Improve Scene editor, allow scene edits without setting devices' states

Introduction & context
There was an issue on Github somened opened as the behavior of the new Scenes editor introduced in 0.102 was seen as buggy. I completely agree to this. I wanted to comment in there, but the issue was locked, so noone can comment on that.
I opened a thread in this forum regarding the problem: [BUG?] Scene editor activates scene when loading the editor

Feature Request
Give a choice to the user if entering scene editor should trigger the scene immediately or not.
I propose 2 solutions:

  1. A checkbox in the Scene Editor GUI like “interactive scene setup”. In case the checkbox is unchecked - then everything happens without sending control signals from HA to the devices behind the entities. So entity states are set, but no devices are controlled when making edits.

  2. or a “Preview” button in scene editor which triggers state changes on user demand. Then one can easily preview the scene.

In both cases - by default one should be able to edit a scene “offline”, without actually changing the real states of the devices during the process of entity state tweaking.

I think the current behavior is just not user/smarthome fiendly as it enforces device state changes right after one opens a scene editor (even accidentally) without even touching the entity states. I think this approach is just too “aggressive”.

Quote from my post at: 0.102: Official Android App, Almond, Scene editor

Completely agree… I don’t want my skylight opening and letting the rain in to my house just because I am editing a sunny scene when it is raining!!

2 Likes

Really happy with the scene editor addition! Great new feature. Just tried it out…

See the merits for a scene preview button.

Thanks for all the improvements folks. HA keeps going from strength to strength :+1:

Came here for nearly this feature request.

My problem is that sometimes some of my hue lights are disconnected from power.

If I want to edit a scene with 6 lights (4 disconnected), and only want to change one brightness value, I have the problem that the 4 lights disconnected were saved with state unavailable (so all settings of them are lost).

Very unintuitive and annoying. So if you could show all devices with their saved settings (maybe disable unavailable devices for editing because features are missing), edit completely without live showing the changes and have a preview button (or optional live mode) that would be fantastic! At the moment I avoid the editor and keep editing in the yaml file.

This is a pretty essential feature, and might make me do most of my automation in HomeKit instead. I need to make an “Everything Off” scene to automate when I leave the house. However I’ve got a relay connected to my computer screens I need to program to turn off. If I program it to turn off I lose my computer screens and can’t actually continue programming!

I agree with this. I was surprised to find that when I click to edit a scene, all of my devices are set to the state they are in the scene. At first I thought this was a bug with the UI, where it would register any click as an activate command. I would argue that is probably how most new users will see it.

After some investigation I now understand the problem. The developers wanted the scene state to be live, such that you can see what your scene will look like while you are editing it and know that, if your devices look right in real life, the scene will restore that state when it is activated.

I see the utility, but would say this is unintuitive behavior. When I click to edit a scene, I expect to edit values, not change the state of my devices. I recommend a separate interactive mode for this, where the traditional edit behavior is the default but you can still use interactive mode if you wish. There are too many unintended consequences of this interactive mode for it to be the only mode available from the UI.

Agreed that this should be changed. I can think of several situations where a live preview is undesirable (or even dangerous). Here’s a few off the top of my head:

  • Water shutoff valves that close if a leak is detected. You have to be careful to never edit the scene while someone is showering or your dishwasher’s running.
  • Scenes with climate controls. I don’t want to change the HVAC to heat just because I’m editing a winter scene in the summer.
  • Anything involving a security system. I can’t edit my ‘Away’ scene that arms my alarm to away without accidentally triggering with a motion sensor.
  • Lighting. This one is a bit more obvious, but you can’t edit a scene that turns off the lights if a person is currently using them.

My temporary workaround is to only edit scenes like this in the generated yaml rather than in the UI. That said, from time to time I still forget an accidentally trigger a scene through the editor.

I’m a fan of the “preview button” idea mentioned above to preview a scene when desired.

Same. I run into the situation where I am adding or editing one of my lighting scenes and I’m asked every time why I am messing with the lights in the house. Ugh! Would be nice to create or edit scenes in the UI without activating the scene.

Absolutely.

Especially when so many people are working from home at the moment. The only chance I get to work on the HA implementation is with other people in the house / after dark.

Also the ‘why the hell has XX not worked’ only to be followed by ‘stop turning the lights off’ when trying to tweak something.

It also seems such a trivial feature to implement.