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HOT or NOT: OPEN SOURCE HMI !! Yes or No ... Wish Lists?

So, it is time once again to discover what interest still exists. If there is enough actually interest remaining, the project might get the green light this time.

Okay, so here is the latest skinny: 

1) The Nextion Editor HMI is closed source between TJC and Itead Studios. This will continue as such and will not be changing.

2) There was in the past a lot of interest in having an open source edition, but the answer at that time was a no go.

3) Now, there is finally recognition that many many users had wanted an open source direction.  With a new design (I imagine not exactly like the Nextion), then it may actually be able to realize an open source edition.

The hardware would made by Itead Studios, with editor, firmware and source by users.  This was first suggested so long ago, that there may or may not be any current interest remaining.  So we need to know just how much interest there is.  If sufficient we might get the green light - and if not enough, then nothings changes.


Keeping it within this thread (so Jerry can see the current user interest) - post what it is that you would want in an open source HMI.  You can post desired hardware, to desired HMI features.  All answers are acceptable.

If you are highly skilled in programming and wish to contribute to the original open source, then keep an eye on this thread for the request for programmers when the time becomes appropriate.

When you post a requested feature or wish list:
- it may be useful if you state if you are merely looking for the feature or
- if you would be able to provide the coding for that feature.

So YES or NO to Open Source - is interest still alive or is it dead.

3 people like this idea

PS: If someone posts something you like - don't just click the like button on their post.  Create a post yourself showing what you want.  I don't think we will get this opportunity to be heard twice. So lets make it good,

Open Source per se is a good idea. Even the Editor itself stays closed source, I can see the benefit of

- open the HMI project format
- open the TFT precompiled format
- open the zi fonts format

- ...


if we can have detailed informations about this all, it would be much more easy to code additional 3. party extensions ... as there could be ...

- any kind of zi font creating

- any kind of zi font processing

- changing a TFT file without editor, e.g. localisations

- making TFT-autouploaders, for in-field updating at customers location without showing sources

- ...

Just a few thoughts ....


I agree with Gerhard that open sourcing will allow 3rd party extensions to be built by the community.  Having the display HMI source opened would be fantastic but unrealistic given the competitive nature of these products.  Hence, I suspect having the pre-compiled format open may reveal too much of the inner workings.

I have always compared the Nextion to 4D Systems display in Genie "mode" with pick and place objects, including pre-designed "stock" objects though without some of the cool features offered by Nextion (eg if statements, timers, etc).  Opening the source would allow the community to mature the Nextion tools at a much faster pace IMO.


I'd also like as much open source as possible.

It might open ways to incorporate Feature Requests quicker if people who know how the STM32 controllers need to be programmed could get their hands on the bare metal - even if it's only via submitting "libraries"/"add-ons" that could be hooked in (e.g. graphics primitives, higher math functions, circular progress "bars", 2D scroll"bars" and/or verbose hotspots that report the X and Y coordinate they were touched at/dragged to, ...) 

One of my earlier proposals was to add a way to add native C/C++ functions via the Nextion Editor and make them callable via the Nextion script language - or even better replace that with C/C++ (or Wiring if you wish)


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It would be great Scuff.r if many of the Feature requests you are making were also listed here.

I am going comment to bump this back up to the top of Free Chat - I was hoping for more people by now.

Always open source is welcomed, because users extend that for their necessities , which are not

always offered by manufacturers.

 I'm not a person with skills in programming, as you see it :)  , but I have many idea for what I can do it with that nice display, and maybe in future with your help, that becomes possible.

 so, Yes, I am for !

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Great idea!
I ran into Nextion just a few days ago and do not have any hardware at hand yet. Will order.
I'm really interested to join the team as best I can.
I see 7 areas of interest:
- hardware
- firmware
- GUI editor
- definition of a proper API
- libraries, at least C/C++
- decent documentation
- licensing

Will/can the current hardware be used (purchased/licensed?) or will it be redone (license for that)? I get it that currently a STM32 is implemented. A slight redesign to accommodate STM32's with larger memory capacity would be no big deal, technically. Perhaps there are design flaws the teams is aware of, so that copuld be solved as well, if necessary. Could contribute.
I've learned that firmware is a linear, sequential approach. Nothing event driven. This could be changed, if necessary, and does not infer implementation of some sort of RTOS, which would be an overkill. Just a different firmware design. Could contribute.
GUI Editor:
No ideas to that currently, as I'm a hardware/firmware guy mainly. Only contribution could be user experience/testing.
Definition of a proper API:
Prerequisite for the user libraries. Input should come from those having a thorough experience implementing the Nextions in projects. Could contribute regarding the doing.
No real picture yet.
Decent documentation:
Well, here we start from scratch in my perception. Is there anything sensible around? Could contribute.
Buy or make? Which 3rd party intellectual property will be required? Everything from scratch?

So, what's the idea?

Just my 5 cents for a starter.

KR Martin

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I love the idea of making it open source. There are many developers out there that think the Nextion has a lot of potential, including myself. I agree with Martin and would like to expand as well. 

Firmware (I could contribute)

Open sourcing the firmware I believe will quickly increase uptake of the Nextion in products. Allowing companies to "white label" with custom firmware update screen, control of firmware testing, etc relieves the fear of using the Nextion. I look at as a great example, they sell the hardware at a great price and open source the software. 

I see areas where your customers can help

  • Testing development
  • Implementing "requested features"
  • Fixing bugs

GUI Editor (I could contribute):

The GUI editor would be a great to open source. There are several features that could be implement such as code generation to support arduino/ other libraries. As well, localization of the GUI editor could allow Nextion to reach larger markets.


Help generate the documentation to get/ help companies get various certifications when using the Nextion in a product. FCC, UL, etc.

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Hey folks, thanks !! for the support received so far. 

So this is the list of those interested after a month.  Perhaps not as big of a list as I imagined.

Did anyone started on any code?

OK, Patrick redirected me from the topic "Inventarisation of requests" to this tread. I missed this discussion because I dropped the Nextion displays a year ago because the restrictions where to big (communication/api to complex/cryptic, limited graphics capabilities, overloaded with functions that belong to the host-controller, design is not portable to the other sizes, etc.), but I liked the concept very much.

I like the idee of an open source version (firmware and editor) build on the existing hardware. But then we need bare metal programmers (STM32) and application programmers (platform independent, Java?). I worked on Fontys University in the Netherlands (I'm now retired), maybe I can make them interested. They use the Nextion Displays in third party projects.

So... I am interested and could contribute in the firmware (C/C++).


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First start could be to make an inventarisation of the needs. Could be the current set of features with a clear definition how it have to work and how to communicate (uart/i2c/spi ascii?) with the host-controller.


Both Gerhard Kropf and myself are working towards bettering our skillz in the bare metal STM32 series.

I am a pascal programmer, with experience in

Delphi2009 (Desktops), Kylix3 (Linux Website CGIs), and now building up mikroPascal (STM32 mcus)

I am certainly not as seasoned with the STM32s ... yet

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