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Comparison to Girder HAI Plugin

Sun Sep 24, 2006 5:52 pm

I guess I should start by saying that I am not in any way trying to criticize Cinemar for all the hard work on this plugin. All other things being equal, I guess I would prefer to have the functionality in MLServer, rather than have to rely on a 3d party plugin (such as the current HAI plugin to Girder 4).

I am just wondering whether anyone else has compared these two plugins. I have been using the Girder HAI plugin for a few months now, and have been very impressed. It too had reliability issues for awhile, so I am not as concerned about the recent crashes/etc in MLHAI (since I'm confident those will be addressed) as I am with the overall functionality.

Although the Girder plugin forces you to use a small amount of Lua scripting, it requires no "setup" of zones, units, etc. It frequently monitors and grabs the status of all of the HAI "named items" (zones, units, buttons, flags, tstats, etc) and stores them in a table from which they can easily be extracted with a simple script and exported to MLServer (Girder command to MLServer) or retrieved from MLServer (MLServer command to Girder). In addition, there is an interface for sending HAI commands (simple drop-down lists, automatically populated with HAI names, etc).

In short, I have found this Girder HAI plugin to be a very full-featured 2-way plugin ("constant" monitoring of status and simple interface for sending commands). Given the ability of MLServer and Girder to communicate in either direction (events and parameters), I am beginning to wonder whether the advantages of having this functionality integrated within MLServer are all that great.

It does not appear to me (though I could be mistaken) that the current MLHAI plugin offers this level of functionality, wholly apart from the reliability issues.

Again, I'm not trying to be critical.
I'm just trying to understand the relative state of these 2 plugins.
My testing of the MLHAI plugin has been somewhat limited due to the reliability problems, and my confusion about the feature set.

Has anyone else done this comparison?
Can anyone comment on the MLHAI plugin functionality as compared to my description of the Girder HAI plugin above?

I could be somewhat biased because I already rely on Girder for my "low-level HW control" (serial, IR, etc), with its data structures (mainly tables) and simple scripting. But, I'm curious to know whether others share this view.

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Sun Sep 24, 2006 10:37 pm

My $. 02 worth. I am aware of it and did consider it a few months back but opted against it. Adding one more piece to the puzzle just did not make sense to me. I already had control/access to my panel via the HS plugin but even that is an indirect link to my interface...ML. So I view this plugin as a chance to simplify the system.


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Is there life beyond myServer?
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Sun Sep 24, 2006 11:25 pm

I'll second the keep it simple vote.

With all the machines and links and interfaces and programs that do and can run the HA and HE (Home Entertainment) environments I was looking to bring things under one accessible control function that was pleasing to see, easy to interact with.

I may be a DIY guy......but my goal is the same as the customers of Cinemar's high end installer crowd.....enjoying the fruits of my investment and having something that belongs on HGTV's I want that tech toys!

Being my own tech support is fun to a point, but the goal here is to use the interface and be on with my life...not have the interface be my life.

Keep it up Mario and Smooth.....the HAI plugin is coming along.....slow and steady but improving....

"Round up the usual suspects."

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