xPL

About xPL

xPL is an open protocol intended to permit the control and monitoring of home automation devices. The primary design goal of xPL is to provide a rich set of features and functionality, whilst maintaining an elegant, uncomplicated message structure. The protocol includes complete discovery and auto-configuration capabilities which support a fully “plug-n-play” architecture – essential to ensure a good end-user experience. Personally I consider it to be a UPnP light. Its an opensource project with its own project website where you can find a wiki and support forums.

My xPL stuff

Late 2009 was my first encounter with xPL and I like the open nature of the project, for all I’ve seen in home automation, most (especially the hardware) is proprietary. For every homeautomation control software there are always dozens of hardware types supported but also a lot unsupported,leaving you in the middle. The open nature of xPL provides an abstraction layer over the hardware that makes everything work together.

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Since my involvement I’ve been working on these projects;

Applications

  • xPL SMS sending; an xPL application that takes standard messages and forwards them to a mobile phone through an SMS gateway service
  • xPL Updater; an application providing a catalog of vendor published xPL applications and a version comparison of running/installed applications against the latest published versions
  • xPLGirder component; a Girder component that connects Girder to the xPL network, combining 2 powerfull home automation tools
  • UPnP-2-xPL gateway; allows controlling UPnP devices from an xPL network

Tools

  • xPLLib for .Net; generic library for xPL enablement of applications in the .Net framework
  • xPL Check Package; a package to trouble shoot xPL connection problems, which can be included with an application installer to run at the end of the installation.
  • xPL dissector for WireShark; an add-on for the network protocol analyzer package WireShark that allows to scan for xPL messages

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2 thoughts on “xPL

  1. I am studying the xpl since a few days (mostly xplproject & xplmonkey web sites), before starting developping around an X10 CM15.

    I must say i am very doubtful on the XPL Lib subject : what are the changes / improvements made in your version (compared to the 4.4 version )? all i found is a discussion between you and Ian Lowe on the subject (andd also about newbies …. !!).
    How to contact you by email to talk about XplLib ??

    Thanks in advance,
    -Patrick

    • Please check out the ‘change log’ in the readme file.
      Ian provided a list of issues with the 4.4 version. Those have been fixed. The big change however was the much tighter object model used, including all documentation in the xml comments (accessible through the visual studio object browser). For more advanced xPL apps, the 5.x versions provide better support. More properties, events, etc.

      As a means to contact me, you could use the xPL forums by starting a thread there or send me a PM. If you tell me what you’re looking for or what issues you’re facing, I might be able to provide you some more specifics.

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