about the data structures that are used through the http-based interface. The plug appears to allow one to create triggers based on device state changes. However, I still can't tell whether it tracks changes and if so whether it can support close to real-time tracking vs. if it just does periodic polling (perhaps with rate limiting?).

Posted on
Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:16 pm
jay (support) offline
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Posts: 15876
Joined: Mar 19, 2008
Location: Austin, Texas

Re: meta-question about forums/plugins

Just creating the forums/wikis for a plugin automatically doesn't mean that they would actually be used, but we would someday like to make the process automated (it's actually a HUGE pita because phpbb isn't easily automated).

The main point though is that the developer is really the one that drives the process (we do the heavy lifting: they simply request forums in an email) - so if they want to be more directly involved with the community they certainly can. Other developers want to keep it more at arms length - they want to share what they've done but they don't really want to provide support or direct interaction. This is their preference and we believe that at least having access to a plugin under this scenario is better than nothing. In this specific instance, have you posted an Issue on Github? He may be monitoring there for questions.

Adding more features to the plugin store (download count, comments, ratings, etc) is definitely on the list of things we want to add at some point.

Jay (Indigo Support)
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Posted on
Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:40 pm
FlyingDiver offline
Posts: 3610
Joined: Jun 07, 2014
Location: Southwest Florida, USA

Re: meta-question about forums/plugins

I think the developer for this plugin is AWOL. He's got a couple of open issues on GitHub and two pull requests. Most dating back to last year.

There's nothing in the plugin code that will poll for status, nor anything for receiving status other than at the time of a command. So I think the answer to the OP's question is no, it doesn't do any of those things.

I agree that there needs to be some way on the store to categorize the plugins per the developer's intentions - actively developed, supported but no active development, unsupported/abandoned, etc.

joe (aka FlyingDiver)
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Posted on
Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:44 pm
dduff617 offline
Posts: 483
Joined: Jul 05, 2006

Re: meta-question about forums/plugins

Thanks, a lot FlyingDiver!

I couldn't even figure out where to ask the question - and now I already have my answer.

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