Ever wished you could easily and, more importantly, visually debug your Home Assistant automations right from the dashboard? If yes, it would appear that your prayers have been heard as the upcoming release for the month of April (Home Assistant Core 2021.4) will make finding (and hopefully fixing) errors in your automations much easier.
This feature will once again tempt Home Assistant users away from using YAML for their automations and instead doing everything directly from the web interface. Whether you agree with the direction Home Assistant is taking or not, this development is certainly a welcome one not only for beginners but also for power users.
Not quite Node-RED yet (but an indication of what is to come?)
When looking at the following screenshot or the video embedded in the introduction, you might be wondering whether the automation editor in Home Assistant has taken a leaf out of Node-RED’s book in becoming visual. However, that is not (yet) the case. The visualization can’t be used to edit an automation, it is only there to help you understand what happened.
You can select an exact date and time in the top bar and then go through the automation step by step. The visualization will help you understand, why a certain path was taken and not another one.
Despite not being as advanced as Node-RED, this could potentially be a sign of what is to come. The implementation is very basic right now and only allows for viewing, but it could potentially offer an alternative way of creating automations at some point in the future.