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Allow user to select which property gets highlighted #1826

flatsiedatsie opened this issue Apr 25, 2019 · 2 comments


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commented Apr 25, 2019

As mentioned in this issue, it would be great if the user can select which property gets to take the 'center stage' spot in a device.



One reason this came up is because of the MySensors add-on. The MySensors Arduino library allows users to create any combination of properties in a new device.

In practise, it was hard to match all MySensors possibilities to existing properties from the Mozilla schema. The result is that

  • most devices don't show data in the central position. They show a generic 'thing' instead, which feels like a waste.
  • If a schema can be followed, a user might end up with an undesired highlighted item.


As a user I'd like to manually select which property is highlighted in the things overview. I'd like to make sure that there is always something highlighted. I want to avoid the generic 'thing' display.

There is already a dropdown in the thing edit menu. If I'm honest I had no idea what it did, because whenever I switched to another MULTI_LEVEL_SENSOR item in the selector nothing really changed. I was hoping it could be that selector.

Another option that was discussed is to create a new more universal type/property pair that can act as a 'backup' property in case a more perfect choice is not available.

To see the issue in code, have a look at this file from the adapter. There you can see that the strict Mozilla schema could only be followed in a small number of cases.

@mrstegeman mrstegeman added this to Inbox in Project Things via automation Apr 25, 2019


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commented Apr 26, 2019

Here are some sketches:

This sketch shows how a user can select which property should be highlighted:

This sketch is a little more far-out. It explores the idea that users can also select which icon they'd want to represent their device.
Please imagine all the icons are different

As a user I don't really care that the icon for a thing represents it 'correctly' from a schema point of view. If I have a lot of things, and if I have multiple temperature sensors or multiple plant moisture sensors, I would just get a sea of similar things. I'd have to check the name to know which one if for which room/plant.

But if I can select different icons for each thing, and I want to know what the temperature in my daughters bedroom is, then I can quickly scan for the device with the unicorn icon. Or I can visually scan for the device that has the icon of the plant.

@benfrancis benfrancis moved this from Inbox to Product Backlog in Project Things Apr 29, 2019


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commented Apr 30, 2019

I really like this idea. Even for completely custom things, show the list of properties of that thing and let the user pick one to be the default value to display with the icon. What about a thing with actions and events? When would it be valuable for the Edit menu to also include a listing of the things' actions and events?

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