I can understand the frustration, it would be nice if there was a better way to keep the device configuration more current. I’m just a casual user of HA myself so I can’t speak for the developers but it is my understanding the openzwave fork had something to do with openzwave taking too long to implement the “Barrier” command class. Here is what I have been doing to try to keep the config up to date with openzwave.
Clone the openzwave repository (I checked it out in /home/homeassistant/git on my machine)
git clone https://github.com/OpenZWave/open-zwave.git
Copy the config directory out without the “.git” directories
sudo rsync -a --exclude='.git/' git/open-zwave/config/ open-zwave-master/config/
Copy from the new config directory to the ozw_config directory in the python lib directory and make sure it has the correct owner/group
sudo rsync -avh open-zwave-master/config/ /srv/homeassistant/lib/python3.6/site-packages/python_openzwave/ozw_config/
sudo chown -R homeassistant:homeassistant /srv/homeassistant/lib/python3.6/site-packages/python_openzwave/ozw_config/
When openzwave updates the config directory you can update it on your machine by pulling the changes and re-running the last three commands (I have them in a bash script, I probably should set up cron to keep it up to date)
cd git/open-zwave && git pull
I have been running home-assistant using hassbian on a raspberry pi, I’m not sure how different hass.io is (truth be told I don’t know much about hass.io). I know its not the prettiest solution but hopefully it helps. The beauty of open source is you are free to contribute if you come up with a better way.