WTH why is HACS not standard part of HA

Hi,

One of the (many!) great aspects of HA is its flexibility and the fact that there are so many integrations and add-ons available. While a lot of integrations are part of the standard distribution, others aren’t. Those that are not part of the distribution can be installed manually or via HACS.

I wonder why HACS itself is not a standard part of the HA distribution. It would be great if I didn’t have to manually upgrade the version of HACS and also if add-ons that are installed via HACS can be updated via the same mechanism as the normal HA updates.

HACS provides an option to install integrations and cards which are from third parties and aren’t thoroughly tested like the core integrations are. There is a also a warning in your log for every custom component, and it should be used with caution.
I do understand very well why it is not a part of HA Core.

If you want to update easily and in the same way as HA Core is updated, you can enable the experimental mode in HACS. You will get an update entity per integration/card. Furthermore after upgrading a custom component, you will get a repair item to perform the reboot.

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Also the developer has indicated that they have no interest in HACS ever becoming part of the core.

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Thanks, that is very helpful!

I don’t see why that is a reason to have a sub-par user experience. A simple warning message would solve this too, but make it much easier overall. In my opinion, mitigating the risk of third party add-ons breaking things by making it harder to install and update third party add-ons, is a form of security through obscurity. It is known that that does not actually add any security. And in this case, it does cause a lot of annoyance.

I think the personal interests of a single developer should be subordinate to the user experience. Also, the maintainers of HA could choose to add this functionality themselves, with or without support of the developer of HACS.

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That’s an interesting take. Why should the interests of the developer who is maintaining HACS for free be “subordinate to the user experience”?

You can already add custom integrations without the need for HACS.

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Because if you make a product with a sub-par user experience, less people will use it. So if you want your product to be successful, you should make your personal preferences subordinate to the user experience. That’s how it works. Doesn’t matter if you do it paid or for free.

Of course, but that’s even more cumbersome.

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Who said the developer cares about how “successful” HACS is? That’s not really a strong argument for this feature request

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It sounds like you think that HA should just take the work of the creator of HACS and use it however they want without his permission. I believe there is a word for that…

And even if the argument becomes “it’s open source so anyone can use it or modify it” it still is no way to maintain goodwill.

Not to mention that as soon as HACS is appropriated for use in HA then the HA devs accept full responsibility for maintenance an upgrades.

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FWIW, the author of HACS (ludeeus) is also an employee of Nabu Casa which is the core team of developers responsible for vetting what is officially incorporated into Home Assistant (among many other responsibilities).

On the subject of whether to include HACS as an official part of Home Assistant, I suspect his co-workers have left the decision to him (and so far he has chosen to not include it).

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Okay. As a user, to be very honest, I don’t care about what part is developed by whom. I consider the whole HA system as one system and I want that system to be as easy usable as possible. And I thought this whole WTH month was about finding out ideas to improve the user experience.

So, my idea is to make the functionality that is currently provided by HACS available as part of HA Core, for a more streamlined experience. I don’t care if that is to be done by the original developer of HACS or by someone else. It’s just an idea. I think we should talk about that idea and how it should work, from the user perspective. Not about which developer is or is not interested in executing the idea.

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I agree with the OP.
The first thing most people install right after HA is HACS ! (or at least as soon as they find out it’s almost essential when you get “serious” about your smarthome)
And having to go through a YouTube video to do so is counter-intuitive, especially for newcomers (remember your 1st time installing HACS ? :grimacing: ).
If you want HA to be successful to the masses, make it easy to install the full experience (with a warning or whatever if needed) :slight_smile:

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Home Assistant Analytics doesn’t appear to track HACS installations so what is the reference you are using to support your claim?


Anecdotal data point: I don’t use it.

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  1. As far as I can see, HACS is released under an MIT license. Which means that anyone is free to modify and redistribute the software.
  2. HA Core team could also choose to create a similar experience, but not use the original HACS code.
  3. As @123 pointed out above, apparently the author of HACS is also part of the HA Core team.
  1. So?
  2. As @123 pointed out above, apparently the author of HACS is also part of the HA Core team. So, this should not be a problem.

Again, I don’t want to get involved in developer-politics. I just posted an idea how to improve the user experience. Extensibility is a very important feature. It’s weird that it is so cumbersome to install third party add-ons. I think that ability is one of the most important aspects for a good home automation product, and it should be as easy as possible to install 3rd party extensions.

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Eh, Within reason. The customer is NOT always right.

As a former dev support manager I would submit it is outside of core because it NEEDS to be outside of core.

The way it is now creates a perception barrier between core supported functionality and community addons that reinforces the actual division in those categories in a way that is easy for the end user community to understand. And EVEN WITH that distinction it’s hard for end users to understand what is core supported functions and what is community features. Just count how many WTH submissions have been put in this month for community integrations…

Abstracting this would only blur this line and quite honest it would be a support and perception issue with the community. (driven by those who aren’t IT for a living)

“what do you mean you don’t support it, I installed it with your tool”

It also allows the HACS dev to be outside of HA’s standard dev cycle and rapidly deploy fixes without waiting for the core team if something gets ‘funny’ with a core release.

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My claim is purely based on a feeling, and my personal experience, I’ll give you that.
Maybe the analytics should track HACS installation to realize how popular it is.
It must be (popular) otherwise why is it that every smarthome/HA YouTuber I follow has their how-to install HACS video !
It can’t be a coincidence !
And I don’t know your setup but you’re probably missing out and should install HACS asap :grin:

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HACS isn’t required to install or maintain any custom-type stuff.

you can do everything that HACS does without it. It’s just a bit more work. But not excessively so.

That said I use it myself. But I also know how to do everything manually as well if needed.

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You saw some 3rd-party videos and concluded the majority of Home Assistant users also saw them and adopted whatever they suggested. Any claims based on this level of research are specious.

Analytics doesn’t track any custom integrations so that’s why HACS isn’t in its database.

FWIW, I’ve been using Home Assistant for over 4 years. I tried HACS shortly after it was released. I used it for awhile and decided I didn’t need it so, no, I’m not missing out.


On a separate topic, I always thought the services provided by HACS should be centralized as opposed to distributed. In other words, ideally it should be ‘cloud push’ for users as opposed to the current ‘cloud poll’ arrangement. Each instance of Home Assistant ought to receive updates from a central source as opposed to each instance independently polling a multitude of GitHub repos. But that’s just my opinion.

He’s also a maintainer of HA and on Nabu Casa. He doesn’t want to add it and the others respect his decision.

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Eh… AFAIK, HA doesn’t have paid support, it only has this forum for support. (Which is totally fine, BTW!) That makes this argument moot. There is no support department that will be over-asked.

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Again: this discussion should not be about someone’s decisions and whether or not to respect those. I’m posting an idea about missing functionality in HA Core. We should discuss that idea.