Just to clarify, the approach I posted about last year is no longer a working option. I used to have two schedules, each with ‘end by sunrise’, on odd and even days. I split my zones across the two schedules and achieved reasonable run times for each so that they started at normal times. I tried to remake my schedules last year after further discussions on this topic and found out that you could no longer have two ‘end by’ schedules at all, even if they didn’t conflict on days. So, I would say we have gone backwards.
I get that this is a complex topic, but on it’s surface it would seem to make a lot of people happy if each execution of a given flex/smart cycle schedule started was planned (day before, ignoring last minute skips) to start at the ‘end by’ minus ‘planned run duration’ rather than the fixed start time of ‘end by’ minus ‘potential run duration’.