SmartThings Community

Idea: SmartApp directory


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #23

Last quote I heard from … @Mager, I think (but please don’t hold him or me to it) … was that they had a backlog of under 1 month – as mentioned during a past Developer Call – Janaury?) which can be viewed on YouTube (no transcript).

I agree… Categorization is not equivalent to a good “search” mechanism.

The advantage to officially submitted SmartApps, though:

  1. Wide exposure to all SmartThings users (i.e., they don’t need to learn of nor search an external website).

  2. Personal safety assurances (SmartApps code could contain Trojans!).

  3. Platform stability assurances (SmartApps code could negatively impact the overall SmartThings platform performance, which is currently mitigated by the organic limitations of the less-than-simple installation requirements of unpublished apps, so far fewer instances are installed and fewer users impacted). The SmartApp submission approval process looks for potential performance impacting code.

  4. Some possible improved visibility / understanding of the SmartApp by Tech Support.

Thus: A better directory to help search and rate SmartApps and SmartDevice Types could work in cooperative partnership with the SmartApp submission process (i.e., mobile list and installation).


(Andrew Mager) #24

Guys, keep the ideas flowing.

We are building this :smile:

SmartApp “discovery”, both for users and developers, is very important. As we grow, we need it. We want to get it right though.

We are finalizing Github integration, which will open more doors for SmartApp approvals and discovery.


Next Developer Call will be on 04/08/2015 - Guest : Jeff Hagins
(Tim Slagle) #25

+One hundred thousand million trillion thousand billion quadramillion sextuplets millions


(Jonathan McGuire) #26

As Terry mentioned, I tried to get a Wiki started and the basic framework for adding Apps and Devices is there for anyone to edit. There is just too much for me to populate the site on my own, and without the active community members making additions and keeping things in order so that everything links back to the proper page it will never take off.


(Jonathan McGuire) #27

SmartThings Wiki


#28

Meanwhile, in the “Better than Nothing” category (and because I’m tired of looking for these each time):


(Joe) #29

Cool! Thanks for your response.

One thing to keep in mind is that categorization during the discovery process doesn’t need to be the same as after the install. When someone is in discovery mode they may not know how to articulate what they are looking for in a way that is consistent with the established terms. Maybe allowing something like ‘tagging’ where a single app could be tagged as something like: security, locks, time aware, etc. It would be cool to let someone find the right app for their circumstance by filtering based on these tags.


(Andrew Mager) #30

We were thinking of using tags as well as more top-level categories.

Each tag would have a list page showing SmartApps that have that tag.


(Jody) #31

Tags would be good. Listing the devices needed for the SmartApp would be great. Imagine that each device you have has a list of SmartApps that work with that specific device. It would also be good for ST because the app recommendation engine could inform the person, "You have 2 out of the 3 devices needed to make X work.


#32

I also recommend mentioning the device class required. I’ve added that to the descriptions above. Many newfolk don’t know when additional devices like sensors are required to meet a use case. :wink:


(Geko) #33

How’s the finalization going? I’ve been holding my breath for almost three month now. :smile:


(Andrew Mager) #34

Almost there :smile:


(Matt Stauffer) #35

I’m new to this community, so please accept my apology if it’s completely off-limits to revive a two-years-dead thread.

I just got my first ever SmartThings device and I’m now both really enjoying it but also super overwhelmed by how hard it is to really grok how to install and find and customize and connect custom code.

I really just wish for a really fantastic resource that has the latest-and-greatest A-Z setup instructions for someone wanting to install custom code (which exist here but you have to learn where to find everything) and then, more importantly, a directory… just like y’all are talking about here.

Is this something that has happened elsewhere? Is this still a felt need?

I’m a developer by day, so this may be something I’m able to do (I’m being cautious because of the exact same consideration that @625alex mentioned, with making sure I really have time to do this), but I’m not going to even start researching what it would take to do if it’s already out there or if folks just don’t think it would work.

And @mager, again, since I’m brand new, I don’t know whether this thing you’re talking about already exists and I just haven’t found it yet? Again, total noob.

Thanks!


#36

This thread is two years old, so everything in it is pretty out of date, including the people’s roles. (Mager is no longer with the company)

So onto more current resources:

It’s not a full directory, but have you had a chance to look at the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki? ( they were introduced about a year ago, so weren’t discussed in this thread previously.) They will significantly cut down on search time. :sunglasses:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Quick_Browse_the_Community-Created_SmartApps_Forum_Section

Also, there is a community FAQ on the general process for installing custom code. After that, it’s up to each individual author how much time they put into their instructions. Some smartapps have entire forums and wikis. Information about those will be in the first post in the author’s thread, which you can find from the quick browse lists. :sunglasses:

Also, there’s a welcome letter in the community – created wiki for people with the technical background that you might find of interest:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=Welcome_FAQ


(Matt Stauffer) #37

@JDRoberts Thanks for the quick response!

Would you say that the wiki you linked has become the canonical, community-accepted form of what was originally suggested in this original thread? I have been digging around this forum for a while and haven’t seen any mention of it, so I’m excited to dig around but surprised I haven’t seen it come up at all.

Either way, thanks for your time!


(Matt Stauffer) #38

(I should have looked into the wiki before I replied; I can see it’s collecting tags that point back here. Makes sense.)

So, I guess the question is: is there a general sense that the community is:

A) happy with things the way they are, using forum software and tags to organize and collect and discover releases, their versions, people’s responses to them, and possible bug fixes
B) wishing for something else but willing to put up with the current structure

I’m not sure if that is a fair question to ask, or even one that anyone really can answer. I also may do better starting a new thread. This has already been very helpful.


#39

The wiki is one of those good ideas that does get used but just doesn’t have enough contributors. So everything that’s there is good ( and because it’s a wiki, gets updated much more than some of the threads in the forum), there’s just a lot of stuff that you would expect to be there that isn’t.

For example, there’s a crying need for a table of compatible devices such as the vera and securifi wikis have, but while there are categories for them, there just aren’t many entries. What will happen is every once in a while some developer will write a new smartapp or device type handler for a specific device and then they will go to the wiki and add information about that device, but nobody’s gone through and just filled in all the entries for existing Devices. So instead, we end up with just an FAQ like this:

It’s better than nothing, but it’s not a whole lot better than nothing. :disappointed_relieved:

I myself rely on text to speech software and I can’t do tables in the wiki, so maybe I shouldn’t complain about this since I can’t contribute to that format at all myself. But as an answer to your question, the wiki is a good start but a long way from being a comprehensive resource.

The area that is kept up-to-date, does get used a lot, and I think is of significant value is the quick browse lists. Because, to be honest, while there is tons of great information in this forum, the search sucks. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

So when it comes to seeing other people’s project reports for holidays or kitchen projects or mailbox notifications, or finding smartapps for weather functions or microlocation or whatever, or a DTH for a particular lighting device, the quick browse lists are very helpful.

Please feel free to contribute anything you think would be useful to the wiki, more authors are always welcome. :sunglasses:


#40

Also, like I said, text to speech. :confounded: ( I’m quadriparetic.) which means I will typically have to edit one of my own posts four or five times before it actually says what I meant to say.

If you see a new post go up from me, you may want to wait two or three minutes before responding to it, because it’s quite likely that there will be a “doesn’t” that needs to be changed to a “does” or randomly repeated sentences or paragraphs fragments or other voice strangeness that I need to fix. :sunglasses:


#41

Oh, and as I often say, “a forum is for questions, a wiki is for answers.” :sunglasses:

Meaning you should see references to the wiki in some of the forum threads, and the wiki articles will generally have links back into the forum for discussion.

So they work together well.

Brainstorming, discussion of custom solutions, and of course opinions on things like “what’s the best motion sensor?” Best belong in the forums.

But when it comes to stuff which is just an objective answer to a frequently asked question, like “What protocols does SmartThings support?” Then the wiki is useful.


#42

There’s a meta-section in this forum for discussion of the forum, so feel free to start a new thread there. You could even include a poll in it if you like. :sunglasses:

https://community.smartthings.com/c/meta

There’s also an existing thread for discussion of the wiki:

Personally, I’d really like to see something much more robust put in place. I’m going to the doctor tomorrow and starting a new course of meds and I suspect I won’t be online much at least for December. It would be great to come back and find out you guys have organized everything! :tada:

I will add that my own particular concern is that right now there are seven different versions of the SmartThings platform being sold at retail and the features and even the devices do vary somewhat. This forum and even the wiki are just not set up to deal with that. I don’t know what’s going to happen once people open their shiny new Christmas presents and start coming here looking for answers on the Connect and the Nvidia and the ADT models. :scream:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=Hubs