Paul Lutus wrote:
> Umm, I just looked into this, and HomeSeer is simply an application that
> talks to whatever home controller you already have. 

Yes, and Ruby is just for controlling your CPU.  :)

> If you have a CM11A or
> 1132U for X-10, HomeSeer knows how to talk to it. So from a Ruby
> perspective, we might as well simply write a home controller in pure Ruby
> that talks to the X-10 controllers.
> 
> What I mean is HomeSeer isn't necessary -- if we intend to write a Ruby
> controller to talk to X-10 interfaces, we might as well do that directly.

If that were true, I would agree. But that is about 2% of its
functionality.

It controls many kinds of hardware other than X10, including Z-wave,
Xantech, Slink-e, and others. It handles speech recognition and speech
synthesis (thru Microsoft Agent, but the integration is smooth and
seamless). It has a built-in scheduler, a built-in web server, a rich
API, telephone control, a COM interface, and a huge pile of code written
for it (thousands of user-contributed scripts -- unfortunately in VB).

> Also, a bit off our topic, it appears that HomeSeer is a Windows program.
> Not much use to me, assuming I wanted to go that route.

True. That's a thorn in my side as well.

That is why my plan was to wrap the COM interface with Ruby (half of
which is easy, the other half tricky), and then tie that to drb.

Then you'd not only have a Ruby interface, but a remote one. It could
be used to write controlling apps as Linux command line apps, web apps,
or GUIs.

> I have a very basic PC-based home controller that turns my lights on and off
> quasi-randomly when I am on the road (also I can dial into my house
> remotely and control the house using my installed X-10 stuff, plus I can
> look at some TV camera outputs, sort of check up on things). I could easily
> have created something much more ambitious if I had felt the need, but I
> lost interest once I realize how annoyingly unreliable and tricky the X-10
> stuff is.
> 
> I think it wold be very easy to create an X-10 based home controller using
> Ruby and a GUI front end (I mean, if I were not so lazy). I think it would
> end up looking much like HomeSeer.

It would if you do the other 98% also.

Don't get me wrong. I don't like Windows either. I use it for HomeSeer,
for Second Life, and for one or two other programs such as Spades.

But, considering it runs on Windows, HS is good software. It's the best
home automation software I've seen -- better than misterhouse,
smarthouse, Cyberhome, HAL, Home Director, the X10 thingy, or anything
else I've looked at. Just my opinion.


Hal