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Thoughts about the next step in solution auto-generation
#1
So the big thing for 4.1 is going to be to get to the point where we can let you tell us about floors, rooms, and the devices on those floors and rooms and we can then generate a fairly reasonable, though obviously not super-customized, solution for you, either to use as is or to pick up and customize.

I'm now starting the work on this and have to start actually making decisions and committing to them. This is tough of course as the possibilities are endless. There's no way that this thing is going to do everything everyone would want, and no matter what I pick, there'll be something just beyond that someone wants and that would make it far better for them in some way. But I have to start somewhere.

What I'm thinking in the rough strokes is something along these lines:
  • There will one major sort of split, where either control over all the areas of the house are made available or where only the devices in the local room are made available.
  • Both sorts of user interfaces will be spit out, and the administrator can choose which one to load on a given touch screen client.
  • For the individual room ones, separate overlays will be generated, one per room, which will load into the overlay area of the main template background, though as much as possible that room specific control will be always available on the main template background.
  • A separate Home overlay will be provided for the main vs. room type clients, with slightly different stuff available. I.e. there's no need to have a Lighting button available, when all the room specific template needs is to control the light in that room, which can be done on the main template.
  • You'll indicate for each room whether security arm/disarm should be available and what security area that room is part of, so that appropriate security control is generated or not. If arm/disarm control isn't allowed, current arm state can be still be displayed.
  • You'll be able to indicate if a room either has a thermostat (or should treat the thermo defined at its containing floor level as its thermostat) or no, and whether low/high set point control will be available or just current temp display.
  • You'll indicate which security zones are associated with each room or floor, which will allow for display of security zone violations per room.
  • You'll indicate which audio player is associated with each room, so that music browsing and playback can be controlled. This will only work for standard 'media renderer' players. It will look to the player to figure out which repository to use for browsing.
  • 'Rooms' can of course also include things like 'front yard' or 'back yard' or 'pool' or 'main hallway' if you want to, and that can be used to generate lighting control for these areas, or even audio playback. CQC wouldn't know or care if it's not really a room in a house.
  • For the 'main' type clients, you'll be able to select a room to control, and it'll just load the overlay for the selected room.
  • Some basic optional stuff like 'would you like to provide sunrise/sunset lighting for a given 'room'. Or to allow for some options like 'all lights off in the armed area when arming away' and things like.

Do you think that this would be a reasonable start? It's a fair chunk to bite off, and though it's obviously nothing compared to what someone can do manually if they know how, it'll provide a pretty good starter kit for most people, or something that they could use as is in many cases as well probably, or with slight embellishment.

Anything else you could think of that would be really big bang for the buck in terms of functionality allowable with minimal special casing and effort?
Dean Roddey
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#2
Hi Dean,

I think this is a great idea and step forward for CQC. I have a lot of thoughts but I will limit myself to just three for the moment:

1) Focus from the ground up on making the data retrievable and manipulable in a natural, secure way by 3rd party clients. This will allow native clients on various platforms.

2) Support non-CQC audio renderers. There are a lot of other compelling solutions besides the built-in CQC functionality.

3) Consider a first-class video renderer abstraction, with architecture parallel to (2). Video playback would be another "ability" in a room.

I look forward to more discussion!
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#3
When I said audio renderer, I meant anything that complies to the standard audio renderer driver interface, so it can be our player, Zoom, TheaterTek, or any others that provide that standard interface so that it will work with the auto generated stuff. Anyone can write a standard renderer driver, even in CML, so it's fairly open ended in terms of what could be supported.

On the other thing, I'm sure we could provide an XML dump of it or something for third parties to pull down and make use of.
Dean Roddey
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