Next Developer Discussion will on on 05/04/16 - Special Guests Alex Hawkinson and Robert Parker - 5pm PST / 7pm CST / 8pm EST

(Tim Slagle) #1

Hey SmartThings Community!!

Time for another developer call! Come join us to learn about being a developer on the SmartThings Platform!

Alex Hawkinson (Founder, CEO at SmartThings) and Robert Parker (SVP of Engineering) will be joining us! They’ll be answering questions and talking with you live!

To join the Meeting:
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Or Telephone:
Dial: +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll) or +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll)
Meeting ID: 141 985 872
International numbers available:

If you have any questions for Alex and Robert, please add them to this thread. We have many discussion topics about various issues and topics throughout the community so please keep this thread to questions only.

Weekly Update from Alex - 04/29/16
(Tim Slagle) #2


I would like to know if SmartThings is going to adopt an internal MFOP target (maintenance free operating period measured in days, not percentage of transactions) as a measure of reliability. It doesn’t have to be published. But I don’t yet get the sense that the team’s concept of reliability is the same as a typical consumer’s.


Along the same vein, but a separate question, I’d like to know if we will be able to postpone firmware updates in the future. As people are used to doing with phone software.

The more integral SmartThings becomes to daily life, the less I want anything to change until a time when I am ready to deal with both the change and the possibility that it will bring new bugs.

For example, people relying on SmartThings as a security system probably don’t want unexpected changes in the middle of the night. :wink:

(Paul) #5

Could you give us a Smart App State of the Union? I’m curious if the current model–which relies heavily on voulenteer developers to create and support key functionality–is working as you all intended. Or if there is some larger vision that moves to a sustainable (paid) App Store, or moves more key functionality in-house.

I’m thinking specifically of rules engines (Smart Rules, Rule Machine), voice interfaces (Alexa, HomeKit), dashboards (SmartTiles), and the numerous community-developed device handlers. All of which seem like integral parts of any modern home automation system.


(Steve White) #6

I would like to have some updates on SHM and when functionality such as Lights & Switches or Doors & Windows is going to make a reappearance. Would also be nice to know how the platform performance improvements are coming along, been very sluggish the past few days for me.

(Austin Pritchett) #7

What can we look forward to seeing from SmartThings on both the Developer and Consumer side?

When will the code to Smart Lighting and Smart Home Monitor be open-sourced? Or will those remain closed?

(Yves Racine) #8


On my side, I’m posting the same questions that I posted in September 2015:

1) What is the ST technological roadmap as per the community developers perspective?

As developers, we don’t have any clue where ST is heading…
For example,

a) How SAMI & Artik will affect the development platform?
b) Which UI capabilities (ex. access to rooms) will be available in the coming months?
c) What is the vision for local processing? Will developers be able later to use local processing for their own device handlers and smartapps? If yes, how certification for local processing will work? What are the best practices (if any)?
d) App store: yes, no, maybe? And, if yes, when?

2) When a “real API” layer will be available?

What I mean by real APIs is some API and security layers that don’t require to explicitly specify each device as a REST endpoint.

3) How do you envision the developers beta program in the short and mid terms?

The beta program was supposed to allow developers to test new ST app versions, and new products.

So far, there has not been a lot of initatives in that regard.

And, I will add this one:

4) How ST will truly support its community developers?

In the past, ST support has sometimes blamed the ST community developers for issues affecting
the platform and asked the end users to use the stock integration devices instead.

I’ve experienced myself this ST behavior as I’ve developed many custom devices (such as MyEcobee, My and My Automatic devices). I can tell you my code is as good as any stock ST device (and often brings much more features).


( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #9

Great questions, @yvesracine!

Based on your website, and a few other developers who have added external mechanisms for actually selling their SmartApps and/or Device Type Handlers, I’m glad you included point (d) above.

While there will always be a certain amount of code and mentoring provided by Community developers free of charge, the effort to provide ongoing development and Customer Support requires the incentive and sustainability of revenue. It is difficult to get trust and market exposure without a “SmartApp store”.

SmartThings’s Customers need the opportunity to decide for themselves if they wish to be SmartApp Customers too. The SmartApps we currently share, and would like to sell, add significant incremental value to the product / platform. We need acknowledgement of this with firm progress on the concept and/or other genuine support.

( - Make your home your butler!) #10

I have questions that have been begging answers for a while now:

  1. ST has been claiming for a while now that they have an all new “redundant” fail proof scheduler called Ticker. Why is it still losing schedules consistently? Is there a fundamental flaw in the ST architecture or is a gap in the SDLC processes? What’s the solution?
  2. @slagle has been pushing this and claiming that ST’s going to get their act together for uniformity in the UI across Android and iOS. If I were to go by the latest Android and iOS releases, it seems that things are going further apart. So is there really a plan to get it converged, if so how? Is there a unified code base? Is there a unified test plan or UI design team / UAT team?

I’m asking these question because I’ve heard many promises but seen little that I can claim has “moved” the needle in a significant manner.

(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #11

I really would hope a Developer “Discussion” would be just that, a discussion with the community. I certainly hope this isn’t just another heavily moderated one way talk.

Please try to hit the critical questions and also respond to follow up questions in the chat. Lots to cover on Security / vulnerabilities, progress (or the lack thereof), promises of open sourcing SHM, video core, etc.

What is SmartThings doing to change the way it supports its community developers? And when?

(Tim Slagle) #12

Yep, there will be a slightly moderated section going over questions proposed here, with follow-ups allowed. Then an open Q&A. Questions will be taken through chat throughout the entire thing.

(Benji) #13

Question: What with all the issues SmartThings experiences and to this day still experiences, from the app, to the hub and to the platform, where some changes made in one place seem to often affect other areas (sometimes significantly), ignoring the technical aspect of it, there seems to be a (maybe significant) disconnect between departments at SmartThings,

Would you say there are issues between departments, communicating and collaborating effectively and if yes, what are you doing to fix this.

(Roy Donaldson) #14

@slagle are these calls recorded and the recordings posted for later viewing ? The reason that I am asking is the timings of them do not fit well for Europe, ie. 5PM PST is 1AM the next day in the UK.

(Benji) #15

Yep, every one is recorded (unless there are issues which I think has only happened once or twice) and then is posted within the same thread after.

(Ben Edwards) #16


(Michael) #17

I knew it wasn’t working for me at first, tried like 3 times and then it finally worked assuming because the link in OP was corrected by the 4th try :slight_smile:

(Jason) #18

Tried tuning in (but got the evil eye from the wife as it was almost bed time for the kids) Looking forward to watching the recording. For those that did tune in, did you get your questions answered?

Did they mention a fix for color temperature sliders?

(Tim Slagle) #19

(Bobby) #20

Join the club! @slagle always schedule these at bath time for me…the only 30min when my wife cannot handle both babies alone :frowning:

By the way, posting the videos is the best thing EVER for us “daddies”. Thanks for sharing…