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Driver Development Website
#11
A couple of more thoughts...Just random for discussion.

Alot of what goes into the un-released drivers that are available is a period of vetting with actual users. That's usually done with a 'XYZ Driver available' thread that is maintained by the author. That's why I try to provide an active link to those development threads in the 'Drivers in Progress' post. Those threads have good information on how the driver was started, where it's progressed to, and what it's functionality and known issues are. Shortly after that period is completed and the driver is proven, the driver and docs should be forwarded to Dean and it becomes apart of the official released drivers.

That's worked pretty well so far, but my experience it could be better by A) Author's being more expedient to getting the final cuts/docs to Dean and B) Dean more expedient about getting them updated on the official Driver's site. I'm not sure how an external database site will address the supporting thread issue and if it can do something to solve A) and B).

The second thing is how do control content? Currently I update the Driver's in Progress thread and Driver's request thread based on a number of criteria. I've deleted drivers after personally contacting members via PM and ascertaining their status. I remove them when they make it to an official release. I monitor new threads and posts in the driver forum for anything that is pertinent that falls outside of those thread. My point being (good or bad) most of the content is controlled by Dean or myself. When you have an open site where any user can sign up, you first of all get users that may not even be associated with CQC. Suppose someone happens along, thinks they might want to purchase CQC, and puts in a request for 1/2 dozen drivers. Then they fall off the face of HA and the requests languish. At least through the forums, we have an idea of a users activity and whether the requests have merit. Secondly, what vehicle will be used to keep the site updated? When a driver makes it to a release we can't rely on the author to go back and do it. There's a number of drivers that have been started and then abandoned for whatever reason. Somehow all that has to be regulated, but I don't see how through a DB interface without some forum of communication attached.

Again, just some random thoughts and may not have any merit. If the site can some way solve some of the past problems or make it easier to know what's available, I'm all for it, but I do see some pitfalls.
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#12
to be clear, I only see this website thingy as taking over for the driver request and drivers in progress threads, I would hope that this forum would stay as is...
as for all the other points robertmee brought up, I don't consider those an issue simply because I know I can count on robertmee or Dean to take care of them... I know it seems like a simplistic approach to life, but hey it has worked out ok for me so far...
NOTE: As one wise professional something once stated, I am ignorant & childish, with a mindset comparable to 9/11 troofers and wackjob conspiracy theorists. so don't take anything I say as advice...
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#13
Some random thoughts about random thoughts...

1. Driver Forum Threads... right now the driver detail page has a link in the upper right corner to the thread on this forum for that driver. It is one of the fields when you "Add Driver". The page could even be setup to embed the thread from this forum. You could also put a link to the site in the forum thread, e.g., Like This

2. Moving to Official Release - right now, the site is setup to have Beta drivers and Production drivers. The idea is that when a driver is available as part of the CQC release it is moved to "Production". The only people that can move it to "Production" are administrators and they are also the only ones that can edit it at that time. (note... there are no authors listed for "Production" drivers)

3. Getting final docs/cuts done - the site is set up with one of the purposes is to make it easier to get the documentation done. Now... here is a sticky point with me... who cares when the author gets it done. I believe the mindset of the user community has to be that if someone is developing a driver... it is probably a freebie to the rest of us and they are not being paid for it. As much as I may want to see it get done, I have to accept it may never happen. If there is enough demand for a driver, the CQC should take on that task or officially contract it out. I am sure this is one of the dilemmas that Dean has... lot's of expectation that a driver will get done... therefore, someone buys CQC, buys the equipment, hooks it all up... then sits waiting for a driver... possibly not good for CQs reputation.

4. Control Content - One of the tenets of a DB driven site is to make control (management) easier to do. The idea is that anyone can request a driver. If for some reason it is deemed useless, then it can be moved to inactive status. But it can be still made available to folks to view in case it makes sense to someone along the way.

5. Abandoned Drivers - If a drive is abandoned for any reason it can be moved to "Inactive" status. If someone picks it up along the way, an Admin can change the driver back to "Active" and reassign the Driver.

6. Requlation via Forums - I completely agree that the forums are the best place to discuss drivers... that is why there is no forum on the site (though with a couple of button clicks I can enable one)

The funny thing is, I did not do the site for any of the reasons above. I did it because I thought it would be a fun hobby project and I wanted to see all the drivers in one sortable listing with enough information that I could tell what the devices did... remember... I (like I would bet a majority of CQC customers will be) are relatively dumb when it comes to HA equipment. When I first started with CQC and Home Automation, the driver list (both of them) was the FIRST place I went to get an idea of what it did and what equipment was available.

Now, having said all that... I am completely nuetral on what happens with the site.
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#14
Thanks for the thoughts....In a nutshell, I think it all comes down to management of the site. Most all of the above responses included some action that's necessitated by an administrator. As long as that's understood and your signing up for the job then I'd say give it a shot and start by reconciling the existing driver's in progress thread to the site with all the info. If you need help getting it established let me know. My time is limited right now (very sick wife and travelling with work) but I'll pitch in as much as possible :-) My initial hesitation was that I understood the site to be self-directing from member contributions, and I unfortunately don't see that working without quite a bit of administration by someone (IE YOU ;-) )

EDIT: When I say the official driver's in progress thread, I mean the Sticky one, not the old one that was abandoned some time past when IVB's political aspirations got in the way of his committment to CQC ;-)
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#15
Time to chime in;

I am not opposed to a site that is maintained outside of these four walls that would host drivers and some discussion, but this model in the past has failed. Not only has it failed with CQ, but with others in the field. It takes many hours of administration to keep the site moving forward, check the quality of the data, keep the data current and so on. This is a huge task to take on with out some help. It gets worse when a dynamic package like CQC continues to move forward at the pace that it is. Major revisions can happen frequently, which invalidate all or most of the drivers being hosted. Then it becomes someones (ie: your ;-) ) responsibility to make things current once more. One miss in this department and users will levitate back to the CQC site overnight.
I would suggest that you give Kurt a call and discuss his CQC site and the issues he went through trying to keep it updated, and how little assistance he received from the users.
The current model works, but Dean and Mark are very busy and do need some help (that is if you want the core program to move forward). I think that a better solution would be to suggest to Dean and company that you assist them in some way with maintaining a WIKI and driver database attached to the CQC site. I feel that you will get more assistance from the users with this model. Just my oppinion ;-)
Thanks,
Dave Bruner
Cool
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#16
I think that having a place to host prior versions of drivers would be helpful. I don't think this place should be CQC itself since that would just cause confusion. But with all the great changes that Dean is making, I see that many people are still on a version that is 1 or 2 versions back. To have a place to go and grab drivers for those older versions would probably be helpful. Or perhaps for the integrator that has built a system for a customer that works great, but that now needs to add a driver for a new piece of equipment. Not having to upgrade the version and add all the potential issues would probably be helpful for that person.

Just a thought.
Brian - a long time user that rarely messes with the system now
Other systems used:
SageTV w/ cablecard tuner & multiple extenders for viewing
BlueIris and IP cameras for CCTV
Incredible PBX for home phone
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#17
I came across this thread again today. I checked out the web site for the first time and it looks nice! I'm sure it hasn't been used much but I wanted to say "good job".
Brian - a long time user that rarely messes with the system now
Other systems used:
SageTV w/ cablecard tuner & multiple extenders for viewing
BlueIris and IP cameras for CCTV
Incredible PBX for home phone
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#18
As a noob who has struggled to find his way around the driver landscape, this web site was like a breath of fresh air. I understand the challenge of maintaining the extra content, and the forums are of course essential, but the forum format just does not seem well suited to provide a point-in-time view of what's what.
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