Widgets not in a group notifications

Recently people have been helping me with flows, and even me cutting and pasting things from one flow to another (or between machines) I am seeing a lot of these messages:

There are 28 widgets not in a group. Click here to create the missing groups

Looking at the dashboard part, there is a lot of TABS listed.

I am not sure if it is good or bad - but at this point academic - there are a lot of tabs with the same name.

There are also (probably) a lot of tabs with nothing in them which are from imports and I cut/past from that to another tab.

Although this isn't impacting on NR's operations, is it bad practise to not assign them?


If they aren't in a group, there's no guarantee where they will appear.

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But as I am seeing it, these nodes are more artefacts than "real" nodes.

I copy/paste a flow from another machine and it has dashboard elements.
Granted they have their own tab names.

Ok.. I'll try a better way of explaining what I am seeing: be that wrong or right.

Machine 1:
flow. Has a dashboard with a tab called: machine_1_dashboard.

I import it to machine 2:
I'm guessing that a dashboard called "machine_1_dashboard" will be created.

I then cut/paste the elements from there to a tab called "machine_2_other_function".
Those steps are all on machine 2.

Somewhere in doing this I am getting these disassociated items.
But I don't get why.

When I import the flow "machine_1_dashboard" tab is created.
I then CUT/paste (well, ok: edit them) the items to another tab on machine 2's dashboard.

Just as another thing of interest:
I have/had/HAVE 28 nodes that need "fixing".

I click the HERE button and they are "fixed".

I press DEPLOY.

They are GONE......

I go in and edit a GROUP in an existing GROUP press DEPLOY.

The 28 nodes are ba-ack!


So as true as that is, I don't think you answered the question I asked.

Allow me to re-phrase it.

I import a flow with UI buttons/what ever on an non-existent Dashboard.

I get that the buttons - at THAT stage - will not be in a group.

But if I then cut/paste them onto an existing dashboard, that should remedy that problem - right?

So it stands that I am getting the notification. I have clicked on the "resolve this issue" button at the bottom of the dashboard window.
(Typically when I do it now it is behaving itself, but......)

As previously stated, I did that and in a very short while, they (well I'm guess it is the same ones) re-appear. It is the same number as before.

So I am confused to what is going on and why this is happening.

To further confuse me - I'll go a bit deeper - I get that if I import a foreign flow, and DEPLOY, it will complain. That was stated.

But if I then copy(or more likely CUT) said nodes to another dashboard and DEPLOY, that shouldn't be a problem.

I'm saying CUT, ok. I go in and edit their properties and assign them to an existing dash'.
All the same at the end of it.

And, also after all that, the "old" names persist. So if the old dash' was called "Kitchen" then the Kitchen seems to remain and all its sub groups.

Maybe a nice thing to add would be a "Clean empty dashboard entries" button/function.

Following comments in another thread you have pointed out that this got no attention. I am trying to replicate the problem you are seeing. You start by saying
"I import a flow with UI buttons/what ever on an non-existent Dashboard."
I don't know what you mean by a non-existent Dashboard. As far as I know there are not things called dashboards. In IT the devil is in the detail so it is important to use the right words so others can understand.
Can you clarify that statement please?
Then you say you cut/paste them onto an existing dashboard. Again I don't know what that means.

When using the node-red-dashboard, the ui_* widget nodes are placed inside dashboard "tabs" (which show as named dashboards in the left-hand navigation menu). Those ui_tab nodes contain ui_group nodes that serve as html containers for the actual dashboard widgets.

I've seen the same thing before -- deleting a "dashboard" (the ui_tab) can leave some of the groups or widgets orphaned... which is why I despise importing other people's dashboard flows into my projects -- those non-graphical elements can sometimes clash with my own, and be hard to clean up.

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Thanks Steve. But where you say on the LEFT HAND SIDE, I would say Right.

What Steve explained is pretty much what I was trying to say/mean.

So to put things in a newer context:
On a machine (say this one) I import a flow from another machine.
That flow has ui_*widgets which are from a dashboard tab (?) which does not exist on this machine. (Why would it have to?)
So when it is imported NR creates a ui_tab and ui_group to accommodate those ui_widgets.

I don't quite get what Steve is saying after that about orphaned ui_widgets, because I either delete them or move them to an existing ui_group I have.

But to me, that cleans up any orphanage problems.

Going to what Steve says:
In ways I agree that it is "dangerous" (? early morning. Vocabulary worse than normal) because of ... Let's call it: MESSY.

You get these new ui_groups and ui_tabs which are not what you need/want.

But I am doing most of my work on THIS machine. Getting things working and then exporting them to their ultimate home.
There after I can delete said ui_tab/group(s) and I am back to square 1. Or so I hope.

But I am getting those messages which to me don't make sense.

Also, (and I'm guilty) when people post flows that don't work, it is inevitable that some will have ui_groups/tabs and so it is a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation if any help is to be offered.

But again: When done, delete the ui_tab and that should be the end of it.

Steve, could you elaborate on how


It may go some way to help me with the problem.

Yes, the Editor's view of the dashboard tabs/groups appears in the sidebar on the right -- I should have been more specific in that the Dashboard's Navigation menu appears on the left -- there you'll see the list of all the ui_tab node names:

Now, when I import a random flow that contains it's own tab named "Demo", those imported groups get added to my own Demo dashboard -- and since the "order" attributes on the widgets can be undefined or match one of my widgets, my nice layout is now messed up.

When I import a regular flow (without dashboard nodes) I at least get the option to import it into another tab (usually named "Flow 1", "Flow 2", etc). A similar choice for using a new (unique, random) dashboard tab name would be nice...

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Yes, that makes sense. (B-u-u-t....)

Your "Demo dashboard" is messed up because you imported another dashboard with the same name.
I've nearly seen that but I haven't gone as far as you, in that I am still in the EDIT mode and I see two tabs in the ui_tabs list on the right both with the same name.
I haven't been into the "how do they appear in the WEB view" side of things.

Where I am at, is I ......... I am bringing in working code (for example) from another machine.
The conflict is while I am editing the flow to get the needed part/s.
I cut out the working parts and use them where needed. Usually on that edit "window" (what do you call them? You have the palette to the left, the big window (to which I am now referring and the other bit to the right where you either see the INFO, DEBUG or DASHBOARD part))
So when done, I delete any "left overs" from the import and it should be good.
I usually try to only export/import the parts needed to mitigate that problem. But it does now and then happen.

They are (indulge me here) on their own tab - the newly imported flow.
Conflict or not, you can delete that flow (tab?) and any conflicts are resolved - right?
I'm obviously wrong, as I am still seeing the problem.

Going way out on a limb:
I can't see how an imported flow can "splat" an existing flow, other than confuse NR with names of nodes in the ui_group side of things.
I can also get that if you have a DEMO flow with ui_things and you are working on helping/debugging the flow to help someone else, it would complicate things.

But complicate is the best word I can find.
It won't overwrite the existing nodes - will it?