The simplest way to explain what we’d like is scripting without scripts -- essentially a graphical and/or menu driven means of combining and configuring system components and state machines to perform complex tasks and build custom interfaces.  Of utmost importance is simplicity, but there should be provisions that would allow more experienced users to extend functionality by accessing advanced features or adding their own features.  The base system should be as generalized as possible.  Users should have the ability to export configurations from one computer to another across platforms so once a user has built an automation system for a specific application, they can share it with others. 

Our vision for the project is a system that can be installed as a web appliance on virtually any device capable of running Linux.  We would like packages for existing distros so seasoned Linux users can install it in whichever environment they’re most comfortable with, but would also like to roll our own pre-configured live distro that can boot from CD or flash so that lack of Linux experience is not a barrier to entry.  We also want everything built with standard, widely used tools, ideally LAMP.

 

Components

  • Back end/daemon

    • Communicate with hardware

    • Schedule and execute tasks

    • Data acquisition

    • Written in C?

  • Database

    • Automation configurations

    • Change logging

    • Data logging

    • Asset tracking/inventory

    • SQL?  Possibly RRD as well?

  • GUI

    • Web based

    • Graphical/menu driven

    • Drag and drop capability?

    • Library of graphics for custom interfaces

    • Active elements such as live data monitoring

    • Apache + PHP/Python/Perl?


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