mrburns42
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:00 pm

Fundamental Automation Question

Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:17 pm

OK, I am interested in using the Pi for things like sprinkler control, lighting control, monitoring etc. I can figure out the inner connect bits to the HW devices. ( At least, I understand the concepts and requirements. )

The part that I do not understand is what is the overall interface or GUI running on the Pi. Is everyone writing their own web pages to do this? Being a Sparky, I have never written a web page, so if there are templates or tools available to configure this, I would be interested in it.

Is there some default GUI or framework program everyone is using that I am just ignorant of?

My guess is that others searching here have similar questions. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable could create a sticky post at the start of this forum to " clue in the clueless".

Thanks.

PS1981
Posts: 446
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:11 pm

Re: Fundamental Automation Question

Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:23 pm

I think you're looking for an IDE. (integrated development environment I think that means). I personally use QTcreator but there are many others out there. You can put a gui together and program what should happen when you press "this on screen button" or "that on screen button", or what variables etc should be shown in text labels etc.

mrburns42
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:00 pm

Re: Fundamental Automation Question

Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:55 pm

I guess I am not explaining my question very well. I am asking what GUI interface is running on the Pi that is performing the home automation. I understand how to use an IDE for program development. My question is not about the development phase, but the implementation phase.

I did some web searches at lunch. I am asking about GUI interfaces like:

Misterhouse
DomotiGA
freedomotic

These seem to provide a GUI that can be accessed via a web browser and handle tasks like scheduling timed events, etc. Each has a number of sensors it can understand and most are expandable with plugins or they allow you to write scripts. All have pros and cons and most are Linux applications that were originally running on full powered X86 Linux personal computers that were ported to the Pi later. My concern is that they will run too slow or consume too much memory on the Pi.

Has someone run any of the above programs?
Is the a smaller, lightweight "cousin" to any of the above that work better with the Pi?
Thanks.

PS1981
Posts: 446
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:11 pm

Re: Fundamental Automation Question

Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:24 pm

Hey MrBurns, sorry it seems I did misunderstand you. I was wondering anyway what planet you're living on if you haven't heard of IDE's! My bad! Sometimes I should be a bit slower about trying to answer posts! :oops:

Anyhow, since noone has given you a better answer yet I was just wondering if you've had any success by yourself. I can see this subject possibly interesting me too in the not too distant future.

ghans
Posts: 7863
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:30 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Fundamental Automation Question

Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:38 pm

You must seperate between backend and frontend.
The backend does the real task of automation.
The frontend appears as the "web" GUI -
note that actually the browsers render it on the fly.
The old ways is to use HTML forms and have the the backend
act like a CGI application.

The new way is to use AJAX and for that , a mass of frameworks
exist.

Key technologies are HTML and CSS for creating the GUI ,
JavaScript for the frontend logic and AJAX for the
communication with the backend logic. For a good result ,
all technologies have to be made to work together.

The backend could be anything. A Java app , a Python app ,
a node.js app , C apps , PHP scripts , a simple perl script ...
it must be able to communicate over HTTP and doing
the real automation tasks.

ghans
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jamiesk
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:48 pm
Location: Ipswich, Suffolk, England, UK.

Re: Fundamental Automation Question

Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:16 am

And if the above scares you, then tell us how you will wire it, like usung the gpio to switch relays. If you are doing this then basic scripts can automate most general on / off tasks.

Other threads have how a web page can swap things on an off.

Good luck.
Pi1 (Nov 2012 loft)= 1KW immersion controller for Solar panel
Pi2 (Jan 2013 living room)=Play thing
Pi3 (Feb 2013 mobile)= Play thing with Tandy Ladder board,breakout board,Nokia display
http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=28193

ghans
Posts: 7863
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:30 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Fundamental Automation Question

Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:01 am

I might add another approach to the problem :

Using frameworks like GWT or Pyjamas eliminates the need
to learn any "web" language , they can be compiled to
JavaScript. AFAIK they supply their own widgets and other
bells'n'whistles. Perhaps this is the easiest solution for you.


ghans
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mrburns42
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:00 pm

Re: Fundamental Automation Question

Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:27 pm

Thank you for the explanation of the parts of a home automation system. I am interested in have one Pi perform both the frontend and backend tasks. For this reason, the code needs to be lightweight so that the Pi does not get bogged down.

What I was hoping to find was a existing program that provided a framework for people to customize. The frontend would have a main page with the ability to add links to other pages of controls. The backend would already have a scheduler running and the ability to add tasks or controls to said scheduler.

My initial requirements are not very complex. I just want to control some sprinkler valves and control some lighting via X10. Once this is working, it would be great to have a modular system that would easily allow me to add additional stuff, like temperature monitoring, etc.

The existing software that I have found was originally targeted at full blown computers. While there are ports to the Pi, several of these are described as running really slow and the reviewer say the reason is that they use too much Java code.

I am not a web page designer. It will take a good deal of effort for me to build it from the ground up. I suspect lots of other people are in the same boat. This provides a business opportunity for someone knownledgeable in creating the frontend and backend. If someone could put together an example automation solution with a tutorial, it seems to me to would be very marketable to users.

ghans
Posts: 7863
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:30 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Fundamental Automation Question

Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:47 pm

For your requirements , a custom solution might be more than enough.
Many people have published their code for such projects here.
You should be easiliy able to adapt them to yor needs.

You mentioned Misterhouse. It seems very conservative with resources.
Else , the flask framework for python seems lightweight too.

Did you see this:
http://code.google.com/p/webiopi/ ?

ghans
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User avatar
freedomotic
Posts: 154
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:59 pm
Location: Italy
Contact: Website

Re: Fundamental Automation Question

Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:48 pm

mrburns42 wrote:I guess I am not explaining my question very well. I am asking what GUI interface is running on the Pi that is performing the home automation. I understand how to use an IDE for program development. My question is not about the development phase, but the implementation phase.

I did some web searches at lunch. I am asking about GUI interfaces like:

Misterhouse
DomotiGA
freedomotic

These seem to provide a GUI that can be accessed via a web browser and handle tasks like scheduling timed events, etc. Each has a number of sensors it can understand and most are expandable with plugins or they allow you to write scripts. All have pros and cons and most are Linux applications that were originally running on full powered X86 Linux personal computers that were ported to the Pi later. My concern is that they will run too slow or consume too much memory on the Pi.

Has someone run any of the above programs?
Is the a smaller, lightweight "cousin" to any of the above that work better with the Pi?
Thanks.
Hi
about Freedomotic we are working on a gwt-client to use with browsers supporting html5.
This can reduce system load on Raspberry boards.
http://www.freedomotic.com/content/plugins/webserver
Freedomotic Open IoT Framework
http://freedomotic.com

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