WhyTH isn't there a consistent structure for devices and entities

I’m sure there’s a reason, but it is confusing sometimes that while all devices contain entities, all entities do not have device parents. E.g. a person is an ‘orphan’. There are objects like alarm panels that seem to be entities, but can’t be seen in the entity or device view. Device trackers (at least from Unifi) seem to show up in the device list as a named device, but when you follow the link, the device is unnamed (but contains a named entity).

This is confusing because:

  1. you can access some things through both the device or entity lists, while others can only be seen through entities and others not at all. It’s hard to build a mental map of how the system is structured.
  2. when writing automations using the GUI, some things can act as triggers as devices or by state, others only by state (meanwhile device trackers can be added as devices but have no trigger options available so you have to back out and use state) - there are two ways to do some things, and only one way to do others. While this optionality isn’t necessarily bad it seems a little arbitrary that some are by state and others are by device or state and this leads to confusion.

There is another suggestion in the WTH’s for allowing the creation of custom trees to structure devices/entities. That would be fine, but as a simpler option, perhaps devices could be created to group orphan entities and give the appearance of consistent structure - e.g. a person device, which contains all the person entities etc.

The device/entity views could then be reconciled, and perhaps the structure under automations simplified a bit.


Devices are relatively new and integrations will need updated to support them. That takes time and effort from devs and is likely to be the case for a long time to come unless the project sees a massive influx of developers able and willing to help out with the boring bits :wink: