This is my 2000th - and my final - post to the forum.
It was a great pleasure to be part of Vera’s journey through the Z-Wave and the [tt]UPnP[/tt] (well, kind of …) space.
My personal ROI from MCV is just too low.
Please don’t get me wrong: the MCV employees regularly on the forum are doing their best to support the community, but the MCV resources visible to me are just too limited to create a sufficiently stable and bug free and documented product that fits more than basic HA needs (if you’re going to do something more ‘advanced’ you’re on your own - or on the forum’s members’ plugins and willingness to help, e.g. [tt]http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,10196.0.html[/tt]).
Basic functionality (MCV in 2009: “You can just use anybody’s UPNP dma and let Vera do the control for you.”, see [tt]http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,1231.msg6454.html#msg6454[/tt]) is broken (a compact summary of MiOS’s [tt]UPnP[/tt] brokenness is at [tt]http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,10039.msg72062.html#msg72062[/tt]) and won’t get fixed (mcvflorin forwarded (part of?) my findings to Aaron several months ago - of course, I never heard back).
So - as always - I had to fix the broken [tt]UPnP[/tt] import myself ([tt]http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,10165.0.html[/tt]) - and got absolutely no reaction from MCV (well, MCV closed bug [tt]http://bugs.micasaverde.com/view.php?id=1391[/tt] as ‘resolved’ a few days ago …). One could get the impression that the [tt]UPnP[/tt] import is broken on purpose and/or that MCV is lacking basic [tt]UPnP[/tt] knowhow.
There is no offical documentation for developers, and when MCV does document items, there is no guarantee that MiOS works as documented (e.g., [tt]http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,4991.msg70866.html#msg70866[/tt] vs. [tt]http://wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/UI4_UI5_Migration#New_control_tags[/tt] - yes, the bug was fixed after several months).
The beta testers are discussing the criteria for being a beta tester - a sure sign of stagnation (just search for mails by mcvflorin that contain ‘Aaron’). And MCV is asking the beta testers to test a third-party HW product for a fee (cost coverage for third-party HW under test).
IMHO, MiOS’ architecture is quite excellent (leaving aside security aspects, mainly inherited from [tt]UPnP[/tt]), but the finishing is missing for several years (MiOS and its CEO is a scion of Pluto Inc. and as such had plenty of time to get it right) - and the mass production of UIs makes it impossible to stabilize any sort of documentation ([tt]http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,10199.msg69698.html#msg69698[/tt]).
Installing UI5 on my Vera V2 left the device in a totally unusable state: severe slowdowns, several lockups per week requiring a hard reboot, several soft reboots per day. Enabling logging on/swapping to USB storage (experimental features) alleviated the symptoms, but didn’t stop the reboots and lockups (see attachment: x axis: minutes, y axis: swapspace used, reboots: y = 0) - YMMV, but AFAIK, MCV doesn’t offer their customers a HW upgrade path from Vera V2 to Vera V3/Lite.
TrickTV is now offering PIS (Per Incident Support) for USD 19.95 per incident - think about the consequences for the MCV forum …
New state of my plugins/scripts: EOL, unsupported
Final Update 2012-05-13:
Just some clarifications and some new ideas:
IMHO, MCV should pay the developers for their plugins (yes, a long time ago I made a business proposol and never heard back: [tt]http://wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/Luup_Press_Release[/tt]) or the users should pay for the plugins (I’m unsure about the current state of [tt]http://wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/Luup_Secure_Plugins[/tt]) - but the question is, how much the developers would have to pay to MCV as compensation for using MCV’s distribution channels and how much MCV would be willing to pay to the developers for plugins (free/PD/free for MiOS/MCV customers).
The second problem with payment from MCV is that qualified developers are available for ‘from 8 USD/h’ (e.g., Romania, Moldova, …) - of course, the rate depends on the circumstances the developers are living in. In addition, MCV’s (not TrickTV’s) continuous revenue stream from existing customers is near or even below 0 EUR/d (all services (support, notifications, updates, storage, …) are free and even some HW upgrades were subsidized). So within the current business model the only option for MCV would be to collect non-copyrighted ideas for plugins, features, … from users and to have the ideas implemented abroad (as done for several UIs, albeit with some quality issues) - or MiOS (not MCV) would have to invest the money earned by OEM deals into the external MCV developers.
I was using (and debugging) my plugins on my productive MiOS systems and made the decision to publish my plugins free of charge as a return for the help I got from the forum and from private communications with MCV’s customers and MCV’s employees and for the free plugins from the forum - and to save the community from stumbling upon all shortcomings I had to workaround while implementing my plugins (to name just a few discussed over and over again on the forum: triggers are limited to integer variables (won’t be fixed in the (near) future), temperatures from Z-Wave devices are limited to integer degrees due to MiOS not adhering to the UPnP specification - and I cannot think of a viable fix without breaking existing code). MCV: Use your own systems - yes, don’t mix professional and private life, but using your own products in a non-trivial setup would make it easier to proritize the bugs and to get a better understanding of the shortcomings in real life.
As of today, for me, the basic questions and answers are:
“Would you demonstrate MiOS to your non-techie neighbours, friends, …?”
My answer: “No.” (a (currently non-existant) UI4 on VeraLite or Vera V3 could change my answer …)
“Would you recommend MiOS to your non-techie neighbours, friends, …?”
My answer: “No.” (you won’t be able to refer your HA followers to MCV’s forum without upsetting them; you’d have to support them yourself).
I got some offers from users to work as a freelancer. Tinkering wih MiOS was my hobby - but as a freelancer, the risk of getting sued (or the risk of having to sue the client to get the money if there is some dispute why my plugin isn’t working as expected) would be just too high. I could fix a lot of things myself, but [tt]LuaUPnP[/tt] is closed source.
I got several questions asking where I’m heading now: I’ll continue to use MiOS for simple tasks like controlling my small greenhouse (backup: visual inspection at least once a day …); I’m working on a - hopefully - dlna based MiOS plugin for my AVR-3312, but I might switch over to a professional system like KNX/EIB (yes, different price tags - but don’t forget the time spent on debugging RF communications, Z-Wave devices, Z-Wave routing, MiOS, OpenWRT, Sercon HW, …) and on stuggling with MCV to get the bug report across - and the bug fixed).
Goodbye - and enjoy your HA hobby - whatever HA system you are/will be using!