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[Discussion] openHAB 4.2 Release: Exciting New Features, Enhancements, and Key Updates

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A year after the release of openHAB 4.0, the team at openHAB are thrilled to announce the first summer minor release of the openHAB 4.x series: openHAB 4.2. This version comes loaded with a host of exciting features, notable enhancements and a long list of bug fixes. As usual, we would love to share some of the most noteworthy statistics and highlights that distinguish this release.

Notable Activity Overview

As expected with any software release of this magnitude, the level of activity on their GitHub repositories has been quite high. They proudly share that their three main repositories—Core, add-ons and UIs—have collectively received hundreds of pull requests, with numerous bug fixes and enhancements contributing to thousands of lines of new code.

The openHAB team graciously extends their deepest thanks to all their contributors who have committed to moving openHAB forward. Many top contributors also serve as maintainers, reviewing pull requests and participating in GitHub discussions to uphold their high-quality standards throughout bindings, UIs, and Core. At present, they have a robust team of 36 maintainers ensuring the smooth development of openHAB 4.2.

New Features and Enhancements

While extensive development has taken place on openHAB 4.2, we have cherry-picked some must-see highlights for our audience. These include significant mobile notification enhancements and scripting language support. openHAB 4.2 has overhauled its mobile push notifications architecture, unifying both Android and iOS under Google Firebase Messaging. This change not only enhances reliability but also enables the introduction of many new features. Enhancements range from media attachments and clickable navigation to action buttons and collapsible notifications.

Another exciting feature is the ability to remove or hide notifications, a feature long awaited by users. Now, it is possible to remove already pushed notifications from your devices, using rules or actions. These notification enhancements are available across all the rule languages, with helper APIs introduced in the JavaScript Scripting and JRuby Scripting implementations for convenience.

Client Availability and Support

While the team is expectantly looking forward to updates on the Android client to support these new enhancements, there has been a delay in pushing official updates to the iOS app due to technical issues with Apple. Nevertheless, they are determined and have formulated an alternative plan to release a brand-new app featuring all these great notification features and more.

They also introduce Java 21 support as an experimental alternative to Java 17. The move includes significant upgrades to almost all dependencies used in the core, including Karaf and Xtext/Xtend.

Further to these main highlights, the openHAB Core runtime, Main UI, and Add-on enhancements all pack a punch with novel features, upgrades, and improvements. Key inclusions range from default state presentation patterns, UI dependency upgrades, and chart periods to cover the past and future to HTTP blocks, Thing Extensions, Core Runtime Enhancements, Main UI Enhancements, Add-on Enhancements, openHABian Enhancements, and Documentation Enhancements.

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