CometVisu is a realtime visualization software using modern web technologies for building automation. It shows different statuses of a building (Where is the light switched on? What is the current temperature?) and allows the interaction with it (like temperature set point). To display that information a modern web browser is sufficient and no special software is needed. This allows a seamless use of mobile devices like a smart phone.
The CometVisu is available under the GNU General Public License (GPL) from it's GitHub project page. It also comes preinstalled (since version 1.1) on the WireGate multifunction gateway, an appliance for smart homes.
The CometVisu is a development originating from a discussion the the KNX-user-forum, the biggest German speaking information platform about KNX and smart living. First internal discussions started in summer 2010 and the public announcement happened on 30 October 2010 after the first release of version 0.5.0. on 24. October 2010.
The CometVisu was developed as no other web technology based visualization were available in the year 2010 that could display a status change in realtime. The usual approach at that time were visualizations that had to be installed on a computer and thus had requirements on a specific operation system like Windows. Also web technology based visualizations were available, but those had to use polling to show a status change and thus created high system load and still had a lag in the information update.
|0.5.0||2010-10-24||First release (only in the SVN repository), for internal beta testing.*)|
|0.5.1||2010-11-26||First packaged release. New widgets. Implementation of an editor.|
|0.5.2||2010-12-11||The visualization can be extended with plugins.|
|0.6.1**)||2012-11-27||Significant increase of functionality. Release for public beta testing.*)|
|0.6.2||2012-12-30||Bug fix release.|
|0.8.0||2013-11-17||Significant increase of functionality like multiple columns or 2D pages. Completely new editor. OpenHAB as additional data source.|
|0.8.1||2014-02-08||Bug fix release. Additionally a new plugin (Gauge).|
|0.8.2||2014-03-02||Bug fix release. Slight feature improvements for diagrams and gauge.|
|0.8.3||2014-05-04||Slight feature improvements for diagrams.|
|0.8.4||2014-11-11||Internal change to use AMD module loading.|
|0.8.5||2015-01-15||Additional management interface to handle multiple configuration files just by using the web interface.|
*) – In the early times of development there was a distinction between internal and public beta testing. The internal beta testers were those of the WireGate although the CometVisu itself was publicly available since the beginning through the version control system and the publications on SourceForge.
**) – Due to technical issues version 0.6.0 was immediately replaced by the identical version 0.6.1.
Apart from the versions shown in this table additional prereleases and release candidates were available that sometimes contained big amounts of development progress. This happened especially before version 0.6.0 (the start of the public beta testing) and the version 0.8.0 (the change of the editor).
All web browsers supporting modern standards are usable for display and interaction with the visualization. This holds for common PC browsers like Google Chrome or Firefox as well as for mobile devices with Android or Apple iOS.
As common internet standards (HTML, CSS) are used, custom designs can be easily implemented. Provided are (as of 2015-01-24, version 0.8.5) nine different designs, ranging from the minimalistic „Pure“ up to „Metal“ in a modern look
The CometVisu contains an integrated editor. Up to version 0.6 is was implemented as a WYSIWYG editor.
Since version 0.8 it was replaced by a universal editor which uses the rules out of the defining XML Schema (XSD) file directly. So it is possible for users with no XML knowledge to create valid configuration files easily.
On the server side the CometVisu requires mostly only a web server. Optional parts of the visualization (like the editor) can be used when the server is also supporting PHP.
To connect to the building automation two different backends are available. One is based on the eibd, an open source daemon for communication with KNX, the other is based on OpenHAB.
As communication protocol the publicly available CometVisu protocol is used. It is based on long polling which is also known as the Comet pattern, a Ajax programming pattern.