Smart Home Wiki

Hey guys,
Recently, while I’ve been on walks and such, I’ve been thinking about how finicky and confusing smart home inter-compatibility can be, especially when you throw hass and other third-party solutions into the mix. The solution to this, I think, would be a smart home wiki. I imagine it something similar to the Arch Wiki, where there’s articles describing and helping configure various different pieces of hardware and software, and getting everything up and running fully.

I’d like to know what you guys think about something like this. Would anyone be interested in having a resource like this? Contributing to it? If it’s something other people would be interested in, I’d be more than happy to spin up a mediawiki instance one weekend.

The Community Guides section is essentially a wiki. The first post is editable, and then people can comment on the Guide or ask questions.

That’s true, but honestly I think something more intertwined (posts linking to each other, editable and able to be kept relevant by anyone), and not strictly hass related, would be better for general smart home information.

I agree though, for just home assistant stuff, the guides section is more than enough.

I have a small private wiki to keep track of my own system, but I’ve found it’s not really structured enough to document something that changes as fast as smart home developments sometimes do. Take, as an extreme example, the recent changes in templating defaults in HA.

Who is going to trawl through the entire wiki to make sure explicit references are up to date?

I understand where you’re coming from, but I don’t think that would be a large issue.
I don’t think the wiki would need a write-up on templates, as the example, since there’s already a perfectly fine and (presumably) maintained docs page for it that could be referenced instead.

But in the case of something similar, like automations, being described, I would imagine that, rather than every device/service that can be automated having a write-up on it, they would instead link to a page about automation. That way, if automation were to change in any significant way, changes would only have to be made to the automation article.

In other words, instead of each page describing a task and its steps, they would instead link to either an external docs page, or in lieu of that, a local article, either of which would describe the task and its steps while being easier to maintain. That said, I’ve never tried to maintain a wiki, so all that could be easier said than done.

Go for it. I’ll contribute. Something general on smart home principles and options would be useful (at the moment everybody’s trying to sell you something).

As far as HA itself goes, one of its great strengths is that it’s very, very highly structured. You’d have to be careful not to undermine that.

Thanks, I’m glad you like the idea.

What do you mean exactly in regards to undermining HA? I’m genuinely curious, but I feel like typing that out comes off aggressively, lol

Oops, sorry! Not intended. (The pitfalls of social media :roll_eyes:)

I was sort of thinking of HACS. Lots of great stuff there, which I use myself all the time, but it comes with all sorts of health warnings…

2021-10-12 11:23:46 WARNING (SyncWorker_0) [homeassistant.loader] We found a custom integration entity_controller which has not been tested by Home Assistant. This component might cause stability problems, be sure to disable it if you experience issues with Home Assistant

…and I know from the forum that a number of people avoid using HACS integrations for this reason.

The reality is that none of HA is supported in the strict sense - the developers are all volunteers and enthusiasts, giving up their own time. The difference is that HACS is outside the formal structure of HA development.

If you’re proposing a sort of HACS of documentation you’re going to have to work quite hard (as the HACS people do) to maintain its integrity in relation to the rest of HA.

I applaud anyone wanting to improve docs. However my own experience of wikis for this type of use leads me to know that they quickly become stale. The task of keeping them updated is enormous, and once you have written your post, you don’t tend to update it. Beware.


+1 on this, had tried that path years ago on my website but more it grows more maintenance work becomes insane and basically you get also one contributor for hundreds of readers that don’t care to contribute or at least make notes on outdated stuffs so out of finding a hard dedicated team to maintain it, it won’t make it :frowning: